apt-get: Command Not Found — Troubleshooting Guide — Phpflow.com

Parvez Alam
3 min readJun 25


In this article, we will delve into the causes behind the “apt-get: command not found” error. We’ll provide step-by-step troubleshooting methods to resolve it. By understanding the root causes and applying the recommended solutions.

The “apt-get: command not found” error is a common issue encountered by Linux users, particularly those using Debian-based distributions like Ubuntu.

What’s the main reason of the error

The apt-get is either missing or not accessible in the system's PATH. The error can occur due to various reasons, including incomplete installations, incorrect system configurations, or issues with the system's package management setup.

Whats apt-get

The apt-get is a command-line tool, which is crucial for package management in Linux. The apt-get is an essential utility in Debian-based distributions, allowing users to install, update, and remove software packages effortlessly.

Verify apt is installed

First, We’ll determine if a package manager is available on your system or not. Most Debian-based distributions use apt as the default package manager, while other distributions may employ different package managers like dnf or yum.

To verify the package manager’s presence, open a terminal and execute the following command:

If the command returns a valid path (e.g., /usr/bin/apt), it indicates that the package manager is installed and accessible. If the command does not return any output that means having an issue.

Solution 1: Update apt-get package

Let’s update the system repositories to ensure the availability of the package manager.

sudo apt update

The above command updates the package lists and fetches the latest information about available packages from the configured repositories.

Solution 2: Installing the apt-get package

if the package manager is missing or not installed. To install apt-get or the appropriate package manager, use the following command:

sudo apt install apt

Solution 3: Verify System PATH

Ensure that the package manager’s executable is included in the system’s PATH environment variable. Open your shell’s configuration file (e.g., ~/.bashrc, ~/.bash_profile, or ~/.zshrc) in a text editor and verify if the following line is present:

export PATH="/usr/bin:$PATH"

If the line is missing, add it to the configuration file and save the changes. next, reload the shell or execute the following command to apply the updated PATH:

Solution 4: Resetting the PATH Variable

In some cases, the PATH variable might have been modified or overwritten. You need to reset the PATH variable.

export PATH="/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin"

The above command will reset the PATH variable to its default value.

Solution 5: Reinstalling the Package Manager

If the previous steps did not resolve the issue, consider reinstalling the package manager by using the following command:

sudo apt purge apt sudo apt clean sudo apt install apt

Solution 6: Online Assistance Community

if an still issue exists then you need to ask for assistance from the Linux community, Online forums, discussion boards, and dedicated support channels can provide valuable insights and guidance for resolving complex issues related to the “apt-get: command not found” error.


We have learned many ways to fix “apt-get: command not found” error, but sometimes this error is frustrating to Debian-based Linux distribution developers. but by following the troubleshooting methods outlined in this article, you can resolve the issue and regain control of your package management.

Originally published at https://phpflow.com on June 25, 2023.



Parvez Alam

Hey, I am Parvez Alam. A software developer since 2009. I love learning and sharing knowledge. https://www.phpflow.com/