Ubuntu 14.04 apt-get update –> Reading package lists… Error!

May 3, 2014

Today I just wanted to make an apt-get update but I got following:

Reading package lists... Error!
W: Encountered status field in a non-version description
W: Encountered status field in a non-version description
W: Encountered status field in a non-version description
E: Encountered a section with no Package: header
E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/dpkg/status
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

And Synaptic and update manager would not start .. I just checked to make sure as I don’t use them normally. Anyway the solution is really simple. If you take a look into the above mentioned directory you see 2 status files:

$ ll /var/lib/dpkg/status*
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2752482 Mai 1 09:27 /var/lib/dpkg/status
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2753380 Mai 1 09:27 /var/lib/dpkg/status-old

I just did following:

$ sudo mv /var/lib/dpkg/status /var/lib/dpkg/status-new
$ sudo mv /var/lib/dpkg/status-old /var/lib/dpkg/status

And it worked again. Hope this helps others.

5 Comments »

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  1. Thank you so much for helping this rookie out this tip. I thought I might have to start all over from scratch. I hope it doesn’t happen again but have this page bookmarked just in case. Tks again.

    Casey

    Comment by Casey — July 30, 2014 #

  2. Thanks so much, its worked for me as well, 🙂

    Comment by Nidhin — April 28, 2015 #

  3. thanks a lot, it worked.

    Comment by jatinder singh — June 1, 2015 #

  4. Thanks so much, its worked for me as well, 🙂
    VALEU! Pra mim resolveu o problema.

    Comment by Davi — June 12, 2015 #

  5. Thanks !!! 🙂

    Comment by Black P — October 27, 2016 #

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