HowTo: Fix Apt-Get failing with a “Method did not start correctly” error

So, you decide to install a new package on your system, or perhaps update your system with some outstanding updates. You either use the Software Centre or the Apt-Get command from a terminal to do this and you are suddenly greeted with the following error:

Failed to exec method /usr/lib/apt/methods/
E: MethodĀ  has died unexpectedly!
E: Sub-processĀ  returned an error code (100)
E: Method /usr/lib/apt/methods/ did not start correctly

And everything stops. Repeating the command produces the same error over and over.

What just happened and how do you fix this?

What has happened is that one or more of your cached sources lists has corrupted itself and no amount of re-running apt-get update is going to fix this. We need to delete the cache of lists and get apt-get update to re-download them in their entirety – nice and fresh.

  1. In a terminal, type in:
    $ sudo rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*

    …and hit Enter.
    .

  2. Now type in:
    $ sudo apt-get update

    …and hit Enter. You will notice that this takes a bit longer than usual to complete.
    .

  3. Now try your package installation or system update again:
    $ sudo apt-get install <name of the package you tried to install bfore>

    OR

    $ sudo apt-get upgrade

    …and this time you will see Apt behaving itself again.
    .

  4. Pat yourself on the back. Crisis resolved.

  (7412)

Category(s): Tutorials
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