PPAs and how to use them

  • by sysadmin
  • 3 Months ago
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In this post we’re going to talk about PPAs and how to use them in Ubuntu Linux. PPA stands for Personal Package Archives. We’re also going to talk about what repositories are, why we use them and what the Personal Package Archives are. We’re going to try and create and full report to repositories which is going to answer questions that a new user may have.

PPAs and how to use them

PPAs and how to use them


What is a PPA?

There are literally thousands of applications available for installation for Ubuntu. Unlikely to other Operating Systems like Windows, user doesn’t need to search through the Internet in order to spot the application he/she needs, the .exe file or anything else. In Ubuntu, software is available in software packages which they’re hosted archived in “places” that we know as repositories. Archiving happens based on the type of software, depending if this software is opensource, if it’s created by Canonicals developers or by Ubuntu community. Below we’re going to see the 4 basic repositories.


Basic Ubuntu Repositories

There are four main repositories in Ubuntu, ie those from which the user receives software updates. Let’s look at them one by one.

1. Main

This is the main repository of Ubuntu that contains only open source software, that software has been tested for proper operation and safety from Ubuntu developers (Canonical)


2. Universe

This repository also contains open source software that has been tested by the Ubuntu community. Let this not seem to us less good than the previous repository. Ubuntu community is essentialy the one who does the monitoring, feeds, corrections and distributing the entire operating system. The essential difference between the two repositories is that a user has to pay for support (Ubuntu Advantage), if a company or organization, or even an individual wants something.


3. Restricted

This repository normally contains closed-source hardware drivers. The repository is not enabled by default, but it can be easily activated.


4. Multiverse

Multiverse repository contains software that is subject to copyright and other legal issues. Such software can be distributed by special authorization, and its use in some countries (depending on the legal framework) may not be allowed.

By opening ” Software and Updates” you can see in the tab that is named as “Other Software”(depending on your edition) you can see the PPAs you’ve already installed in your system.


Enabling and disabling Repositories

1. In order to enable or disable one of the repositories, we’re going to be asked for our Admin password. In Ubuntu, the admin is our user. By clicking to the tab “Ubuntu Software” and activating the “multiverse” repository, we just click the box to the left and just type our password.

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