Are these repositories enabled by default in Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver? It appears so... Main, Restricted, Universe, and Multiverse...

Another procedure lists this as a step sudo add-apt-repository universe

but it seems un-needed since the universe repo is already enabled? Am I right?

complete steps from other procedure below

sudo add-apt-repository universe
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install blender steam
  • Did you do a Server install or a GUI install?
    – Thomas Ward
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 17:36
  • 2
    Probably depends on installation type, there are various ways to install. No harm in mentioning the step, it makes the answer/tutorial more complete.
    – pomsky
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 17:36
  • Are you running an installed system or a live or persistent live system?
    – sudodus
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 17:37
  • 3
    Some installation types don't enable Universe by default. sudo add-apt-repository universe will enable it for them, and won't change those who already have Universe enabled.
    – waltinator
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 17:39
  • 1
    In case you can't find the add-apt-repository command, you have to install it first with sudo apt install software-properties-common. Happened to me while using the Singularity image ubuntu:focal from sylabs.io. Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


For the Desktop installers of the various 18.04 flavors, there is no need to go and manually activate Universe, Multiverse, or Restricted - they are enabled by default. This also applies to the Server installation when using the Alternate Installer.

(Note that the only exception to this is on the Live installers themselves for Ubuntu itself - they don't enable Universe by default but only on the Live sessions. Kubuntu, Lubuntu, etc. all have Universe components and have it activated, it seems)

However, on the latest 18.04.1 Subiquity-based Live Server Installer ISOs, there is a known bug where the ISOs for 18.04(.1) install but don't enable Universe or Multiverse repositories.

For those cases, you have to go back and enable Universe and Multiverse and Restricted; keep in mind that this is a bug in the installer and not typical as it's supposed to enable Universe and Multiverse.

(This has been fixed for future ISOs including the 18.04.2 (hopefully) and 18.10 ISOs that are going to be spun when 18.10 is actually released. (However, the 18.04.1 Server ISOs - but not the Alternate istnaller ISO - are known to be affected by this bug))

If you are using a preinstalled image on a VPS or such, they have a wide variety of configurations, so you may have to enable those repositories manually. This is outside the control of Ubuntu however, as those VPS images tend to have a few additional changes by VPS vendors.

  • 1
    Universe is not enabled by default an on Ubuntu 21.04. (tested in Live/Try mode from a USB thumb drive)
    – Forivin
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 16:26
  • 1
    @Forivin the Live USB doesn't enable Universe. An actual install on disk gets it enabled. The Live USB is restricted due to disk image policies to not have Universe or Multiverse enabled on them, but that doesn't affect the actual install on disk. Tested recently in 21.04 and 21.10 installations of Desktop itself (rather than the LiveUSB)
    – Thomas Ward
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 17:57

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