How to solve: Ubuntu update error

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Sometimes it happens that running the updates in Ubuntu results in following error:

Could not initialize the package information.
An unresolvable problem occurred while initializing the package information.
Please report this bug against the ‘update-manager’ package and include the following error message:
‘E:Encountered a section with no Package: header, E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_natty_main_binary-amd64_Packages, E:The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.’

While running sudo apt-get update results in the following error:

Reading package lists… Error!
E: Encountered a section with no Package: header
E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_natty_main_binary-amd64_Packages
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

Moreover, Synaptic Manger fails to start as well.


The trick which worked with me is running following commands in the terminal (open terminal using Ctrl+Alt+T):

sudo rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*
sudo apt-get update

Hope it solved your problem. Please do subscribe the blog to stay in touch. Suggestions, questions and feedback are welcome. Enjoy :)

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  • phoenix

    I think the time it will take approximately is 15 minutes and number of packages will be around 100(to be precise 14 min 46 s and 93 packages with 27.1 MB of data in my case)…….might help someone……and thank you abhishek

    • Abhishek Prakash

      I never really cared for the data charges as I have unlimited internet. Welcome :)

  • Criminal

    Thank You Very Much! This worked for me, you are awesome.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      You are welcome