Clean out your /etc/apt/sources.list

Ran into an interesting problem today on my Gusty Gibbon installation that I thought was important to share. I saw an article on Virtualbox software and I thought I’d give it a try. So the first thing I always do when installing something on Ubuntu is to see if there is an official package for the software in the repos by using Synaptic Manager. Synaptic Manager allowed me to log into the interface, but then core dumped. Ugh!

To verify the core dump, I checked all the logs and sure enough, no error messages. Attempting to run synaptic from a console window produce my one and only error message: Segmentation Fault (core dump.) So I fired up Google to start my research.

I really couldn’t find anything out there on core dumps and Synaptic that fit my situation. However, I did see a number of pages mentioning some libraries that were redirected to the wrong locations after the installation of software. This had me thinking about my configuration and I started some digging.

Fortunately the first thing I did solve my problem! I checked my /etc/apt/sources.list file. This file is the control file for where your Ubuntu system will check for package updates. In installing GNOME-DO a month or so ago, I had added a couple of entries here that allowed me to easily update that package. Of course, this source is an unofficial Ubuntu source. Once I remarked out the lines for those unofficial locations – Synaptic worked.

The lesson here : Clean out your /etc/apt/sources.list file. Remark out any unofficial sources when they are not being actively used.

I’m glad this one was a quick fix, because I really wanted to start playing around with VirtualBox and not spending the day troubleshooting my machine.

-JT

Leave a Comment