What does this apt error mean?: "the list of sources could not be read"

I get this error how can I solved

E: Malformed entry 1 in list file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/rethinkdb.list (Component) E: The list of sources could not be read.

4 Replies

Hi there,

When you run apt-get update or apt-get upgrade, the sources enumerated in /etc/apt/sources.list are read. The error you are receiving suggests that there is some error in line 1 of this file:

The best approach is probably to view that file in your preferred text editor. For example,

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/rethinkdb.list

Pay attention to what is in line 1 as that is what is causing the problem.

For Ubuntu, the contents should read

deb http://download.rethinkdb.com/apt xenial main

If you are hesitant to edit the file, or are not used to using a text editor to edit files in Linux, the following command will replace the rethinkdb.list file to its default contents for Ubuntu and Debian distros:

echo "deb http://download.rethinkdb.com/apt `lsb_release -cs` main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/rethinkdb.list

If you have any further trouble, please let us know!

I am now having an issue installing this RethinkDB software so that I can run my own Turtl instance on my Linode. It would seem that I cannot get the right source information to get the updates to the respositories. If anyone knows of any work arounds it would be greatly appreciated.


Hey @mrocheleau - from the scenario you're describing, it sounds like you might be following along with the steps laid out in this guide:

How to Install a Turtl Server on Ubuntu

I'm not sure which distro you're running, but I tried running through it myself with a brand new Linode running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. I ended up getting some errors myself, including:

Unable to locate package rethinkdb

So I did some searching around which led me to this RethinkDB forum on GitHub:

Installation fails on Ubuntu 18.04

Turns out…for a while there was no actual release for RethinkDB that was compatible with Ubuntu 18.04! I did some more digging around, and I landed on RethinkDB's doc site with steps on installing a current, compatible version:

Install RethinkDB on Ubuntu

I ran the steps in the "With binaries" section, and it seemed to install with no problem. Success! :)

Once you follow the steps there, you should be able to resume the steps in our guide in the RethinkDB section where it states:

Navigate to /etc/rethinkdb/ and rename default.conf.sample to default.conf

I hope this helps. From what I'm seeing elsewhere, you're definitely not the only one running into issues here. In the meantime, I've let our Docs Team know about the issue so they can take a look at the steps outlined in the guide. Happy installing!


Just thought that I would input the output that I got from following the "With binaries" section you had mentioned. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. This output below is the result of adding the rethinkdb.list and the resultant errors.

Ign:1 https://download.rethinkdb.com/repository/ubuntu-$DISTRIB_CODENAME $DISTRIB_CODENAME InRelease
Hit:2 http://ppa.launchpad.net/certbot/certbot/ubuntu bionic InRelease
Err:3 https://download.rethinkdb.com/repository/ubuntu-$DISTRIB_CODENAME $DISTRIB_CODENAME Release
404 Repository not found [IP: 443]
Reading package lists… Done
E: The repository 'https://download.rethinkdb.com/repository/ubuntu-$DISTRIB_CODENAME $DISTRIB_CODENAME Release' does not have a Release file.
N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.

Thank you for your help.


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