Hello I am a BIG linux noobie that using Debian Stretch. I am getting errors when I am trying to install packages or delete packages.

This is the error I get when I am trying to install packages with pip3:

dsal3389@Dsal3389:~$ pip3 install django

Could not find platform independent libraries <prefix>
Could not find platform dependent libraries <exec_prefix>
Consider setting $PYTHONHOME to <prefix>[:<exec_prefix>]
Fatal Python error: Py_Initialize: Unable to get the locale encoding
ImportError: No module named 'encodings'

Current thread 0x00007f90b31f3740 (most recent call first):

So I tried to delete python3 and install it later, and then I got this error:

dsal3389@Dsal3389:~$ sudo apt purge python3
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  diffstat distro-info-data espeak-ng-data gir1.2-accountsservice-1.0
  gir1.2-atspi-2.0 gir1.2-caribou-1.0 gir1.2-gck-1 gir1.2-gcr-3 gir1.2-gdm-1.0
  gir1.2-git2-glib-1.0 gir1.2-gmenu-3.0 gir1.2-gnomebluetooth-1.0
  gir1.2-grilo-0.3 gir1.2-gtk-2.0 gir1.2-gucharmap-2.90 gir1.2-mediaart-2.0
  gir1.2-mutter-3.0 gir1.2-networkmanager-1.0 gir1.2-nmgtk-1.0
  gir1.2-packagekitglib-1.0 gir1.2-polkit-1.0 gir1.2-rb-3.0 gir1.2-totem-1.0
  gir1.2-totem-plparser-1.0 gir1.2-upowerglib-1.0 gir1.2-vte-2.91
  gir1.2-wnck-3.0 gir1.2-zeitgeist-2.0 gnome-session-bin gnome-session-common
  gnome-software-common hyphen-en-us icu-devtools libappstream-glib8
  libapt-pkg-perl libbrlapi0.6 libc6-dev:i386 libcairo-script-interpreter2
  libcaribou-common libcaribou0 libcgi-fast-perl libcgi-pm-perl
  libclass-accessor-perl libclone-perl libdotconf0 libemail-valid-perl
  libespeak-ng1 libexporter-tiny-perl libfcgi-perl libfontconfig1-dev
  libfreetype6-dev libfwupd1 libgcab-1.0-0 libgdm1 libgit2-24
  libgit2-glib-1.0-0 libgnome-menu-3-0 libgpod-common libgpod4
  libgraphite2-dev libgspell-1-1 libgspell-1-common libgucharmap-2-90-7
  libharfbuzz-gobject0 libhttp-parser2.1 libice-dev libicu-dev libio-pty-perl
  libio-string-perl libipc-run-perl liblist-moreutils-perl liblouis-data
  liblouis12 libncursesw6 libnet-dns-perl libnet-domain-tld-perl
  libnet-ip-perl libnm-gtk0 libparse-debianchangelog-perl libpcaudio0
  libpcre3-dev libpcre32-3 libpcrecpp0v5 libperlio-gzip-perl libpixman-1-dev
  libpng-dev libpng-tools libpthread-stubs0-dev libpython3-dev
  libpython3-stdlib libpython3.5-dev libpython3.6-minimal libpython3.6-stdlib
  libreoffice-help-en-us libsgutils2-2 libsm-dev libsonic0 libspeechd2
  libsub-name-perl libtext-levenshtein-perl libtinfo6 libx11-dev libx11-doc
  libxau-dev libxcb-render0-dev libxcb-shm0-dev libxcb1-dev libxcomposite-dev
  libxcursor-dev libxdamage-dev libxdmcp-dev libxext-dev libxfixes-dev
  libxft-dev libxi-dev libxinerama-dev libxrandr-dev libxrender-dev
  libyaml-libyaml-perl lintian linux-libc-dev:i386 patchutils pkg-config
  python-openssl python-requests python-urllib3 python3-minimal python3.5-dev
  python3.6-minimal speech-dispatcher speech-dispatcher-audio-plugins
  speech-dispatcher-espeak-ng t1utils x11proto-composite-dev x11proto-core-dev
  x11proto-damage-dev x11proto-fixes-dev x11proto-input-dev x11proto-kb-dev
  x11proto-randr-dev x11proto-render-dev x11proto-xext-dev
  x11proto-xinerama-dev xbrlapi xorg-sgml-doctools xtrans-dev xwayland
Use 'sudo apt autoremove' to remove them.
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  apt-listchanges* caribou* chrome-gnome-shell* dh-python* gdebi* gdebi-core*
  gdm3* gedit* gedit-common* gedit-plugins* gir1.2-ibus-1.0* gnome*
  gnome-core* gnome-menus* gnome-music* gnome-orca* gnome-session*
  gnome-shell* gnome-shell-extensions* gnome-software* libatk1.0-dev*
  libcairo2-dev* libgdk-pixbuf2.0-dev* libglib2.0-dev* libgtk2.0-dev*
  libharfbuzz-dev* libpango1.0-dev* libreoffice* libreoffice-librelogo*
  libreoffice-script-provider-python* libxfce4util-dev* lsb-release* python3*
  python3-apt* python3-brlapi* python3-cairo* python3-cffi-backend*
  python3-chardet* python3-crypto* python3-cryptography* python3-cups*
  python3-cupshelpers* python3-dbus* python3-debian* python3-debianbts*
  python3-dev* python3-gi* python3-gi-cairo* python3-httplib2* python3-idna*
  python3-keyring* python3-keyrings.alt* python3-louis* python3-mako*
  python3-markupsafe* python3-pip* python3-pkg-resources* python3-pyasn1*
  python3-pyatspi* python3-pycurl* python3-pysimplesoap* python3-reportbug*
  python3-requests* python3-secretstorage* python3-setuptools* python3-six*
  python3-smbc* python3-software-properties* python3-speechd* python3-uno*
  python3-urllib3* python3-wheel* python3-xdg* reportbug* rhythmbox-plugins*
  software-properties-common* software-properties-gtk*
  system-config-printer-common* system-config-printer-udev*
  task-gnome-desktop* totem-plugins* ufw* unattended-upgrades* unoconv*
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 85 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 118 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Could not find platform independent libraries <prefix>
Could not find platform dependent libraries <exec_prefix>
Consider setting $PYTHONHOME to <prefix>[:<exec_prefix>]
Fatal Python error: Py_Initialize: Unable to get the locale encoding
ImportError: No module named 'encodings'

Current thread 0x00007f04e1fbb740 (most recent call first):
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/apt-listchanges --apt || test $? -lt 10 returned an >error code (1)
E: Failure running script /usr/bin/apt-listchanges --apt || test $? -lt 10

This just happened. Turned my computer on and got that stuff.

Python version:

dsal3389@Dsal3389:~$ python3 -V
Python 3.5.3

1 Answer 1


The package python3-pip is buggy and may break apt.

apt-listbugs list python3-pip
Retrieving bug reports... Done
Parsing Found/Fixed information... Done
serious bugs of python3-pip (-> ) <Resolved in some Version>
b1 - #896390 - python3-pip: pip fails to import (Fixed: python-pip/9.0.1-2.1)
 python3-pip(1 bug)

Set Python2.7 as default :

Add python* to update-alternatives:

update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/python python /usr/bin/python2.7 40
update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/python python /usr/bin/python3.5 30

Switch to python2.7:

update-alternatives --config python

Select python2.7.

Remove only the python3-pip package.

dpkg --configure -a
apt purge python3-pip

You can keep python3:

apt --reinstall install python3

Install apt-listbugs package to keep tracking the python3-pip, you can install it after the bug will be fixed.


Follow this answer posted by @Faheem Mitha to solve this error:

Could not find platform independent libraries <prefix> 
Could not find platform dependent libraries <exec_prefix> 
Consider setting $PYTHONHOME to <prefix>[:<exec_prefix>] 
  • @dsal3389 Sorry , I can understand , Please try to reinstall python3 then python3-pip : apt --reinstall install python3 then apt --reinstall python3-pip .
    – GAD3R
    Jun 6, 2018 at 16:08
  • maybe should I delete python3 manually and then install it cuz I can install packages with apt but not remove
    – dsal3389
    Jun 6, 2018 at 16:14
  • @dsal3389 Do dpkg-reconfigure python3 then remove the python3-pip
    – GAD3R
    Jun 6, 2018 at 16:17
  • command not found
    – dsal3389
    Jun 6, 2018 at 16:24
  • 1
    @GAD3R here there was the only place that I found the solution for this bug. Thank you very much!! Apr 15, 2019 at 14:16

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