[SOLVED] What could make Synaptic suddenly start returning “Failed to fetch...” for any & all packages, from all repos?

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yellowfinch
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Re: What could make Synaptic suddenly start returning “Failed to fetch...” for any and all packages, from all repos?

Post by yellowfinch »

Latest news:

When I ran apt update (instead of clicking on “Reload” in Synaptic), it ended with three warnings about unreachable sources. One is for launchpad.net, which has PPAs for things like musicbrainz and mkusb, and one is for the TeamViewer PPA, which I don't necessarily need any more.

But the last one is for http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/xenial-security/InRelease.

When I used FTP to consult that tree up to the xenial-security level, the InRelease, Release and Release.gpg entries were preceded by a question mark icon instead of the normal folder icon. So I wondered what that could mean and could it be the reason why this system refuses to fetch anything from anywhere?

Anyway, I had just done a Timeshift snapshot, so I proceeded to apt upgrade, as recommended by many. (Quite a scary thing, seeing it replace 660 packages – a lot more than shown in mintupdate – and frustratingly long, because of the inclusion of useless things, such as over 41MB worth of mint-backgrounds-sylvia. :roll: )

Then I rebooted.

Still no quick filter in Synaptic, but otherwise it seems to have been fixed; I was able to install xrdp.

mintupdate is another matter. It was also fixed, insofar as I was now able to update palemoon to the latest version, but I see no difference from before in the list of upgradeable packages. In fact, even in Synaptic, it looks like nothing has changed. For example, both say that my current version of gnupg is 1.4.20-1ubuntu3.1 and that 1.4.20-1ubuntu3.3 is available, but the latter was listed during apt upgrade as successfully downloaded.

Maybe it’s just as well that nothing was really updated.*

However, for future reference: Is there something else to do after an apt upgrade, to apply the changes?

* Confirmation of this is that apt update now ends with the mention that “656 packages could be updated”.

sleeper12
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Re: What could make Synaptic suddenly start returning “Failed to fetch...” for any and all packages, from all repos?

Post by sleeper12 »

Ok, so apt update & apt upgrade got you to where you should be. Now, go ahead & take all the updates offered by mintupdate. You should be good, but you have Timeshift just in case. It's only scary right now because you are so far behind with your updates.

mpsmith
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Re: What could make Synaptic suddenly start returning “Failed to fetch...” for any and all packages, from all repos?

Post by mpsmith »

yellowfinch,
I just started using Mint 19.2 (used fedora for 15+ years) and attempted my first upgrade to 19.3 a few minutes ago. I experienced problems that seemed very similar to what you reported. I'm hoping it's some fluke with the repo servers. My default plan is to attempt the upgrade tomorrow perhaps?

Also, I've been doing periodic apt update & apt upgrade frequently the past couple weeks as I continue to install & configure my system, etc. No problems ever with these updates or the repos. My system currently has no outstanding package updates available. My goal was to update to release 19.3 before cutting this system into production....

yellowfinch
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Re: What could make Synaptic suddenly start returning “Failed to fetch...” for any and all packages, from all repos?

Post by yellowfinch »

sleeper12 wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:14 pm
Now, go ahead & take all the updates offered by mintupdate.
Well...

I still don’t know why my “apt upgrade” didn’t do what the doc says (“upgrade is used to install available upgrades of all packages currently installed). After all, the downloading of the new versions clearly worked.

But I’m rather glad the updating didn’t happen because, in the mean time, I found a few explanations on the differences between update methods. Notably (in viewtopic.php?f=90&t=252511&p=1358689#p1358689), this one:

apt-get upgrade is actually more dangerous than the mint updater since it will upgrade level 4 and 5 packages

I know that the mint updater now works, because I used it for palemoon, so I presume that it would work for any package.

So I’m leaving it at that for now.

sleeper12
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Re: [SOLVED] What could make Synaptic suddenly start returning “Failed to fetch...” for any & all packages, from all rep

Post by sleeper12 »

Your choice, but I take all updates that Mint offers. Never any problems with that yet.

yellowfinch
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Re: [SOLVED] What could make Synaptic suddenly start returning “Failed to fetch...” for any & all packages, from all rep

Post by yellowfinch »

sleeper12 wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:07 pm
Your choice, but I take all updates that Mint offers. Never any problems with that yet.
YMMV. :wink:

I stopped all automatic updatings a couple of years ago, when I learned that I had narrowly avoided being deprived of all email access for more than a day. A minor update of Thunderbird had rendered it useless. So everybody who had their system set to update things without getting a chance to review them first ended up having to scramble for an urgent alternative.

I've been making an exception for Pale Moon, updating it pretty much as the versions come out, and I'm starting to regret it. As with most things, it's often the updates that introduce vulnerabilities.

Overall, I'd rather apply the “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” principle. And even if something is broken, if I don’t feel any negative effects from it, I prefer to leave it alone.

ajgreeny
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Re: [SOLVED] What could make Synaptic suddenly start returning “Failed to fetch...” for any & all packages, from all rep

Post by ajgreeny »

Thanks for that output; I did not realise tat Mint puts the sources in another place than /etc/apt/sources.list, (I wonder why?) but now please show us the output now of command

Code: Select all

sudo apt update
which might give us a few clues.

cliffcoggin
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Re: [SOLVED] What could make Synaptic suddenly start returning “Failed to fetch...” for any & all packages, from all rep

Post by cliffcoggin »

yellowfinch wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:18 pm

I've been making an exception for Pale Moon, updating it pretty much as the versions come out, and I'm starting to regret it. As with most things, it's often the updates that introduce vulnerabilities.

Overall, I'd rather apply the “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” principle. And even if something is broken, if I don’t feel any negative effects from it, I prefer to leave it alone.
Your choice of course, but refusing 656 updates because one was defective two years ago is the cause of your problems. Timeshift is the easy way to revert to previous settings if there is a repeat of the Thunderbird fault.
Cliff Coggin
Mint 19.2 Cinnamon

sleeper12
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Re: [SOLVED] What could make Synaptic suddenly start returning “Failed to fetch...” for any & all packages, from all rep

Post by sleeper12 »

cliffcoggin wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:24 pm
Your choice of course, but refusing 656 updates because one was defective two years ago is the cause of your problems. Timeshift is the easy way to revert to previous settings if there is a repeat of the Thunderbird fault.
Absolutely, I'd find it more scary & dangerous to be 656 updates behind. :lol:

yellowfinch
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Re: [SOLVED] What could make Synaptic suddenly start returning “Failed to fetch...” for any & all packages, from all rep

Post by yellowfinch »

cliffcoggin wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:24 pm
refusing 656 updates because one was defective two years ago is the cause of your problems.
How do you figure that?

I marked this post as [SOLVED] because my question is now moot, but I never found out the answer to it. One of the “stabs in the dark” happened to make the problem go away, but we don't know how or why, so we don't know what caused it in the first place. Moreover, the “apt upgrade” downloaded packages but did not install them, so I'm still running the out-of-date version of them and yet everything works. Therefore, the issue can't have been a missing update.

I frequently (although on an irregular basis) get calls from colleagues in the morning, when they've just found that they can't do this or that on their computer and they're asking me if I have the same problem. The answer is always no, and most of the time they find out later that some update had been applied silently when they turned on their machine that day and that's what caused the breakdown. You wouldn't treat a server that way, and that's how I see my computer; it's just as vital. It's certainly not a toy.

sleeper12
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Re: [SOLVED] What could make Synaptic suddenly start returning “Failed to fetch...” for any & all packages, from all rep

Post by sleeper12 »

Having an old mintupdate was likely the source of your problem I'd guess.

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