[How To] Fix “Failed to download repository information” In Ubuntu 14.04

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This article was originally written for Ubuntu 13.04 but it is equally able to fix “Failed to download repository information” issue in Ubuntu 14.04 as well as Linux Mint 17 and other Linux distributions and versions.

Continuing my journey with Ubuntu 13.04 beta, I stumbled across an update problem. I noticed that for past couple of days, Ubuntu had not notified me of any available updates. Considering that I was using the beta version, it felt very weird not to have any update notifications. This is why I decided to check for any available updates on my own. I ran the Software Updater and after checking for updates it threw up this error:

Failed to download repository information. Check your internet connection.

Failed to download repository information Ubuntu 13.04

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to fix this update problem in Ubuntu.

How To Fix “Failed to download repository information” Update error:

As there is no more information available in the Software Updater GUI about the cause of error, we have to use the command line to find it out.

Step 1: Find out what is causing the error

Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and use the following command:

sudo apt-get update

Wait for this command to run completely. It should throw you an error in the end something like this:

W: Failed to fetch http://ppa.launchpad.net/venerix/pkg/ubuntu/dists/raring/main/binary-i386/Packages  404  Not Found

E: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

As you can see above, the updater failed to find a specific PPA package. And this was the reason why Software Updater did not run successfully.

Step 2: Removing the root cause of the problem

Once we know that this PPA (or any other software source) is the root cause of this update error, the next step is to remove them from the list of software sources. To do that, open Software & Updates from Unity Dash:

Software & Updates Ubuntu 13.04

In the Software & Updates, go to Other Software and look for the software source that was causing this problem. Uncheck the box before it to exclude it from future updates.

Software Sources Ubuntu 13.04

That’s it. You don’t need to restart or something. Just run the Software Updater again and it should work normally.

By the way, this step will just exclude this software source from the list. To completely get rid of it, read this article on how to delete a PPA.

In case you are wondering why this error happened in first place, it was because of an unsupported PPA for Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail. I had added a PPA which was not available for Raring Ringtail and this is why the specified URL in the update gave 404 error.

Questions, suggestions, help? Feel free to hit the comment box.