[How To] Fix "Failed to download repository information" In Ubuntu

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

Recently, 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 the 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 the first place, it was because of an unsupported PPA for my current Ubuntu version. I had added a PPA which was not available for my Ubuntu version and this is why the specified URL in the update gave 404 error.

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

About the author
Abhishek Prakash

Abhishek Prakash

Created It's FOSS 11 years ago to share my Linux adventures. Have a Master's degree in Engineering and years of IT industry experience. Huge fan of Agatha Christie detective mysteries 🕵️‍♂️

Become a Better Linux User

With the FOSS Weekly Newsletter, you learn useful Linux tips, discover applications, explore new distros and stay updated with the latest from Linux world


Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to It's FOSS.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.