Brian, the hack doesn't seem workable.  Touching channel.ini would then
flag all images as being supported, which isn't true.  It's unclear what
knock-on effects we would have touching this file (i.e. what other tools
see it and take different code-paths).  The existence of the file
indicates that the image is a read-only system image, this is untrue for

I would still like to see this resolved, even if that is just an
improvement in the error message suggesting 'apt-get update' and

Hack details:
*, is_distro_package(): If there is no origin and
  /etc/system-image/channel.ini exists, assume the package is from a
  read-only system image and accept it as distro package. With this we don't
  need /var/lib/apt/lists/ indexes any more just to confirm the origin.
  (LP: #1489410)

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  incorrectly reports package as unsupported if apt cache is empty

Status in apport package in Ubuntu:

Bug description:
  Cloud images ship with empty /var/lib/apt/lists/ to save on size.
  Running 'ubuntu-bug <supported_package>' will erroneously report that
  the package is unsupported:

    $ ubuntu-bug coreutils

    *** Collecting problem information

    The collected information can be sent to the developers to improve the
    application. This might take a few minutes.

    *** Problem in coreutils

    The problem cannot be reported:

    This is not an official Ubuntu package. Please remove any third
  party package and try again.

  A simpler recreate is:

  $ python3 -c 'import 
  $ sudo apt update -qq
  All packages are up to date.
  $ python3 -c 'import 

  Desired result:

  The message should instruct the user to run 'apt update' as root if
  they think this is in error.   That would improve usability and avoid
  false reports about apport incorrectly flagging a package as

  Additionally, if the user is root (and optionally if the set of
  package candidates only contains a 'now' component)
  self._cache.update(); could be called to download

  Alternatively it could just check to see if lists have been

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