Fix Gnome Software Stuck With "Software catalog is being loaded" Message

"Software" is the default Gnome graphical tool for installing applications and extensions. It's used not only in Linux distributions using the Gnome desktop, but some others as well, like Xubuntu (Xfce-based Ubuntu) for example.

Sometimes Gnome Software doesn't load, getting stuck in the "Software catalog is being loaded" phase. I had this happen on both my laptop and my desktop (one running Ubuntu and the other Fedora) a few times, and the only fix that worked in both cases was to remove the Gnome Software application cache, and kill Gnome Software (because the application continues to run in the background even after it's closed).

So to fix Gnome Software getting stuck with "Software catalog is being loaded" being shown, kill the application and remove its cache using these two commands:

killall gnome-software
rm -rf ~/.cache/gnome-software

As to what is causing this issue... I guess the Gnome Software cache gets corrupted somehow, but I don't know what's causing it and how to prevent it. This is not an easy to reproduce issue either, so it's hard to debug. Let's hope this will be fixed in the next Gnome release.

One more thing. A while back I was also getting another weird Gnome Software error - the application would start and it would show the categories, but with an empty application list. I didn't have this issue in a long time though, so I'm not sure if the fix I mentioned above fixes this too.

Fix Gnome Software unable to update Flatpak applications, with Unable to update "(null)" error

I didn't want to make a new post for this, so I decided to add it as an update to this article. I've been getting a new error recently, in which Gnome Software is unable to update Flatpak applications, showing an error that says Unable to update "(null)". I was able to fix this by updating Flatpaks from the command line, using:

sudo flatpak update


flatpak --user update

It depends on how you've installed flatpaks: for your user only, or system wide. Only use one.

After this, kill Gnome Software:

killall gnome-software