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What are PPAs and how do I use them?

I always like to have my programs up to date but in ubuntu software center the software aren't always up to date. I know about repositorys and i'd like to add some so how can i find the repository of certain programs in launchpad. I'm using Ubuntu 12.04.1.

  • Can you be a little bit more specific please? Name some of the programs you want to receive via a PPA.
    – Andre
    Nov 14, 2012 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


You can add a PPA location with the command

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:<ppa_name>

For example sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome-desktop

You can find some help on Ubuntu Documentation

  • Although there is no real 'root' user on Ubuntu, you have to have superuser permissions to add a PPA. On a regular system you have to do it with sudo: sudo add-apt-repository ...
    – Andre
    Nov 14, 2012 at 16:54
  • I edited my answer to reflect that. Thanks for the informations
    – NorTicUs
    Nov 14, 2012 at 16:59
  • 1
    And if you're sure the PPA name is typed correctly, you can add ' -y' to the end to auto-allow the new PPA. (sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome-desktop -y). This makes it easier to use post-installation scripts that add multiple PPAs without user intervention.
    – Veazer
    Nov 14, 2012 at 19:15
  • Just curious what would happen if you accidentally added the same ppa twice?
    – puk
    Dec 4, 2013 at 10:31
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    To use this command, I am asked to install software-properties-common. After I try to install it, I see that is 10.5MB in total! That's some serious size of binaries to simply add a URL to a list of URLs! :O
    – NoOne
    Feb 9, 2020 at 22:14