Can add-apt be used for Github repos?

I know that this adds a ppa from launchpad:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js

I would like to use a Github repository instead of launchpad. Is this possible?



2 Answers 2


Debian package repositories (which are what PPAs are, but with specific packages in them for Ubuntu releases, and not Debian itself) are not the same as git repos. You can't use a git repo for an apt repository.

The main reason for this is because git uses a special server designed to work with source code, and not binary packages. An apt repository server can be set up with a package manager backend and almost any web server, and is specifically designed to work with binary packages.

  • It has a different codification, right?
    – Lucio
    Nov 3, 2013 at 20:16
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    @Lucio the difference is more profound. Is how they are maintained. GIT uses a special server while APT's repositories can use any web server + a package manager.
    – Braiam
    Nov 3, 2013 at 20:37
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    Git is for source code, apt is for binaries.
    – jrg
    Nov 4, 2013 at 2:12
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    I have actually been looking for something like this, only where a Github project uses the releases function and uploads .deb files. Would be pretty great if one could get updated debs from that project with apt.
    – carestad
    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:34

You can create a Github repository to host your .deb packages and the accompanying files like Packages, Release, etc.

You create all the needed files locally, and then git push them to Github.

This page explains it in detail: Hosting your own PPA repository on GitHub

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