Unknown error whilst updating

Hey guys,

I am a long time user of F-Droid and never had any problems with it in the last 7 or so years. However I came across a problem I can not seem to debug myself as I do not know any Android Development. When I update my apps via F-Droid most of them do the job just fine but there seem to be always around 10-20% of my apps that are unwilling to update. Right now we speak about “Barcode Scanner”, “Delta Chat”, “Ghost Commander” and “Keepass DX”. All my other apps “Syncthing”, “AnySoftKeyboard”, “DAVx5” to name a few are up to day and did not bug out.

Trying to find the source of the problem I started a manual update (clicking on “Update” in the app view of F-Droid. It seems to download the apk and flashes me the “Do you want to install” screen. But after clicking on “Install” the progress bar is shown for a split second and returns to a error message “Failed to install due to an unknown error”.

I run F-Droid 1.5.1 on a Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 (6039Y) with Android 6.0.1. Unfortunately I do not know how to aquire any logs from F-Droid so I would need some hint from somebody who does. However I hope you can help me with this as it is quite frustrating having a few apps that refuse to update.


Do you have enough space?

Yes, according to Storage information there is 1,2GB free on my internal storage and another 5 on the SD card which I mounted as internal as well.

If you download those APKs, do they install ok? If so, maybe you need to grab a logcat from the moment you try to install via F-Droid so we can see the error.

How would I download the APKs? I can not find any links to them.

I have adb on my Computer so I could give you a log dump if you tell me how I filter for the relevant stuff.

On the website, ofcourse:


Use the search field :wink:

Well I was not on the website for so long that I did not even see that field in the first place^^

However, installing via the APK for DeltaChat fails as well with an “App not installed” message. I must say Android shines with helpful information in that regard…

Ok, so it’s a general thing, aka your Android has some issues.

You’ll need to get an ADB log for the moment you try to install.

Well I tried before but I do not know what to look for as I drown in log entries when I just run adb logcat. Any idea what I should filter for or flags to use?

You could also try to install the APK with adb install to see if you get a more helpful error.

I tried the adb install route as @Rudloff suggested but the error message was not of much help either. Afterwards I dug through adb man pages and found how to filter: Running adb logcat *:E was helpful and produced this output whilst installing via F-Droid:

02-10 10:37:34.712   245   250 E Vold    : Error creating imagefile (Permission denied)
02-10 10:37:34.712   245   250 E Vold    : ASEC image file creation failed (Permission denied)
02-10 10:37:34.713  1704  1930 E PackageHelper: Failed to create secure container smdl814658619.tmp
02-10 10:37:34.963  1631  1631 E AppDetailsActivity: install aborted with errorMessage: Failed to install due to an unknown error

Looks to me like there is some permission problem however I have no idea as to why that is since F-Droid installs most of my apps without issues. I only have problems with those four apps on my device.

However I just uninstalled and reinstalled DeltaChat and that seems to work as DeltaChat is now v0.100.0. I did this for all the other apps as well and the problem is gone for now but I think there might still be some issue since that problem came up in the first place.

Nonetheless thank you guys for your help and suggestions.

You could try to update one of those Apps by picking a newer version from the list of available versions. That can be viewed at the bottom of every Apps details page.

I did that but it led to the same problem. I fixed it for now by uninstalling and reinstalling all apps that had this problem.

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