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I have a new installation of Ubuntu 9.10 karmic, but apt-get update gives error messages "Failed to fetch....; Could not resolve..." for all the packages in the sources.list file. The computer is talking to the network and the webserver is working. I can ping external websites. Is there a setting that must be changed to make downloads function?
Take a look at file /etc/apt/sources.list. It lists the repositories for Ubuntu. It lists both the binary and the source code files. Unless you have a need to compile source code yourself, you don't need the sources. So, comment out the lines that refer to source code repositories and the error messages should go away.
Then run apt-get update again. When the update finishes, run apt-get upgrade to get and install the upgrades for your installed software.
The advice given above assumes that Ubuntu still supports version 9.10.
Thanks a million longbow0 you have put me on the right track. There is no /etc/resolve.conf file - but there is a /etc/resolv.conf of zero bytes. When I modify with the nameserver addresses, the system starts downloading packages like crazy. A appreciate your help greatly.