Solving Ubuntu’s “The following packages cannot be authenticated” Error

December 5, 2010

I was just trying to install Pine on one of my Ubuntu based boxes and had an issue getting it installed. It seems there’s no 64 bit binary available so I figured I’d try Alpine instead since it was in the apt-get repository. So I did a quick sudo apt-get install alpine and was prompted with this pesky message:

WARNING: The following packages cannot be authenticated!
  foo bar baz
Install these packages without verification [y/N]?

I hit y but the install still failed. I did a quick Google and found this solution to the problem.

sudo apt-get install debian-archive-keyring
sudo apt-get update

After running those commands I got the same error, and once again I said yes. This time it installed successfully. So I went back and ran the sudo apt-get install alpine command again, and was prompted with the same question. Thinking it didn’t work I hit yes and to my chigrin it installed perfectly this time. Now, to figure out how to use Alpine to read my Gmail…

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