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Size Mismatch Error During Ubuntu Update

I recently tried to update my Ubuntu machines at work using the Ubuntu Update Manager but it always aborted with the following error message:

Failed to fetch http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/b/bind9/dnsutils_9.7.1.dfsg.P2-2ubuntu0.5_i386.deb Size mismatch
Failed to fetch http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/b/bind9/libisc60_9.7.1.dfsg.P2-2ubuntu0.5_i386.deb Size mismatch
Failed to fetch http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/f/firefox/firefox-branding_3.6.24+build2+nobinonly-0ubuntu0.10.10.1_i386.deb Size mismatch
Failed to fetch http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/u/update-manager/update-manager-core_0.142.23.1_i386.deb Size mismatch

Obviously four packages couldn’t be downloaded. After deselecting these the update ran through fine, but what’s wrong with these packages? This is probably a rare problem, especially if you’re on your home network, but the solution might be interesting for a few  people. So here’s the deal:

I did some research and found the advice to clean the aptitude cache and update the package information:

sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get update

That didn’t help, though. So I tried to download and install the packages manually by copying the links from the error messages into the browser. This is what I got:

Well, the text is in German but basically what it says is: Access denied due to prohibited expressions. That means: for some reason the proxy-server, that I have to use in order to get out, has blocked the URL.

So… I called the provider, asked them to put Ubuntu-related URLs to the whitelist and then the missing packages updated without a problem.

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