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How to Fix “apt-get command not found” in Linux

If you’re a Linux user, you’ve probably encountered various error messages while navigating the Terminal. One frustrating error that can occur is “apt-get command not found.” This error can hinder your ability to install, update, or remove packages using the apt package manager. But fear not! In this guide, we will explore different methods to fix this error and get your Linux system back on track. Whether you’re running Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, ElementaryOS, or any other Linux distribution that relies on apt, these solutions will help you resolve the issue and regain control of your package management.

Method 1: Checking for Missing Packages

One common reason for the “apt-get command not found” error is missing packages that are essential for the proper functioning of apt. To ensure all necessary packages are installed correctly, follow these steps:

  1. Open a Terminal session.
  2. Run the following command to update the package lists:

sudo apt update

  1. If there are any missing or broken packages, you will see them listed in the output. Take note of any specific package names mentioned.
  2. Use the following command to reinstall any missing or broken packages:

sudo apt install

Replace “” with the actual name of the package you want to reinstall.

  1. After reinstalling the necessary packages, try running `apt-get` again and check if the error persists.

Method 2: Verifying APT Binary Path

Sometimes, incorrect configurations can cause issues with locating APT binaries on your system. To verify and correct the APT binary path settings, follow these steps:

  1. Open a Terminal session.
  2. Run the following command to check if `apt-get` is present in its expected location:

which apt-get

  1. If no output is displayed or the path shown is incorrect, it indicates a misconfiguration.
  2. Use the following command to update APT’s binary path:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure apt

  1. Follow the prompts and select the appropriate options to reconfigure APT.
  2. Once the reconfiguration process is complete, try running `apt-get` again and see if the error has been resolved.

Method 3: Checking Environment Variables

Environment variables play a crucial role in Linux systems, including package management. It’s possible that an issue with environment variables is causing the “apt-get command not found” error. To check and modify environment variables related to APT, follow these steps:

  1. Open a Terminal session.
  2. Run the following command to view your current environment variables:

printenv | grep PATH

  1. Look for any lines that contain references to `apt` or `/usr/bin/apt`. These lines indicate environment variables related to APT.
  2. If no relevant lines are found, it suggests a missing or misconfigured environment variable.
  3. Use your preferred text editor to open the `.bashrc` file located in your home directory (e.g., `/home/your-username/.bashrc`).
  4. Add the following line at the end of the file if it isn’t already present:

export PATH=”/usr/bin/apt:$PATH”

  1. Save and close the file.
  2. Open a new Terminal session or run `source ~/.bashrc` to apply the changes.
  3. Try running `apt-get` again and see if the error persists.

Method 4: Reinstalling APT

If none of the previous methods have resolved the issue, reinstalling APT itself may be necessary. To reinstall APT on your Linux system, follow these steps:

  1. Open a Terminal session.
  2. Run the following command to reinstall APT:

sudo apt-get install –reinstall apt

  1. Enter your password when prompted and wait for the reinstallation process to complete.
  2. Once the reinstallation is finished, try running `apt-get` again and check if the error has been resolved.

Method 5: Seeking Additional Support

If you’ve tried all the methods above and are still encountering the “apt-get command not found” error, it may be time to seek additional support. Consider reaching out to online forums or communities dedicated to your specific Linux distribution. Experienced users and developers can provide tailored assistance based on your system’s unique configuration.


Encountering errors like “apt-get command not found” can be frustrating, but with these troubleshooting methods, you should be able to overcome them and resume using apt for package management in Linux. Remember to check for missing packages, verify APT’s binary path, review environment variables, consider reinstalling APT itself if necessary, and don’t hesitate to seek help from knowledgeable community members. By following these steps, you’ll regain control over your Linux system and continue enjoying its vast potential for customization and productivity.

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