I did a routine Ubuntu system update for security patches today (2018-02-21)... mssql will no longer start or update, seeing failures in error log, systemctl and update output with 404 like:

Err:13 https://packages.microsoft.com/ubuntu/16.04/mssql-server xenial/main amd64 Packages
  404  Not Found

Problem: routine update breaks my vanilla Ubuntu 16 LTS with mssql-server instance. No other substantive info obvious to me looking in logs, etc...

1 Answer 1


Fixed by guessing this was due to a server update and the source url changed. I added the current source per their instructions https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/linux/quickstart-install-connect-ubuntu

This added the NEW source with a sudo add-apt-repository ... per the docs. I then manually comment-out (or you can remove) the old 404 source in /etc/apt/sources.list.

Finally sudo apt-get update -y ... and start the server and I can again see it running (netstat or whatever to see the service up).

To be clear the URL changed:

from https://packages.microsoft.com/ubuntu/16.04/mssql-server

to https://packages.microsoft.com/ubuntu/16.04/mssql-server-2017

Comment: adding '-2017' to sources, or changing sources for existing installations is highly likely to both break them and makes these sources look dated, possibly all goals driving the change. That sucks.

  • The version without the version is from pre-RTM. I don’t think they changed it to break you and make your life suck. They added version so that in 6 months or 9 months or 2 years or whenever, the server would know if you meant to retrieve SQL 2017 or SQL 2018/2019/whatever. Feb 22, 2018 at 6:53
  • Thanks @AaronBertrand without knowing more than my limited experience adding the version/nuance in the url "-2017" would be preferred from the beginning simply because it doesn't require a change in the future. I could be wrong for reasons I cannot currently see clearly.
    – jimmont
    Feb 23, 2018 at 20:46
  • 1
    It's software, made by humans. Humans are imperfect. Feb 23, 2018 at 22:38

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