I've got many softwares installed. But when the new version is released I'm not getting notified from the application that an update is available.

And I found that in most of Ubuntu applications the Update option is not available. I should wait for the next release for an updated version of the software. I've been updating Mozilla using the packages available from their PPA.

In ubuntu is there any way to update the softwares without using any PPAs?

Please don't recommend Build from source method since I don't like to do all those weird stuff like configuring the things manually etc.

  • Firefox is already updated in all supported Desktop stable releases. Thunderbird will start being updated like Firefox starting with Thunderbird 12. – micahg Apr 12 '12 at 6:28
  • This question appears to be abandoned, if you are experiencing a similar issue please ask a new question with details pertaining to your problem. If you feel this question is not abandoned, please flag the question explaining that. :) – Seth Dec 29 '12 at 4:20
  • possible duplicate of askubuntu.com/questions/95336/… – Eliah Kagan Dec 29 '12 at 5:28

if you installed softwares from USC, then you will get updates for that software automatically. In case of Firefox, firefox update is provided as a security update and also as a critical update since it is default browser in Ubuntu. But you cannot get a update of firefox immediately when it is released because it takes some times to build package for it and optimize it for Ubuntu. That's why you could not get updated firefox when it is released. For other software if there is a update then update manager will surely notifies you. BTW you can also use Ubuntu Tweak to manage ppa and get updated software if Update manger failed to do so.....


AFAIK there are very few portable apps that provide updates within the app but I don't think it will work for ubuntu as a whole as software installation is a privileged process. You should see How to make sure apt-get has the latest version of Software and understand ubuntu release process. So, unless freeze exception OR backported you may never get the latest software in ubuntu if that is what you want. This is probably why PPA and custom repositories comes to place.

If application itself states its supporting through PPA I don't think there is any harm on going that route. Softwares like google-chrome, opera etc also provide custom repositories from their own systems so you will be up-to date. As already stated there are other custom repositories as well such as medibuntu getdeb etc.

The only other option is building from source.

P.S. Firefox will get latest updates directly from the repositories and you donot need the ppa.


You might be interested in requesting Ubuntu Backports. Starting in 12.04, there's a script called requestbackport in the ubuntu-dev-tools package that can be used to request software updates for stable releases that are available in later releases. Please note that not all software will qualify for a backport.


Update options in Ubuntu come in 5 flavors:


Get the newest stable distribution.

Built-in repositories

Everything from main to multiverse. If you need a newer version try a PPA


A lot of interesting projects have PPAs(kind of like semi-official custom repositories)

Custom repositories

Medibuntu for instance


Compile the package yourself

They all have advantages and disadvantages, but it seems to me your question is asking to install a newer package without a repository, ppa, or source. These are your only normal options.

  • 1
    He is asking how to update installed software without using ppa not various method to update a software! – Ravi Apr 12 '12 at 5:34
  • @Ravi If that's the case he needs to look at apt-pinning and priority. I thought the same as you the first time I read it, but when I read it again it seemed to be not talking about preferring repo over ppa. – RobotHumans Apr 12 '12 at 5:40

In your case, its better to use rolling release distros like Chakra, PCLOS, Linux Mint Debian as they get frequent updates to core and apps and you never have to re-install. Ubuntu goes for stability and thus the apps are kept at their stablest version, however PPA makes updates a breeze.

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