After installing the update that enables unattended updates, I am receiving a "Failed to Fetch Updates" message. Also as a result, when I try to use Synaptic Package Manager, I receive the message,

E: Syntax error /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades:14: Malformed tag.

An additional side effect is that if I uninstall an app from the AppCenter and then try to reinstall it, I no longer receive a prompt for a password and hence I can no longer reinstall the app.

What can I do to remedy the situation and get this update for enabling unattended updates to behave properly? I am running Hera with Linux 5.3.0-40 kernel.

2 Answers 2


To translate that: 1. sudo open /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades 2. remove one of the end quotation marks in line 13



  1. save

to test you can run

sudo unattended-upgrades --dry-run -v

Monsieur, j'avait le même problème. Ma solution : Effacez dans le fichier « apt.conf.d » à la ligne 13 seulement un guillemet " et puis le résultat est : "UbuntuESMApps:bionic-apps-security"; D'après toutes les actualisations marchent. Meilleurs salutations

  • I had no double quotes in line 13. Also, my line 13 reads: "UbuntuESM:bionic";
    – Dan Mesmer
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 16:48

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