Linoob’s Guide to PPA – Personal Package Archives

Personal Package Archives (PPA) allow developer/users to upload Ubuntu source packages to be built and published as an apt repository by Launchpad. Well, for an Ubuntu user, installing packages from PPA is a regular thing. Its one the most elegant ways to get our software in Ubuntu, besides the Software Center ofcourse. So today we are going to talk about the simple way to install a software from its PPA given to us.


3 Simple Steps

As the title says, it a three step process, the first being adding the PPA to the repository. To do that we type

sudo add-apt-repository <ppa:goes-here>

Then we update the repository so that apt-get will be able to recognize the newly added package. So, we type

sudo apt-get update

And then, finally we give the install command –

sudo apt-get install <package_name>

That’s it ! Simple right.


Lets take up an example. Suppose we are about to install the latest version of Shutter -a great screenshot tool and all you got on Launchpad is this – ppa:shutter/ppa.

Well, its time to use the above commands now. We use the PPA to install Shutter in the following sequence –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:shutter/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install shutter

and it in a few moments, Shutter will be installed on your pc.

Old Method (pre Ubuntu 9.10 systems)

What if you are on older version of Ubuntu. Then you have to look for something like this –

deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

Now, follow every step carefully and exactly as below –

Step 1) Open the terminal and type –

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Paster the above two lines in the windows that pops up and save it and close it down.

Step 2) Look for a singing-key like this one 1024R/009ED615 . Now copy the second half of the key i.e.  009ED615 and put it in the command window like this –

sudo apt-key adv –keyserver –recv-keys 009ED615

Step 3) Update the repository afterwards

sudo apt-get update

Step 4) Finally install the package

sudo apt-get install shutter

Its a little weird process but if you are using old machines running Ubuntu 9.04 or older, then that’s what you need to do to install packages from PPAs.

That’s all for now Folks !

Njoy Ubuntu !


About Cell aka Abhishek

A Technology Fanatic, Open-source lover, a future Entrepreneur, & an Innovative thinker, is presently working as a R&D Engineer in the Wind Turbine Industry.