Ubuntu Tip : Simplified way to add PPA repositories in Karmic

If you use the Ubuntu Personal Package Archives (https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+ppas) then forget about opening /etc/apt/sources.list to add a repository; in Karmic, use the new add-apt-repository command. For example, to add the repository for the chromium browser, just run:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromium-daily

The PPA's repository will be automatically added and so will the GPG key.

Search Ubuntu PPAs from here

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24 Responses

  1. puppe says:

    Great tip.

  2. vasiauvi says:

    Waw…much easier!Thanks!

  3. Tal says:

    Does it add it to the main sources.list, or as its own file in sources.list.d? And if so, what name does it give the file?

    Great tip, thanks!

  4. Wagner Santos says:

    Great! But, for other PPA repositories? Where do I found a list?

  5. JakeDTH says:


    And you still do things through the command-line? God.

    Just go to “System>Administration>Software Sources>Other Software”

    And click ‘Add’ then enter the complete APT line of the repository that you want to add as source.

    The APT line includes the type, location and components of a repository, for example ‘deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ karmic main’.

    Get with the times.

  6. hippie says:

    @JakeDTH, you’re a noob for even saying that. Some people prefer the command line. Most of the time it’s a lot quicker to do things by command line than a GUI.

  7. Michael M-S says:

    @JakeDTH, doing things through Software Sources will give you a bunch of error messages about unverified packages unless you add the GPG key yourself, which isn’t exactly a painless process. Adding sources using add-apt-repository apparently adds the key along with the source, which is awesome.

  8. [skqr] says:

    @hippie; That is JakeDTH’s point. He is a self-conscious noob. He thinks there should be a terminal-free way to do stuff for noobs. Precisely because he is noob he believes that the GUI way is easier just because it’s GUI.
    @Michael M-S; and that’s precisely the reason messing with PPAs is something that noobs shouldn’t do. Playing russian roulette is also pretty easy, doesn’t mean you should try it just because it’s so gosh darn fun.
    @JakeDTH; noob.

  9. Michael M-S says:

    @[skqr]: What are you talking about? What did I say that is “precisely the reason messing with PPAs is something that noobs shouldn’t do” ? PPAs are really useful, and if new users feel more comfortable adding them with a GUI tool, good for them. I was just pointing out that even though there is a GUI tool available, there’s still an advantage to adding them the way this article suggests: through the command line.

    Comparing PPAs to Russian roulette is a bit of a stretch. Are you saying that it’s wrong to make adding PPAs easy?

  10. jay says:

    There’s also a new, easy way to do it via GUI …

    In synaptic (settings > repositories > other software > add), or the dedicated repository manager, add a new repository as “ppa:package-name-goes-here”. So the above example would be “ppa:chromium-daily”. This also imports the key — it’s probably just running the add-apt-repository command in the background ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Ugh says:

    The GUI way is easier, as usual. At least someone knows what they’re talking about.

    The command line is for morons who think it makes them look like they’re in The Matrix.

  12. hippie says:

    @Ugh, yeah because to start typing something and then hit tab complete and then paste something in is alot slower than a GUI MS has made people lazy over the years.

  13. Michael M-S says:

    @Ugh: Sometimes I wish the Linux community wasn’t filled with people who like to start flame wars and argue over pointless things. Emacs vs Vi, GTK+ vs QT, Gnome vs KDE, and now you’re trying to start a fight between CLI and GUI users? There’s a place for all of those things. System administrators don’t use the command line because they’re pretending to be in The Matrix, they use it because it’s fast and accurate.

    Please, the Linux community doesn’t need more needless fights. Calling people morons because they use technology differently than you doesn’t make any sense and it certainly doesn’t help the community.

  14. Ugh says:

    Then why do they wear black trench coats and long ponytails, make their terminal colors green, and run a GUI desktop solely so that they can have 4 terminals open at once?


    People who choose to fire up a terminal and risk a typo hosing their system when there’s a faster, easier GUI method are only doing it because they think using a CLI makes them look like a l337 hacker. (Oh wait they don’t need to fire up a terminal since they already have 4 of them running.)

    How many more times will I have to watch someone recommend “sudo apt-get install x” to a newb in a forum thread when they could just link to an AptURL? Are they intentionally trying to drive away new users by obfuscating the system so that it’s only appealing to fellow nerds? (A: Yes.)

  15. Michael M-S says:

    Generalizations and a link to a Google image search don’t prove any points. Obviously there are people out there who enjoy pretending they’re in the Matrix when they use a command line – and I’m definitely not defending them – but I highly doubt that they make up a majority of CLI users. The command line is a valuable tool for power users and developers; the fact that some people use it to look “cool” doesn’t mean that the tool is stupid.

    That said, I agree it’s a bad idea to tell new users to use a terminal. Even if it’s more straight-forward to explain, it doesn’t help them learn their way around the OS and it definitely isn’t very inviting.

    Also worth noting (and a little more closely related to the original topic): Adding PPAs in System > Administration > Software Sources using the โ€œppa:package-name-goes-hereโ€ form also adds the key (so no need to use Synaptic if you want a GUI solution).

  16. Darael says:

    First off, if someone wanting to imitate the Matrix knew what they were doing, they wouldn’t even run a GUI – multiple coloured terminals is perfectly possible on a text-only display – but that’s not really the point. For some things, the terminal really is faster, and there’s an advantage to giving someone the aptitude install line instead of or as well as an AptURL: they might not be viewing the response on the machine in question. That’s quite apart from the fact that the majority of those giving the help probably simply don’t know about AptURL.

    They certainly aren’t “trying to drive away new users by obfuscating the system” – if that was really what they wanted, they wouldn’t be trying to help at all.

  17. FlameWarrior says:

    Careful, it’s a TROLL!! Don’t even bother answering Ugh!

    There, you have been warned.

    BTW, I’m so stupid. Was typing apt-get-repository instead of add-apt-repository. Damn.

  18. anonimous coward says:

    1. copy “sudo apt-get install _”
    2. paste “sudo apt-get install _”
    you’re done!
    1. click the start menu
    2. click control panel
    3. click add/remove programs
    4. click…

  19. Ubuntu Noob says:

    I would always first look for a GUI tool to get my job done. But the fact remains that sometimes the GUI method fails and using CLI is the ONLY WAY. One cannot just ignore the CLI completely for this precise reason.

  20. Mick says:

    had to replace first line with:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bit-team/stable

    for Maverick

  21. sagarv says:

    I have been using Ubuntu for 2 weeks…And this Terminal things command to do small work is BIGGEST CRAP of Linux….I know its faster and blah blah.. but its more prone to Errors!!!.. If person has done some error in his script and command How the hell would i know wts going on…With GUI you are bind to follow certain steps in go in proper way..
    This is the reason why Windows is stable, easy to diagnose problem. This terminal is total crap!!!..and frustating for new users..2 weeks with ubuntu 10.10 15 crashes …Dont know wts wrong…Messages are not self explanatory….This way Linux can never win the Hearts and can never win the War with Windows

  22. Pako says:

    Another hater. I’m using ubuntu from 4 months and can say only two things: it’s a lot of reading and second It’s legal and free! If you don’t like it .. Don’t use it. Have a nice day!

  23. Andy says:

    I agree with Pako. If you doin’t like it don’t use it. I’m Using ubuntu since 2 years. My wife is using it with no problems, my children use it. they learn, design, write and do everything they like. We are complete windows free thanks a lot of people programming and contributing to free systems like this. Thanks to all and we continue to be Beta testing Linux (windows users pay for being the same ๐Ÿ˜‰

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