Fix error: Unable to parse package file /var/lib/dpkg/status

Linux distros come with lots of possibilities to develop new innovative ideas, however, while doing that you may face some errors, especially the newbies, who are yet developing skills to become a proficient Linux user… Out of  hundreds of errors that may appear in Linux OS due to any bug or because of our mistakes, recently I faced the one: here is that:

W: Unable to parse package file /var/lib/dpkg/status (1)
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.
W: _cache->open() failed, please report.

I got this error because, by mistake, I deleted the Status file, the reason for this error in your case might be different.

Hence, if you have it then you can follow the given commands in your Ubuntu Terminal:

There is a Status backup file available under the Var directory. Let’s first unpack that:

sudo gunzip /var/backups/dpkg.status.*.gz

Move the Status file to /var/lib/dpkg/

sudo cp /var/backups/dpkg.status.0 /var/lib/dpkg/status

Run system update

sudo apt update

Now you will not have the error on your system, however, some people may face the same kind of error but in a different context.

For example:

E: Unable to parse package file /var/lib/apt/lists
E: The package lists or status files could not be parsed or opened.


E: Unable to parse package file /var/lib/apt/extended_states (1)

If you are facing the above error then to resolve that, we can use the following commands:

cd /var/lib/apt/lists/
sudo rm -r /var/lib/apt/lists/*
sudo apt update

Actually, /var/lib/apt is the directory where the cache of the APT package manager is stored hence after performing the changes we want running the system update command is necessary to rebuild the cache.


Other Articles:

Unable to search for images in Cockpit Podman Container
Install Parse Server & dashboard on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Failed to start system security services daemon (SSSD) Error
How to fix broken packages in Ubuntu 20.04 or 22.04
How to browse Google search on Linux command terminal


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.