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How to Resolve: Sudo apt-get Command Not Found

by | Jun 24, 2023

What is apt-get?

APT (Advanced Package Tool) serves as a package manager for Debian-based operating systems and their derivatives like Ubuntu. It facilitates the installation, updating, and removal of applications within the OS. A frequent issue encountered while utilizing APT is the “apt-get command not found” error.

This error surfaces when attempting to utilize APT on operating systems incompatible with it. Resolving this error involves using the appropriate command for the operating system in question.

This article will explore the causes of this error and provide solutions.

Apt-get is a tool used on the command line to manage software on Debian-based systems. It helps you install, update, and remove programs. Here’s how you use it:

apt-get [option] [command]

For example, if you want to install a program like scrot for taking screenshots, you’d type:

apt-get install scrot

Now, apt-get is considered outdated, which means it’s not the best choice for interactive installations where you have to respond to prompts (like pressing Y or N). Instead, it’s better to use the shorter ‘apt’ command, which includes all apt-get functions. However, apt-get is still okay to use for scripts.

But what if apt-get doesn’t work?”

If you encounter the error message “sudo: apt-get: command not found” on a Linux-based system, it usually indicates that the apt-get command is not available or not properly installed. Here’s a step-by-step explanation on how to fix this issue:

Step 1: Check your package manager

  • Verify if your system’s package manager is apt or apt-get. Different Linux distributions use different package managers, so the command may vary.
  • Common package managers include apt (Debian-based systems), dnf (Fedora), zypper (openSUSE), pacman (Arch Linux), etc.

Step 2: Verify if apt-get is installed

  • Open a terminal or command prompt on your system.
  • Type the following command and press Enter:
which apt-get
  • If apt-get is installed, the command will output its location (e.g., /usr/bin/apt-get). Move on to Step 4.
  • If apt-get is not installed, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: Install apt-get

  • Since apt-get is not installed, you need to install it manually. However, keep in mind that this step assumes you have administrative privileges on your system.
  • Use the appropriate package manager command to install apt-get. For example:
    • For apt package manager:
      sudo apt install apt

      For dnf package manager:

      sudo dnf install apt

      For zypper package manager:

      sudo zypper install apt

      For pacman package manager:

      sudo pacman -Syu apt
Note: The above commands assume you have administrative privileges. If you don’t, consult your system administrator or refer to your distribution’s documentation for guidance.

Step 4: Update the package manager

  • After installing apt-get, it’s essential to update the package manager to ensure you have the latest package information.
  • Run the following command to update the package manager’s cache:
sudo apt update

Step 5: Test apt-get

  • To verify that apt-get is now working correctly, you can try running a simple command, such as:
sudo apt-get upgrade
  • If the command runs without any errors, then the issue is resolved.

Please note that the specific commands and package manager names mentioned above are examples and may vary depending on the Linux distribution you’re using. Consult your distribution’s documentation for accurate package manager commands.

Additionally, if you’re using a non-standard or minimal installation, it’s possible that the package manager is not available by default. In such cases, you may need to install it from your distribution’s repositories or seek assistance from your system administrator or community forums for further guidance.


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