Ubuntu / Debian apt-get install build-essential issue

June 18, 2006 at 1:34 pm 10 comments

Recently, I installed Ubunto 6.06 on my Presario 906us laptop. Unfortunately, the wireless did not work by default. I google and found a a very nice article for installing the Compaq W200 (Orinoco) drivers:


The installation process involves downloading the source, compiling the drivers and installing them. In order to compile the drivers, I had to get various packages. The article suggested using the following line:

sudo apt-get install build-essential cvs linux-headers-`uname -r` gcc-3.4-base cpp-3.4

Instead of working, I get an error that build-essential could not be found:

Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree… Done
E: Couldn't find package build-essential

The problem turns out to be an incomplete package list. To fixed the problem, you can either run either apt-get update from the command line or run the Synaptic Package Manager and press the refresh button.

Entry filed under: debian, linux, ubuntu.

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marc  |  June 18, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    Why does it say “build-essential” (singular) in your command-line but then “build-essentials” (plural) in the error message?

  • 2. paulsiu  |  June 19, 2006 at 11:20 am

    Probably a typo on my part. I did not copied down the error message so I had to google for a post with the same error. No doubt the other person actually had a different problem (he or she probably run apt-get on build-essential with an “s”. I have made corrections.

  • 3. Jeremie Long  |  December 22, 2006 at 1:08 pm

    I was wondering my Ubuntu Dapper Drake won’t get sudo apt-get install build-essential I don’t know what i am doing wrong. Im a new user only using Ubuntu Linux. If you could help me that would be great!

  • 4. paulsiu  |  December 25, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    What sort of error are you getting?

  • 5. Stefani Whelan  |  February 5, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    How is that supposed to work?

    I’m trying to install the driver for my D-Link DWL-G122 rev c1, and ubuntu has been quite helpful up to this point.

    I did the apt-get install build-essential command, such as you did. It failed the same way.

    So here’s the conundrum – I don’t have internet access, because the driver for the wireless adapter isn’t compiled yet (duh!), so where is apt-get update or Synaptic Package Manager supposed to get the update from?

    That leaves me with my Windows desktop with internet access – does anyone know where these packages are (I assume ubuntu.com, but where) and how I make sure to get the right ones? Doing an update normally involves some checking of version numbers or dates.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  • 6. paulsiu  |  February 7, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    I don’t have a ubuntu any more, but I think you can get the packages from the disc instead of the internet?

  • 7. noo  |  April 3, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    hey, thanks for the post. helped me with an stdio.h problem over ubunto.

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