Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (11 Resource temporarily unavailable) error on Debian (or Ubuntu)
Just fixed an annoying problem on our Debian server and thought I'd share how it was done.
This problem occurs when you're in the middle of doing an
aptitude upgrade or
apt-get upgrade and you are no longer able to control the package manager. In my case, I lost the SSH connection to the server, just when it was asking me a question. So Aptitude just sat there waiting for me to reply.
Trying to restart the upgrade returns this error:
E: Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (11 Resource temporarily unavailable)
E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), is another process using it?
The first step to fixing this is to kill Aptitude (or apt-get), enter this at the terminal (hint: copy and paste is easiest):
killall aptitude && killall apt-get
Unfortunately, for me, this returned the same error message as before. I finally worked out that
frontend have to be killed off as well, enter this at the terminal:
killall dpkg && killall frontend
Which worked. However, trying to start the upgrade over again didn't, it returned this error:
E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem.
E: Couldn't rebuild package cache
So, to finally fix the problem, enter this at the terminal:
dpkg --configure -a
For me this started the upgrade from where it had left-off. If you find the same problem, but this doesn't fix it, share it here and hopefully we can help.
Note: this should work just as well under Ubuntu, just add
sudo in front of all the commands.
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