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rated 0 times [  2] [ 0]  / answers: 1 / hits: 5480  / 11 Months ago, wed, december 7, 2022, 7:09:17

Possible Duplicate:

Software center not opening

I'd like to look at the Ubuntu Software Center configuration files, to check and see if there's a simple reason why the package appears to be partly broken. Does anyone know where they should be, on a standard, just-installed-yesterday from a formatted harddrive Ubuntu 12.04 install?

All the features of software-center work, except syncing between computers. I think there might be a user name or password problem, or some simple problem identifying my other computers. I can't tell without more information.

In short, sometimes my other computers appear on the list in the sync menu in software-center. Sometimes they don't. And when they do appear, I do not get a package list for the other installs when I click on them.

When running software-center from the command line I get this message:

software-center 2012-05-23 13:52:06,630 - -
INFO - setting up proxy 'None' 2012-05-23 13:52:06,637 -
softwarecenter.db.database - INFO - open() database: path=None
use_axi=True use_agent=True 2012-05-23 13:52:06,854 - - WARNING - Could not get usefulness
from server, no username in config file 2012-05-23 13:52:07,237 -
softwarecenter.db.pkginfo_impl.aptcache - INFO -

I suspect the "no username in config file" is pointing to the key problem. How do I fix it?

Other related discussions:

Ubuntu Forums Thread

How can I sync application between multiple computers?

edit: Going on Eliah Kagan's comments, I ran:

cd ~/.config; rm -r software-center


sudo apt-get --purge --reinstall install software-center 

on my computers... and everything is exactly the same. There are no other computers listed to sync with, the "no username in config file" message is still there, etc. No improvement with the symptoms.

And my ~/.config/software-center/softwarecenter.cfg file looks like this. Should it?

maximized = False
size = 871, 536
add_to_launcher = True
recommender_uuid =
recommender_profile_id =

The more I google-around the more I see other people have the same blank entries in their softwarecenter.cfg file, so I suspect this isn't the problem. Perhaps its my user account on the Ubuntu servers. How would I check that this isn't the source of the problem?

edit2: Perhaps logging out of Ubuntu Software Center here and re logging in might help, technically, "Deleting" then running Software Center to re-launch the Application. Hmm, no this doesn't seem to have any effect. Still only the local computer is listed.

It's strange because yesterday my other computers were listed before I clicked on the "stop syncing" option. I can't seem to get them to come back up.

More From » 12.04


This is an answer to the question about where configuration files relevant to the Software Center are stored. I encourage other users to post answers about what could be causing the specific syncing problem that the OP is experiencing ...or perhaps that should be posted as a separate question. Or, even better, reported as a bug.

User-Specific Configuration Files for the Software Center

The Software Center stores per-user configuration files here:


In that path, ~ represents your home directory.

Running cd ~/.config; rm -r software-center removes that directory, and then the Software Center creates a new, default configuration for your user account. If the problem is in the user-specific configuration of Software Center itself, that should have taken care of it.

And my ~/.config/software-center/softwarecenter.cfg file looks like
this. Should it?

maximized = False
size = 871, 536
add_to_launcher = True
recommender_uuid =
recommender_profile_id =

That looks normal to me. It is identical to mine (except mine has different size values, probably because we run different screen resolutions or use window managers; anyway the size field is irrelevant to any syncing or other package management problems).

Global Configuration Files for the Software Center

Applications's global (i.e., systemwide) configuration files are stored in /etc. The Software Center does not use any such configuration files.

Other Utilities' Configuration Files, Relevant to the Software Center

There are other, lower-level package management utilities on your system, which are relevant to the Software Center. Problems with the Software Center, especially if they occur when using other package management utilities, may not be specific to the Software Center.

In particular, there is the command-line package management system APT.

  • APT's systemwide configuration files are in /etc/apt. You should not manually remove those files.

  • APT keeps cached .deb packages and information about them in /var/cache/apt. (If you want, you can delete those with sudo apt-get clean or just the ones unlikely to be needed with sudo apt-get autoclean.)

  • APT keeps logs in /var/log/apt. There is no need to remove them--doing so never fixes anything broken, and they are automatically rotated. (That is, they are automatically renamed when they get big or old enough, compressed, and eventually deleted when very old.)

  • All these files are used or produced, directly or indirectly, by the Software Center also, which is in effect a graphical frontend for the APT system of package management.

At an even lower level, APT and the Software Center use dpkg to do the actual installation and removal of packages and obtain information about what versions of packages are installed and what files belong to what installed packages.

  • dpkg has systemwide configuration files in /etc/dpkg. You should not manually remove those files.

  • dpkg keeps logs in /var/log/dpkg. Like APT's logs, you needn't ever remove these, as they are automatically rotated. Also like APT's logs, you can sometimes glean information about problems by looking at them.

  • Like with APT, dpkg is used by the Software Center and its configuration relates directly to whether or not--and how--the Software Center will function.

There are other services related to package management that run in the background, for example, to optimize the availability or usability of information about installed packages (apt-xapian-index), or to allow users to perform some package management actions as non-administrative tasks (aptdaemon). However, these are significantly less likely to be causing any problems you might see in the Software Center, so I have not detailed the locations of their configuration and log files here.

[#38157] Thursday, December 8, 2022, 10 Months  [reply] [flag answer]
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