Ubuntu Update Error Messages (Problem Solved)

This blog post provides three solutions for Ubuntu update error messages.


Ubuntu is a fantastic linux distribution, but on occasion you might be presented with an error you have to overcome. This article focuses on Ubuntu update error messages, and resolving those problems.

Before we provide a few solutions for issues that people encounter, it must be noted you should make sure you have a backup system in place, automated if possible. Plus have a Ubuntu installation CD available. That way if you run into serious trouble, you can quickly reinstall your system.

The error messages and solutions

Error: GConf error: Configuration server couldn’t be contacted: D-BUS error: Method “Set” with signature “s(ib)” on interface “org.gnome.GConf.Database” doesn’t exist.

Solution: Chances are you are not using Ubuntu 11.10, else you decided to install Gnome instead of Unity. You probably need to change your software sources to resolve the problem. You could try changing where you download your updates from to the ‘main server’, via the Ubuntu Control Centre. You can then either wait for the system to update, else prompt it via terminal, by typing sudo apt-get update

Error: Encountered a section with no Package: header , when trying to update your Ubuntu system using apt-get.

Solution: You will want to clear the package lists via terminal window by typing sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/* -vf Now you will need to update your system, so in the terminal window type: sudo apt-get update

Error: Duplicate sources.list when updating packages.

Solution: Luckily this is fairly straightforward to resolve. You need to open the ‘Ubuntu Software Centre’, then you should find two sources entries listed. All you have to do is untick one of the duplicate, else remove it entirely.

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