Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

Fixing “NoDistroTemplateException” Error When Adding Ondrej Repository in Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu 10

In this article, we will be discussing how to fix the “NoDistroTemplateException” error when adding the Ondrej repository in Ubuntu 20.04. This error typically indicates that there is no distribution template available for Ubuntu/focal.

Understanding the Error

The “NoDistroTemplateException” error generally occurs when the system is unable to locate a distribution template for the specific version of Ubuntu you are running. In this case, it’s Ubuntu 20.04, also known as Focal Fossa.

Troubleshooting Steps

Here are the steps to troubleshoot and resolve this issue:

Step 1: Update Your Package Lists

The first step in troubleshooting this issue is to update your package lists. This can be done by running the following command:

sudo apt-get update

In this command, sudo is used to run the command with root privileges, apt-get is the package handling utility in Ubuntu, and update is the command to resynchronize the package index files from their sources.

Step 2: Reinstall Necessary Python Packages

Next, reinstall the necessary Python packages by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall libpython3-stdlib libpython3.8-minimal libpython3.8-stdlib python-apt-common python3 python3-apt python3-certifi python3-chardet python3-dbus python3-distro-info python3-gi python3-idna python3-minimal python3-pkg-resources python3-requests python3-requests-unixsocket python3-six python3-software-properties python3-urllib3 python3.8 python3.8-minimal software-properties-common

Here, install is the command to install new packages, --reinstall is an option to reinstall packages that are already installed, and the rest of the command lists the specific Python packages to reinstall.

Step 3: Add the Ondrej Repository Again

After reinstalling the necessary Python packages, try adding the Ondrej repository again with the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

In this command, add-apt-repository is a script which adds an external APT repository to either /etc/apt/sources.list or a new file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/, and ppa:ondrej/php specifies the Personal Package Archive (PPA) to add.

Further Analysis

If the issue persists, further analysis will be needed. Please provide the output of the following commands for further troubleshooting:

cat /etc/lsb-release
apt-cache policy
aptitude search ~o
namei /etc/os-release
cat /etc/os-release

Each of these commands provides valuable information about your system, such as the version of Ubuntu you are running (cat /etc/lsb-release and cat /etc/os-release), the state of your package cache (apt-cache policy), orphaned packages (aptitude search ~o), and the permissions of your os-release file (namei /etc/os-release).


The “NoDistroTemplateException” error when adding the Ondrej repository in Ubuntu 20.04 can be a bit tricky to troubleshoot, but with the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to resolve it. Remember, always back up your system before making any significant changes, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

What is the Ondrej repository?

The Ondrej repository is a Personal Package Archive (PPA) maintained by Ondrej Surý, a Debian and Ubuntu developer. It provides updated versions of various software packages, including PHP, for Ubuntu users.

Why am I getting the “NoDistroTemplateException” error?

The "NoDistroTemplateException" error occurs when the system cannot find a distribution template for the specific version of Ubuntu (in this case, Ubuntu 20.04). It means that the repository you are trying to add does not have support for your Ubuntu version.

How can I update my package lists?

To update your package lists, you can run the following command in the terminal: sudo apt-get update. This command will resynchronize the package index files from their sources and update your system with the latest package information.

What are Python packages and why do I need to reinstall them?

Python packages are modules or libraries that extend the functionality of the Python programming language. In this case, reinstalling the necessary Python packages ensures that any dependencies required for the Ondrej repository are properly installed and configured on your system.

What is the purpose of the `add-apt-repository` command?

The add-apt-repository command is used to add an external APT repository to your system. It allows you to easily add third-party repositories, such as the Ondrej repository, which provide additional software packages that are not available in the default Ubuntu repositories.

What should I do if the issue persists after following the troubleshooting steps?

If the issue persists, further analysis will be needed. You can provide the output of specific commands mentioned in the article, such as cat /etc/lsb-release, apt-cache policy, aptitude search ~o, namei /etc/os-release, and cat /etc/os-release. This information will help in diagnosing the problem and finding a solution.

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