How to Fix sub-process usrbindpkg returned an error code (1) in Ubuntu?


If you are an Ubuntu user, you might have encountered the sub-process usrbindpkg returned an error code (1) at some point. This error message is one of the most common errors that Ubuntu users experience when updating or installing packages. Many users might not know how to fix this issue, and it can be frustrating when you need to update or install essential packages for your system.

Explanation of Error Code (1)

The sub-process usrbindpkg returned an error code (1) commonly refers to a package installation failure in Ubuntu. This error typically occurs during the installation of a package using the apt-get command or Synaptic Package Manager.

When this error occurs, it means that the package could not be properly installed due to some issues, such as broken dependencies or conflict with other packages.

Importance of Fixing The Error

Fixing this error is crucial for maintaining your system's stability and security updates. When you encounter this issue while trying to install new packages, many dependent applications may also stop working correctly until it is resolved.

The longer you ignore this problem in your system, the more likely it will break down over time and become unstable. Therefore fixing it immediately should be a high priority for any Ubuntu user who encounters it.

Understanding the Error Code (1)

Definition and causes of sub-process usrbindpkg returned an error code (1)

This error typically indicates that there is an issue with the package management system or dependencies. The "usrbindpkg" part of the error message refers to the location of the package management tool used to carry out the installation, removal or update.

The error can occur due to a variety of reasons such as problems with internet connectivity, missing dependencies, conflicting packages or issues with package sources. It can also be caused by incorrect permissions on files and directories related to apt and dpkg.

Common scenarios where this error occurs

One common scenario where this error occurs is when users try to install a package from a PPA (Personal Package Archive). PPAs are third-party repositories maintained by individuals rather than Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. They are not always reliable and can cause issues with package dependency resolution leading to this particular error.

How to identify if you are experiencing this error

The best way to identify if you are experiencing this particular error is by checking the output generated by apt-get or dpkg commands after executing them. The output will contain information about any errors encountered during execution including sub-process usrbindpkg returned an error code (1).

To check for errors related specifically to this issue, search for "sub-process usrbindpkg returned an error code (1)" in the output generated by apt-get or dpkg commands.

Troubleshooting Steps

Step 1: Check your internet connection and update repositories

This step involves ensuring that your Ubuntu system can access the internet and that all package repositories are up to date. To check your internet connection, try opening a web browser and navigating to a website like Google.

If you are unable to connect to the internet, restart your router or modem and try again. To update your package repositories, open Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and run the following command −

sudo apt-get update 

This will download the latest package information from all available repositories.

Step 2: Remove problematic packages

This step involves identifying them and removing them. Open Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and run the following command −

sudo dpkg --configure -a 

This will configure any previously unconfigured packages on your system.

If this does not fix the issue, identify which package is causing problems by running this command −

sudo apt-get upgrade 

Look for any errors in the output related to specific packages. Once you have identified problematic packages, remove them using this command −

sudo apt-get remove [package-name] 

Make sure to replace [package-name] with the name of each problematic package you identified earlier.

Step 3: Clear apt-cache and dpkg status files

Sometimes, cached files related to installation history can cause issues with upgrading or installing new software. Clearing these caches may help resolve errors related to sub-process usrbindpkg returned an error code (1).

Open Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and run the following two commands −

sudo apt-get clean 
sudo apt-get autoclean 

The first command clears out all cached package information, while the second removes any cached packages that are no longer being used.

Next, clear the dpkg status file using this command −

sudo rm /var/lib/dpkg/status 
sudo touch /var/lib/dpkg/status 

This will remove any problematic entries in the file and create a new status file.

Step 4: Fix broken dependencies

Broken dependencies can also cause sub-process usrbindpkg returned an error code (1). Fixing them involves using dpkg to force install missing packages. Open Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and run this command −

sudo dpkg --remove --force-depends [package-name] 

Replace [package-name] with the name of each package that has problems with its dependencies. Then, use this command to reinstall it −

sudo apt-get install [package-name] 

Step 5: Reinstall problematic packages

If none of these steps solved your problem, it may be necessary to completely reinstall problematic packages. This step involves removing and then installing them again from scratch.

Open Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and run this command −

sudo apt-get remove --purge [package-name] 

Replace [package-name] with the name of each package you want to completely remove from your system. Next, update repositories using Step 1 above.

Use this command to reinstall them again −

sudo apt-get install [package-name] 

Save Time by Automating These Fixes

While these troubleshooting steps can help you fix sub-process usrbindpkg returned an error code (1), it can be time-consuming to perform them all manually. Instead, you can use a program like "APTonCD" or "Remastersys" to create a backup of your system and restore it whenever you need to. Alternatively, you can use an automation tool like Ansible or Puppet to automate these troubleshooting steps and save yourself time in the future.

Advanced Troubleshooting Techniques

Using aptitude instead of apt-get or dpkg for package management

If you have tried the basic troubleshooting steps and the error still persists, you can try using aptitude instead of apt-get or dpkg for package management. Aptitude is a command-line tool that can help resolve complex dependency issues and conflicts.

It also provides a more user-friendly interface than apt-get or dpkg. To use aptitude, simply type "sudo aptitude" in the terminal.

Checking logs for more information on the cause of the error

Checking your system logs can provide valuable information on what caused the sub-process usrbindpkg returned an error code (1) error in Ubuntu. The logs can be found in /var/log/apt/ directory. Look for files that end with ".log".

You can use a text editor or command-line tools like "cat" or "less" to view the contents of these log files. Look for any entries that contain keywords related to your error message.

Using a package manager GUI like Synaptic Package Manager

Another option is to use a graphical user interface (GUI) like Synaptic Package Manager to manage packages and resolve errors. Synaptic provides an easy-to-use interface with advanced features such as custom filters, search options, and automatic dependencies handling. You can install synaptic by typing "sudo apt-get install synaptic" in your terminal.


Resolving the sub-process usrbindpkg returned an error code (1) error in Ubuntu can be a daunting task. However, by following the troubleshooting steps and advanced techniques outlined in this article, you should be able to resolve the issue.

Remember to always back up your system regularly and keep all packages up-to-date to prevent future errors from occurring. With these tips in mind, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience while using Ubuntu as your operating system of choice.

Updated on: 05-Jun-2023

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