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Apt-Get Update Fails to Fetch Files, “Temporary Failure Resolving …” Error!

apt

Err http://archive.canonical.com natty InRelease    
Err http://security.ubuntu.com oneiric-security InRelease               
Err http://extras.ubuntu.com natty InRelease                            
Err http://security.ubuntu.com oneiric-security Release.gpg
  Temporary failure resolving ‘security.ubuntu.com’
Err http://archive.canonical.com natty Release.gpg
  Temporary failure resolving ‘archive.canonical.com’
Err http://extras.ubuntu.com natty Release.gpg
  Temporary failure resolving ‘extras.ubuntu.com’
Err http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com oneiric InRelease
Err http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com oneiric-updates InRelease
Err http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com natty-backports InRelease
Err http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com oneiric Release.gpg
  Temporary failure resolving ‘gb.archive.ubuntu.com’
Err http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com oneiric-updates Release.gpg
  Temporary failure resolving ‘gb.archive.ubuntu.com’
Err http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com natty-backports Release.gpg
  Temporary failure resolving ‘gb.archive.ubuntu.com’

Reading package lists... Done
W: Failed to fetch http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/oneiric/InRelease      
W: Failed to fetch http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/oneiric-updates/InRelease  
W: Failed to fetch http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/natty-backports/InRelease  
W: Failed to fetch http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/oneiric-security/InRelease  
W: Failed to fetch http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/dists/natty/InRelease  
W: Failed to fetch http://extras.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/natty/InRelease  
W: Failed to fetch http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/dists/natty/Release.gpg Temporary failure resolving ‘archive.canonical.com’
W: Failed to fetch http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/oneiric-security/Release.gpg Temporary failure resolving ‘security.ubuntu.com’
W: Failed to fetch http://extras.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/natty/Release.gpg Temporary failure resolving ‘extras.ubuntu.com’
W: Failed to fetch http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/oneiric/Release.gpg Temporary failure resolving ‘gb.archive.ubuntu.com’
W: Failed to fetch http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/oneiric-updates/Release.gpg Temporary failure resolving ‘gb.archive.ubuntu.com’
W: Failed to fetch http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/natty-backports/Release.gpg Temporary failure resolving ‘gb.archive.ubuntu.com’
W: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

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This is what I’m seeing when I try to run sudo apt-get update. I did an update on my instance yesterday and am now experiencing this.

Accepted Answer

overview

There are two parts to your question:

  • fixing temporary resolve messages
  • fixing the package management issues

Temporary resolve

It is likely that this issue is either:

  • temporary due to your Internet Service Provider not correctly forwarding internet naming (DNS) to either its or external DNS servers, or
  • due to a change in your network has similarly blocked this naming – for example, new router/modem, reconfiguring a switch with a new configuration.

Lets look at the possible DNS resolving issues.

First, temporarily add a known DNS server to your system.

echo "nameserver 8.8.8.8" | sudo tee /etc/resolv.conf > /dev/null

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Then run sudo apt-get update.

If this fixes your temporary resolving messages then either wait for 24 hours to see if your ISP fixes the issue for you (or just contact your ISP) – or you can permanently add a DNS server to your system:

echo "nameserver 8.8.8.8" | sudo tee /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/base > /dev/null

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8.8.8.8 is Google’s own DNS server.

source

Another example DNS server you could use is OpenDNS – for example:

echo "nameserver 208.67.222.222" | sudo tee /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/base > /dev/null

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package-management issues

In addition to the temporary resolve issues – you have a few package management issues that need to be corrected – I’m assuming you have tried recently to upgrade from one Ubuntu version to the next recommended version – in your case from Natty (11.04) to Oneiric (11.10)

Open a terminal and type

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

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Look for lines that have your a different distribution name in the list than you were expecting – in your case – you have upgraded to oneiric but you have another release name natty

For example, look for lines that look like deb http:/archive.canonical.com/ natty backports

Add a # to the beginning of the line to comment it out – for example

#deb http:/archive.canonical.com/ natty backports

Save and re-run:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

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You should not have any more release naming errors.

At the time of writing this, possible common release names include lucid, maverick, natty, oneiric, precise, quantal, raring, saucy, trusty, utopic and vivid.

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