E: Type 'echo' is not known on line 1 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/virtualbox.list

The post that was sited as the reason for closing my question, does nothing to help me if I can't comment on it to ask how to fix my problem!

  • 7
    You said you are using Linux Mint, which is not supported on this site. This site is for Ubuntu and its official flavors. ubuntu.com/desktop/flavours Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 23:04
  • Your error message tells you the problem, in the file mentioned in the message on line 1, there is an invalid "echo" command (it's unknown, not being a valid entry in that file of sources). That needs correction. Being able to comment on the question won't help you, you need to correct the line (if you'd pasted the line in your first question, we could have provided more detail, but with only the message - we can only tell you what it means; where it tells you the file with the error & line number with first error). Comment it out, remove it, or correct it - your only choices.
    – guiverc
    Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 23:04
  • PPAs are a Ubuntu tool; your file mixes up Debian & Ubuntu (different OSes), but if using Linux Mint based on Debian, you're only asking for trouble mixing up sources (Debian & Ubuntu never align, even if testing & development are used; they never really align, but released products are further apart!). Either way Linux Mint isn't Ubuntu (nor flavor of Ubuntu) and thus off-topic on this site.
    – guiverc
    Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 23:06
  • Only Ubuntu and official flavors of Ubuntu (ubuntu.com/download/flavours) are on-topic here, refer to askubuntu.com/help/on-topic where you'll find other SE sites where you question will be welcome if you don't want to use a Linux Mint forum. (One advantage of Ubuntu is its many support options, you opted for Linux Mint so take advantage of its support options, or SE Unix & Linux)
    – guiverc
    Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 23:06
  • FYI: Your question was closed as duplicate, but if you also look the only alternative was you were off-topic, being outside of site rules anyway. Please refer askubuntu.com/help/on-topic
    – guiverc
    Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 23:10
  • A source on my current box contains this deb http://deb.debian.org/debian/ bookworm main contrib non-free .... ie. I'm currently using Debian; but if I was using Ubuntu; the URL won't match, my release (bookworm) won't match, and contrib & non-free won't match. Only the main will match Ubuntu. Linux Mint has products based on Debian, and products based on Ubuntu; both of which are off-topic on this site as not Ubuntu systems. You must match the Linux Mint you're using (ie. either Debian based, OR Ubuntu based, they are not the same but your source mixed the two; PPAs are Ubuntu)
    – guiverc
    Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 23:28
  • guiverc "Being able to comment on the question won't help you, you need to correct the line (if you'd pasted the line in your first question, we could have provided more detail, but with only the message - we can only tell you what it means; where it tells you the file with the error & line number with first error). Comment it out, remove it, or correct it - your only choices." As I tried to tell you. If I had been able to comment on that post, none of this would have happened.
    – user1665227
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 1:09
  • guiverc I could have just asked in a comment, how to edit nano and this would have been over with. The only thing I did wrong through any of this was to copy code from the incorrect information and post in the wrong forums to ask how to correct the problem. This got so completely out of hand and blown out of proportion, it's unreal.
    – user1665227
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 1:14
  • 2
    @user_OU812 This question and answer has generated an inordinate number of flags. I would suggest 2 things: 1. Have a look at the Ubuntu Code of Conduct: askubuntu.com/conduct and allow this document to guide future posts. 2. You have been given 2 answers by long term AU users: profit by their words and then move on.
    – andrew.46 Mod
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 2:01
  • andrew.46 The inordinate number of flags were because of bigoted responses and accusations, of which I pointed out correctly in comments that somebody deleted. I have been accused of things I did not say or do, quite a few times. If this had not been allowed, this issue would not have dragged on like it did. People even kept this going after I thanked the people for both answers, as if I were still asking about the same subject.
    – user1665227
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 2:23
  • @user_OU812 You appear to keep operating under the assumption this is a forum, but it's not. This is a Question & Answer (Q&A) site, which operates different to a Forum. ubuntuforums.org is the Ubuntu Forum(s) which has an area where Linux Mint is on-topic. Once you realize the difference between a Q&A site, and a Forum, you'll hopefully better understand what has happened here. My 2c anyway.
    – guiverc
    Commented Jan 19, 2023 at 2:59

2 Answers 2


Firstly your question was off-topic.

If you read https://askubuntu.com/help/on-topic you'll note this site is for Ubuntu and flavors of Ubuntu, with Linux Mint specifically mentioned in the questions to be avoided (as off-topic).

Secondly your question was a duplicate.

The directory /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ is empty on a new install (of on-topic Ubuntu systems), so anything in that file was added by a user with sudo privileges.

Your error told you line 1 of the file mentioned in the error message contained error(s), ie. echo is not a valid keyword used in sources files. That file needed to be edited & corrected to match your system.

Linux Mint provides system(s) based on Ubuntu, and system(s) based on Debian, your picture of a file contained a mixture of both Debian & Ubuntu - thus was invalid even if the echo was ignored. Your question however was off-topic on this site, which deals only with Ubuntu (Debian isn't on-topic, unless the question is specific to how Ubuntu & Debian interact, as both teams often do).

Don't forget this site is an official Ubuntu support site; I can access it using only my Ubuntu SSO/signon, though I can't access CHAT services as they require a Stack Exchange signon. You're likely accessing it via Stack Exchange, where 'SE Unix & Linux' covers your Operating System, not this Ubuntu only site.

  • If you had looked at any part of my question, I was not able to use the "duplicate" question, because, as I said several times, I can not comment on that question because I don't have enough points, so I can't ask questions about how to correct my problem. Yes it was added with sudo, I added it. Obviously I added it from the incorrect information / repository, or whatever you want to call it.
    – user1665227
    Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 0:28
  • I'm new at using any Linux so I didn't know it was incorrect, when I copied and pasted the lines in to the terminal to add it. I Googled the error that I got, and this was the first website that came up and was an exact match, or I would not have asked the question here.
    – user1665227
    Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 0:28
  • I suggest you read site rules before using a site. If you looked those rules, it would have told you your question would have been closed due to off-topic; instead the duplicate reason was used as the reason for closure. You're welcome to use this site as for reading details regardless of your OS (eg. I'm using Debian currently thus cannot, but even if I was using my Ubuntu lunar system I couldn't ask questions here as lunar isn't a released product until April when it becomes Lubuntu 23.04) but you can only ask questions when on-topic for the site.
    – guiverc
    Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 0:31
  • There was no reason for you to comment on the other question, as I can't see how you could have provided any additional help for the question/answer already existing; plus your system being off-topic on this site meant any detail you had would have been incorrect. I suggest you ask on a site where your OS is known, and be clear as to what product you're using, ie. LMDE? or LMUE (LM Debian edition or LM Ubuntu editions of Linux Mint!) as they differ; your details mix-matched details from each - where you cannot if you want it to work; computers require letter-perfect details.
    – guiverc
    Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 0:34
  • FYI: Google is only a machine, and often gives misleading or incomplete results.. I'm a Lubuntu team member, and dislike how google can give legitimate, fan or fake web sites for downloading Lubuntu... but it's a machine, and the answers it gives depends on terms used in the search, language used in search etc... (you'll get correct details if certain keywords are used for some languages, but not all), so if using google - evaluate what you're given & ensure it's accurate before you trust it! Google is not smart !
    – guiverc
    Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 0:36

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