Unable to obtain lock for software installationPosted: 02.24.12
Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock- open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
Explanation of the problem:
Ubuntu uses the programs apt and dpkg for all package handling (installing, removing, updating, upgrading, etc.). To prevent multiple package management processes from running at once, apt or dpkg opens or “locks” an empty file named (appropriately) “lock”, in either
/var/lib/apt/lists/ (for apt processes) or
/var/lib/dpkg/ (for dpkg processes). If this file is already locked by an apt or dpkg process, no other process of that nature can run. That’s the in-depth explanation. Put shortly, you apparently have another apt or dpkg process running. This could be in the form of Synaptic Package Manager, or the USC, as they both utilize apt. Here’s brief instructions on how to remedy this.
Open a terminal and run
ps -ef | grep apt
The result will be a list of processes using apt. Kill them (all except the bottom one, called something like
cortman 3298 2798 0 15:40 pts/0 00:00:00 grep --color=auto apt
This is the grep process itself. To kill run
sudo kill -9 process_id
Substituting “process_id” for the actual id, which is a 4-5 digit number, second column from the left. If I were to kill the process given above, it would be
sudo kill -9 3298
Do the same for dpkg-
ps -ef | grep dpkg
to unlock the
/var/lib/dpkg/lock file. You can now run whatever installation process you were attempting before.
Glossary of terms:
ps -ef: lists all processes
grep apt: means “find processes with apt in the description”
sudo: run the following command as root
kill -9: end the process immediately and unconditionally.