User friendly dpkg errors

Ryan Dwyer ryandwyer1 at
Sat Jan 23 02:01:14 UTC 2010

What are the chances of having these error messages changed?

E: Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (11: Resource temporarily
E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), is another
process using it?
Something like "You have another package manager running. Please close it
and run this command again."

E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (13: Permission
E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), are you
Something like "You must run this command as root."

Many newbies are instructed to run commands in a terminal. For many, it's
probably the first time they've ever used one. Getting an error about locks,
administration, and a directory they've never heard of wouldn't give them a
good impression.

Although the error messages are pretty straightforward, users are having
problems understanding what they mean as shown in Launchpad Answers and the
Ubuntu Forums.

Here are some examples, both within the last 24 hours: (scroll down)

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