Before upgrading to Saucy, I had several PPAs installed. As usual, the upgrade process disabled the PPAs. Afterwards, I re-enabled the PPAs in Software Sources (making sure that the release was set to saucy) and ran an update. Some of the PPAs worked, but others gave 404 errors:

W: Failed to fetch http://ppa.launchpad.net/duplicity-team/ppa/ubuntu/dists/saucy/main/binary-i386/Packages: 404  Not Found
W: Failed to fetch http://ppa.launchpad.net/stackapplet-dev/stackapplet/ubuntu/dists/saucy/main/binary-i386/Packages: 404  Not Found

Evidently, this common issue occurs because these PPAs haven't been updated to provide packages for Saucy (when I browse to the PPA URLs, only releases through Raring are listed).

"How can I fix a 404 Error when using a PPA or updating my package lists?" suggests removing the PPAs to fix the errors. However, I don't want to remove these PPAs because I believe they are still maintained. For instance, https://launchpad.net/~stackapplet-dev/+archive/stackapplet had a new upload a few weeks ago. I assume that if I just wait, these PPAs will eventually get updated to support Saucy.

What determines when this happens after a new release of Ubuntu? Does it only happen once the maintainer uploads a new version on Launchpad? How long will I have to wait?

  • As you can see in the error messages the directories /virtualbox/debian/dists/saucy , /duplicity-team/ppa/ubuntu/dists/saucy, and /stackapplet-dev/stackapplet/ubuntu/dists/saucy has to be created by the maintainer and populated with the appropriate files. You have to ask them when they will have the time to do it.
    – user68186
    Oct 24, 2013 at 18:52
  • But don't Launchpad-hosted PPAs get automatically built? So presumably Launchpad handles managing the repository directories. Oct 24, 2013 at 19:35
  • @ThomasW.: I'm asking about the PPA updating process, not how to remove dead PPAs. Oct 24, 2013 at 19:36
  • @Mechanicalsnail ah, okay. the PPAs don't automatically update, when a PPA is "updated" it's updated by its maintainer for a given release of Ubuntu. In this case the maintainers didn't upload a Saucy package, and it won't update until they manually update it.
    – Thomas Ward
    Oct 24, 2013 at 19:38

2 Answers 2


The only thing that determines when a PPA (or any package archive in general) will get support for a newer Ubuntu release, is when whomever owns that PPA or archive, decides to update it. There is no guarantee that any PPA on Launchpad, or archive on the Internet, will support whatever version of Ubuntu or Debian you have installed.


PPAs don't automatically update for a given release. When a PPA is "updated" it's updated by its maintainer(s) for a given release of Ubuntu. In this case the maintainers didn't upload a Saucy package, and it won't update until they manually update it.

You can probably email the maintainer and ask them to add a Saucy package, however they aren't required to, as some PPAs only provide packages for older releases.

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