Whenever trying to install some programs from source, or specifically running apt update, I receive this message:

E: The repository 'http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian stretch/updates Release' does not have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.

I started getting this after adding the architecture i386. Without it, I would not be able to install the proprietary Nvidia driver, and Steam client would not start at all. This is what my /etc/apt/sources.list reads:

deb http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/ stretch main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/ stretch main contrib non-free

deb http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/ stretch/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/ stretch/updates main contrib non-free

####stretch-updates, previously known as 'volatile'

deb http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/ stretch-updates main contrib non-free

deb-src http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian/ stretch-updates main contrib non-free

2 Answers 2


You’ve got both stretch-updates and stretch/updates, but the latter doesn’t exist any more (at least on the mirror you’re using). You should remove the references to stretch/updates, or — if you’re expecting the stretch/updates lines to provide security updates — replace them with

deb http://security.debian.org/ stretch/updates main contrib non-free

In late April 2023, the Stretch repositories were removed from the main mirrors, so you’ll need to switch to archive.debian.org; see apt-get update failed to fetch debian amd64 packages while building dockerfile from maven:3.5.2-jdk-8 and Security repo for Debian stretch not working anymore for details:

deb http://archive.debian.org/debian-security stretch/updates main contrib non-free
  • i removed it, and it solved the issue, but its odd because in the Software & Sources program, stretch/release (with the slash) refers to the security updates of stretch.
    – user77647
    Jun 19, 2017 at 5:37
  • 2
    Right, but that’s from https://security.debian.org, not your local mirror. (And it’s stretch/updates , not stretch/release; see here for the Release file and the corresponding instructions.) Jun 19, 2017 at 6:10

Run the following command and it should be fixed

echo "deb http://archive.debian.org/debian stretch main contrib non-free" > /etc/apt/sources.list

or change the repository website deb.debian.org to archive.debian.org by running:

sed -i s/deb.debian.org/archive.debian.org/g /etc/apt/sources.list

and if there is security too (security.debian.org) then:

sed -i s/security.debian.org/archive.debian.org/g /etc/apt/sources.list

the reasons

  • Interesting. Also, at the official Debian packages website, there is not information about stretch anymore, one week ago (April, 2023) I got the stretch versions for each package that I filter.
    – Franco Gil
    Apr 24, 2023 at 15:23
  • 1
    This issue bites me today as well...
    – jdehaan
    Apr 24, 2023 at 15:51
  • 1
    @AliRNazari based on the archive Debian mirror, there is not exist the stretch-security directory (yet), assuming that there is not usefull, I edit your answer instead of pulbish a new one.
    – Franco Gil
    Apr 24, 2023 at 15:59
  • 2
    Thanks for this solution! Would you mind explaining what you're actually doing here resp. why this entry is required in /etc/apt/sources.list by now?
    – NotX
    Apr 26, 2023 at 13:14
  • 4
    @NotX In March of 2023, the Debian 9 stretch was copied to the archive site, and about a month later (in April), it was removed from the main Debian repository sites. Announcement on Debian-devel-announce mailing list. That caused the original repository entries in sources.list to stop working. If you still want to download packages for Debian 9, you'll have to switch to using the archive site instead.
    – telcoM
    Jun 6, 2023 at 19:30

You must log in to answer this question.