This question of mine was closed on the basis that I'm asking the same question... I'm not. I specifically ask the "Why apt-get install update fails" (which normally people try to update their systems) meanwhile the other question address how to solve the issue where the package is simply misspelled or not available.... I'm not trying to solve anything! That questions are "related" doesn't mean that are the same! In 3 months it gathered 3k views so explaining the why to the whole population of internet denizen is more useful that blindly trying to solve a problem they don't have.

apt-get install update is a silly mistake most people do and the only solution is explain that install expects a package and since there's isn't a package called "update" it fails and how to do the action they meant to do: sudo apt-get update, sudo apt-get upgrade or sudo apt-get install package, the duplicated doesn't address the question in the way I phrased it.

The answer I offered is the proof that both questions are addressing an specific issue.

1 Answer 1


You're right. As the first close voter, I will say, it was a mistake for me to have voted to close this. I've voted to reopen it.

I do recommend the question be changed somewhat to clarify what it is really asking. (I've edited it toward this end, but you might think of a better way to improve it.) I had interpreted the update in install update as a metasyntactic variable (standing in for whatever package name the user wished to upgrade) rather that an indication that the question was for the benefit of people who actually type the exact text sudo apt-get install update.

If you have information about when people have actually made this mistake, you may want to link to it in the question itself. Or if you don't want to do that, then perhaps here: it may convince people that the special case this question covers is significant. Either way though, I realize now that your question is not really a special case of the question against which we duped it.

I suspect we may already have had a question about how to use apt-get in general. So this might end up re-duped to such a question. But I'm not sure what (if any) question that would be, and I see no reason to keep it closed now.

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