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How To Fix “Can’t Find Archive” Error in Apt/Synaptic

Ubuntu 20

In this article, we will be discussing how to fix the “Can’t Find Archive” error in Apt/Synaptic. This error is common among Linux users and can be quite frustrating. However, there are several ways to resolve it.

Quick Answer

To fix the "Can’t Find Archive" error in Apt/Synaptic, you can try forcefully removing the problematic package, removing any remaining package files, enabling the "multiverse" repository, editing the dpkg status file (with caution), or fixing broken packages using the apt-get command.

Understanding the Error

The “Can’t Find Archive” error typically occurs when the Apt package manager or Synaptic package manager is unable to locate the archive for a specific package that needs to be installed or reinstalled. This can happen due to a number of reasons, such as a broken or interrupted package upgrade, a disabled repository, or a missing package file.

Method 1: Forcefully Remove the Package

The first method to resolve this error is to forcefully remove the problematic package. This can be achieved by running the following command in the terminal:

sudo dpkg --remove --force-all hl1440lpr

In this command, sudo is used to run the command with root privileges, dpkg is the Debian package management utility, --remove instructs the utility to remove a package, --force-all forces all operations that dpkg supports, and hl1440lpr is the name of the problematic package.

If the package is successfully removed, you should be able to update your package list without encountering the error.

Method 2: Remove Remaining Package Files

If forcefully removing the package does not resolve the issue, you can try removing any remaining files related to the package. This can be done by running the following commands:

sudo rm -i /var/lib/dpkg/info/hl1440lpr.*
sudo dpkg --remove --force-remove-reinstreq hl1440lpr

In the first command, rm is used to remove files, -i prompts for confirmation before removing each file, and /var/lib/dpkg/info/hl1440lpr.* is the path to the package’s files.

In the second command, --force-remove-reinstreq is used to force the removal of a package that was marked for reinstallation.

Method 3: Enable the Multiverse Repository

If the above methods do not resolve the issue, you can try enabling the “multiverse” repository in the software and updates window. This repository contains software that is not free, and disabling it may cause some packages to become unavailable. Once enabled, you should be able to reinstall the package.

Method 4: Edit the dpkg Status File

Another solution is to edit the /var/lib/dpkg/status file. This file contains information about the status of installed and available packages. You can open this file as root and remove the entry for the problematic package. However, this method should be used with caution, as it can potentially remove other packages or cause issues with your desktop.

Method 5: Fix Broken Packages

If all else fails, you can try fixing broken packages. This can be done by running the following command:

sudo apt-get --fix-broken install

In this command, apt-get is the command-line tool for handling packages, and --fix-broken is used to fix broken packages.


The “Can’t Find Archive” error in Apt/Synaptic can be frustrating, but it is usually easy to fix. The methods outlined in this article should help you resolve the issue. However, always remember to backup important data before making any changes to your system. If you encounter any issues or need further assistance, feel free to seek help from the Linux community.

How do I know if I have encountered the “Can’t Find Archive” error in Apt/Synaptic?

You will typically see an error message indicating that the package manager is unable to locate the archive for a specific package. It may mention the package name or provide a more general error message related to the archive.

Can I encounter this error on any Linux distribution?

Yes, this error can occur on any Linux distribution that uses the Apt package manager or Synaptic package manager for package management.

What should I do if forcefully removing the package does not resolve the error?

If forcefully removing the package does not resolve the error, you can try removing any remaining files related to the package using the commands mentioned in Method 2.

What is the purpose of enabling the “multiverse” repository?

Enabling the "multiverse" repository allows you to access software that is not free. Disabling this repository may cause certain packages to become unavailable.

Is it safe to edit the dpkg status file?

Editing the dpkg status file should be done with caution as it can potentially cause issues with your system or remove other packages. It is recommended to create a backup of the file before making any changes.

How can I fix broken packages?

You can try fixing broken packages by running the command sudo apt-get --fix-broken install. This command will attempt to resolve any dependency issues and fix broken packages.

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