Ubuntu – Solving /var/lib/dpkg/lock – open (13: Permission denied) with “are you root?” error



E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (13: Permission denied)
E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), are you root?

So, I've seen this error crop up a few times and get it as a result of using the following commands:

sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade 

I'm acting as root and have ensured that none of the update managers are running. First I tried to check what was locking it using:

sudo lsof /var/lib/dpkg/lock

with output of:

lsof: WARNING: can't stat() fuse.gvfs-fuse-daemon file system /home/gareth/.gvfs
Output information may be incomplete.

Just in case I have tried to remove the lock using:

sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/lock
sudo rm /var/cache/apt/archives/lock

…to no avail. Interestingly, if I am actually root and use:

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

…the update works. So I can update and upgrade my packages as long as I am literally root which is somewhat frustrating. It also implies it more to do with permissions than something else locking the directory perhaps?

Thanks in advance with any assistance on this.

Best Answer

You forgot the sudo for the second command. sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade will work.

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