I'm trying to install a Chrome update on Linux Mint "Quiana". I downloaded the .deb file; when I try to open/run/install it, GDebi Package Installer says:

Software Index is Broken

This is a major failure of your software management system. Please check for broken packages with synaptic, check the file permissions and correctness of the file '/etc/apt/sources.list' and reload the software information with: 'sudo apt-get update' and 'sudo apt-get install -f'.

So I try to run synaptic to check for broken packages. It won't start; says

E: Encountered a section with no Package: header
E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_trusty_multiverse_i18n_Translation-en
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.
E: _cache->open() failed, please report.

Now what?

1 Answer 1


Since Synaptic can’t start, skip the part that depends on it (which isn’t obvious), and run the last two commands given in the message:

sudo apt-get update

and then

sudo apt-get install -f

The update is the part which will take care of the software indexes.

If you have an invalid index which doesn’t match a repository in your configuration, it won’t be fixed (but I would have thought it wouldn’t be references either). To handle that, delete all the indexes and update:

sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/*
sudo apt-get update

If the error persists after that, that suggests the index is corrupt in the repository you’re downloading from. To get past it, delete the specific index gdebi is complaining about:

sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_trusty_multiverse_i18n_Translation-en

and don’t run apt-get update before trying to install your package again. Such errors should fix themselves at the next mirror pulse (within twelve hours or so).

  • Thanks. Tried that before posting the question; no joy. Searching for the error message I saw someone somewhere else say try "sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/* -vf" first. Now synaptic runs, finds no broken packages. GDeb starts, spends some time trying to install the .deb, complains about dependencies. (Have to go to work, will try again tomorrow....) Oct 4, 2019 at 15:27
  • Yes, the rm would have been my next suggestion. Oct 4, 2019 at 15:28
  • Thx again. Error message said I should run "gksudo synaptic". Now synaptic finds a broken package google-chrome-stable . ??? Oct 4, 2019 at 15:37
  • I bet I got the wrong download. Any hints how to upgrade Chrome on Mint? I don't see it listed on the "other distributions" page - maybe it's there with a synonym I don't recognize. Oct 4, 2019 at 15:50
  • For Mint the appropriate download is “64 bit .deb (For Debian/Ubuntu)” (Mint is based on Ubuntu and pulls most of its packages from Ubuntu). You might get more useful information by running sudo dpkg -i /path/to/google-chrome...deb in a terminal window, instead of using gdebi. Oct 4, 2019 at 16:03

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