For my home network, I’ve been trying to transitioning to using an Infrastructure-as-code (IaC) approach based on a terraform and the terraform esxi provider plugin. I maintain a few “gold images” of the base line systems, then clone and provision as needed.

I’m not sure where the root cause of this issue is, but I’ve seen it pop up a few times now so I figured I’d write down how I’ve fixed it.

The Problem

On Ubuntu, when I mistype a command, I get a command-not-found, sqlite error message. Something to this effect

unable to open database file
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/CommandNotFound/", line 23, in crash_guard
  File "/usr/lib/command-not-found", line 90, in main
    cnf = CommandNotFound.CommandNotFound(options.data_dir)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/CommandNotFound/", line 79, in __init__
    self.db = SqliteDatabase(dbpath)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/CommandNotFound/db/", line 12, in __init__
    self.con = sqlite3.connect(filename)
sqlite3.OperationalError: unable to open database file

The Fix

Reinstalling the command-not-found package and adjusting the permissions seems to fix it. You can do this on Ubuntu with the following 2 commands.

sudo apt install --reinstall command-not-found
sudo chmod -R o+r /var/lib/command-not-found/

If I ever find out what is causing this, I’ll update this post. Or if anyone reading this knows, feel free to leave it in the comments.