I've been going through docs for the past couple of hours but I haven't understood what the PPA is? I have a cross-platform Java application that I'd like to publish to the Ubuntu Software Center. My application is open-source and I'm using Github.

Apparently, publishing applications to the store isn't as simple as uploading a deb package - am I right? I need to create an account on Launchpad and put all my code there.

I don't intend to move from Git to Bzr merely for the sake of publishing to the app store but luckily, one is able to set up source-code mirroring from Github to Launchpad.

Since my application is still very premature, it'll have updates fairly often. When I build my application on my machine, do I simply go my Ubuntu App Developer page and upload the new DEB package or do they build my application from source?

What exactly is the PPA for? I don't think I'll need too many of the Launchpad features so I'd like to stick to Github if possible.


1 Answer 1


Publishing app via ppa and submitting app to ubuntu software center are different.

Personal Package Archives (PPA) allow you to upload Ubuntu source packages to be built and published as an apt repository by Launchpad. You can find out more about PPAs and how to use them in launchpad help page.

You can publish any open source app via ppa , there is no security verification or quality check, ppa's are people who want up to date packages. So ppa's are not directly published to ubuntu software center user can additin their own risk

If you want add your app to software center You have 2 choices

  1. Via debian repository
  2. Directly to ubuntu via myapps portal

Each have it's own merits and demerits .for more details see this answer. If you want to add your software in current releases and you want to maintain it ,you should go use myapps portal

In the case of paid and non-open source software, Canonical will package and publish your app submitted as a .tar or .deb file submitted to MyApps.

In the case of Open source software at zero cost

All submissions should be through a Personal Package Archive (PPA), which you can indicate in the comment field for the reviewer when submitting your app.

It is for convenience of Application review board , They will review your app and If they found it is fit to ubuntu software center, They will push it to software center via extra.ubuntu.com repository

Keep in mind that beta versions of open source software are not allowed in ubuntu center by the ARB , You can keep bleeding edge packages in another ppa or in git itself, ie You must submit stable version to software center, and Each update in your software require review from Application review board

Some useful links

Sorry If answer confused you, please feel free to comment below

  • Since my application is FOSS, does that mean I can only publish it using the PPA? What really defines a "mature" app? My application might be a bit buggy initially - how do they verify that it is beta software. I don't think they would do go through all the code. Nov 14, 2012 at 17:15
  • 1
    If your app is foss and free of cost, you should submit it via ppa, If your app is foss and paid app, you can submit source code(+debian package , If you familiar with packaging) direcly. I don't know the exact tests from Application Review Board, But they will check stability ,security issues, There are other standards like app must be run from /opt
    – Tachyons
    Nov 14, 2012 at 17:27
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    The ppa will not directly push into the software center, It is just convinience for the reviewers, After Review these types are added to extras.ubuntu.com repository, Keep in mind that every update in the app should be reviewed by ARB , They will not accept beta softwares
    – Tachyons
    Nov 14, 2012 at 17:31
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    So what you're saying is that my "Free and Open-Source Software" must go through the the PPA but if my software is "Free and Closed-Source" I can go publish it directly. Did I get this correct? ..and applications pushed to the PPA don't show up in the software center. Is that right? (This is almost as complex as understanding this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainfuck) Nov 14, 2012 at 17:49
  • 1
    Sorry for brainfuck, it is problem of my english :(, You can submit closed source apps directly, still it have to pass review process. Yup application pushed in to the will not be visible to users who did'nt added your ppa explicitly , here ppa is just an intermediate stage before pushing app to extras.ubuntu.com repository :)
    – Tachyons
    Nov 14, 2012 at 18:00

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