What is a Ubuntu PPA?


What is PPA?

PPAs are for non standard software/updates. They are generally used by people who want the latest and greatest. If you are going extra lengths to get this kind of software, then you are expected to know what you are doing. The selection in the Software Centre is ample for most human beings.

Command Line

On the command line you can add a PPA using add-apt-repository, e.g.:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwibber-daily/ppa

To remove a PPA remove the corresponding files in /etc/apt/sources.list.d (this does not remove the packages you installed from the PPA). To see the packages available from a PPA or remove packages installed from a PPA press the “Origin” button on the lower left of the Synaptic window and choose the PPA from the list.

With can use the usual Software Sources dialog and add ppa:gwibber-daily/ppa where it asks for a APT line and enable or disable them just like other repositories.

As anybody can create a PPA there’s no guarantee for quality or security of a PPA – just like with any other unofficial software source you have to decide yourself if a PPA it’s trustworthy or not. And like any other unofficial software packages from a PPA can cause all sorts of difficulties especially when upgrading to a new release of Ubuntu.

If you get an error that the add-apt-repository command could not be found:

  • On 12.04 and earlier, install the python-software-properties package:
    sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
  • On 14.04 and later:
    sudo apt-get install software-properties-common