I have been installing a couple of softwares and I noticed that when you are to install a software from a PPA, the command is usually preceeded with

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

I look for why installing this package but I could not get a reason.


As described in apt-show software-properties-common

This software provides an abstraction of the used apt repositories. It allows you to easily manage your distribution and independent software vendor software sources.

In practice that means it provides some useful scripts for adding and removing PPAs:

$ dpkg -L software-properties-common | grep 'bin/'

plus the DBUS backends to do the same via the Software and Updates GUI.

Without it, you would need to add and remove repositories (such as PPAs) manually by editing /etc/apt/sources.list and/or any subsidiary files in /etc/apt/sources.list.d

  • how to launch this via graphical interface from terminal? – Egon Stetmann. Jun 14 '18 at 2:05
  • 1
    Linux packages names always reflect so intuitively their purpose. The package abstracts APT repositories and it does not even have "repository" in its name. – Alan Evangelista Dec 9 '18 at 12:21
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    apt-show packagename appears to be apt show packagename (no hyphen) for Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04. – l --marc l Feb 7 '19 at 18:24

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