In my "System Settings > Software & Updates > Other Software" section I have always (since install) had the two at the top disabled, and seem to always had these Independent ones which say that they are provided my third-party developers enabled (and then I have got one that I added):

Other Software section

So really my questions are:

  • What are the two disabled ones at the top, and should I enable them?

  • What are the Independent ones?

  • And are all these safe?

OS Information:

Description:    Ubuntu 14.10
Release:    14.10
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The 'partners' are companies that provide software that is approved by Canonical but for which the Ubuntu community is not providing updates. That's the responsibility of the partners themselves. The community however provides the install packages (builds the packages). For instance Adobe used to be a partner.

Independent are essentially providers that are not partners.

You can assume that these are safe. You only have to be cautious for repositories you did add yourself.

  • And are all these reps official, meaning that they are checked for malware etc regularly and only certain people can upload software to them? – user364819 Mar 7 '15 at 22:13
  • The partners are official and safe otherwise they wouldn't have been partners. Since the independent are inthe list too by default you can assume they're safe and official too. That having said: Linux operating systems are really safe and curently no active malware is known. However vulnerabilities are known and usually patched quickly. – wie5Ooma Mar 7 '15 at 22:18

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