How do I create my own custom PPA to share with the Ubuntu community? I am trying to create my own custom package set and I would really like to share it with the community.


4 Answers 4


Using a Personal Package Archive (PPA), you can distribute software and updates directly to Ubuntu users. Create your source package, upload it and Launchpad will build binaries and then host them in your own apt repository.

Here is a detailed explanation.

  • 8
    FWIW I was able to active my PPA before I signed the code of conduct.
    – Sparhawk
    Apr 3, 2014 at 4:30
  • 2
    This is the best answer. You were just told how to create a PPA. The response below (by totti) is not a PPA, but it is a public repository. The two are different, despite (potentially) accomplishing the same thing. He even says in the first line of his answer: "This question has a well written, accepted answer. As the OP wants a simple way to publish his packages I'm giving an easy hack." Because you prefer the easy hack does not make it the best answer.
    – lbaile200
    Jul 9, 2014 at 14:47
  • OK, but none of the links in this answer really describes how to do it from scratch. all links here are made for developers, that are already into the material much more
    – rubo77
    Jul 9, 2014 at 15:07
  • 1
    @rubo77 - the "how to create" is strictly too broad to be answerable. It all depends what you are trying to package. Indeed each of the steps in the above answer can be individual Q's with a good detailed answer each.
    – fossfreedom
    Jul 11, 2014 at 14:25
  • 1
    Totti's new answer is great already
    – rubo77
    Jul 12, 2014 at 7:15

How to create a .deb file

This is a tutorial on creating a basic .deb file from a given sample script. In this tutorial first we create a sample program in bash that just show 'HELLO FROM PROGRAM'. Then we create a control file for the program in order to make a debian installer. Finally they are packaged into a .deb file.


  1. create a sample program in bash

    mkdir "$HOME/create_deb/pgmdir"
    gedit "$HOME/create_deb/pgmdir/zenity_hello.sh"

    paste the following code into it

    echo 'HELLO FROM PROGRAM' | zenity --text-info 
  2. Make the program executable

    chmod +x "$HOME/create_deb/pgmdir/zenity_hello.sh"
  3. Create control file for the debian package

    Make a file named control inside folder DEBIAN

    mkdir "$HOME"/create_deb/DEBIAN
    gedit "$HOME"/create_deb/DEBIAN/control

    and paste following details

    Package: hellodeb
    Version: 0.1
    Architecture: all
    Maintainer: totti
    Installed-Size: 6
    Depends: zenity, bash
    Section: testing
    Priority: optional
    Homepage: http://askubuntu.com
    Description: This is my first debian package.
     Guided by Totti Torvalds.
     In Description new line start with a space.

    You can edit the contents if you like. Read more about the format of this file here and here.

  4. Create postinst script, that is executed immediately after installation of the package

    gedit "$HOME"/create_deb/DEBIAN/postinst

    then paste

    set -e
    echo 'Installing program : zenity_hello.sh ......' | zenity --text-info

    and make it executable

    chmod +x "$HOME/create_deb/DEBIAN/postinst"
  5. Create prerm script, that is executed before removal of the package

    set -e
    echo 'Removing program : zenity_hello.sh ......' | zenity --text-info

    and make it executable

    chmod +x "$HOME/create_deb/DEBIAN/prerm"
  6. Make package structure and copy programs, data, etc..
    Create a structure of your installed programs and its data. In this example we put the file at /bin.

    mkdir -p "$HOME"/create_deb/bin
    cp "$HOME/create_deb/pgmdir/zenity_hello.sh" "$HOME/create_deb/bin/zenity_hello"
  7. Build the .deb file.

    dpkg-deb --build "$HOME"/create_deb .

    The . will auto name the .deb file with version, arch etc. Or your custom name

    dpkg-deb --build "$HOME"/create_deb "$HOME"/create_deb/hellodeb.deb

    Or if you build the .deb file with

    debuild -k'your GPG key here' -S

    then you can upload it to Ubuntu Launchpad with

    dput ppa:<lp-username>/<ppa-name> packet-source.changes

    like described here (source: create a .deb Package from scripts or binaries)

  8. Install the newly created .deb package. You can open it with software-center but it may not allow you to install. So I recommend to use gdebi package manager.

    sudo apt-get install gdebi
    gdebi "$HOME"/create_deb/hellodeb.deb

    Now you can install it. During installation you should see a gtk dialogue

    Installing program : zenity_hello.sh ......

  9. After installing open a terminal and type zenity_hello. If the program correctly installed and everything OK you should see a gtk dialogue


  10. Removing package

    sudo apt-get remove zenity_hello

Publish your repository in 2 minutes

As the OP wants a simple way to publish his packages I'm giving an easy hack.

requirement: dropbox (or anyother service, for ex. github) account with a public folder.

  1. Create a folder inside your Public-Dropbox-Folder where you put your *.deb Files:

    mkdir ~/Dropbox/Public/deb-packages  

    or create that folder somwhere else and put a symlink in your Public folder:

    mkdir ~/deb-packages
    cd ~/Dropbox/Public
    ln -s ~/deb-packages/ deb-packages
  2. Go into that folder and create a script that, when executed, creates the Packages.gz, containing all the needed informationen about your deb-packages. create:

    gedit import.sh  

    put this in it:

    dpkg-scanpackages . /dev/null |gzip > Packages.gz

    make it executable:

    chmod  x import.sh
  3. Copy some *.deb Files into the Folder. Could be your own or some that aren't available through other repositories. Then go into the Folder and execute the script we put there:

    cd ~/deb-packages/ 

    That should create the so called Packages.gz File, which apt looks for to know which Packages are located at this repository.

That's it

Now, wait for Dropbox to synchronize the Folder and grab the Public-URL from the Packages.gz. It should look something like this:


Get rid of the end of that link, put some more words to it and you can now use and populate the following line for the sources.list:

deb http://dl.getdropbox.../deb-packages ./

That's it you got your own deb repository running. Always synchronized locally, but available to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

NOTE: dpkg-scanpackages is available from dpkg-dev

  • 3
    +1 Great! this worked: I used Github and there the raw directory for a folder releases/ see github.com/rubo77/mouse-speed/blob/master/release/…
    – rubo77
    Jul 9, 2014 at 12:16
  • This describes a self hosted PPA, but how can I Build a Ubuntu debian package
    – rubo77
    Jul 9, 2014 at 15:03
  • 4
    If you build the .deb file in step 7. with debuild -us -uc -k'your GPG key here' then you can upload it with dput ppa:<lp-username>/<ppa-name> packet-source.changes to Launchpad like described here (source: create a .deb Package from scripts or binaries)
    – rubo77
    Jul 14, 2014 at 23:40
  • @rubo77,Thanks, I welcome you to add this infos at end of my answer.
    – totti
    Jul 18, 2014 at 8:53
  • 1
    OK, I just did, I also found out, that you need other parameters for Launchpad to not to create the .deb file right now (just -S): debuild -k'your GPG key here' -S because Launchpad will create the deb file (if it is not rejected) - what would the ` -us -uc` have been for?
    – rubo77
    Jul 18, 2014 at 9:41

You will need a Launchpad.net account to create a PPA. Just click on your user on Launchpad (click on your name on the upper left) and create a PPA. You may have to first sign the Code of Conduct and have a GPG key registered with your account.


PPAs are just repositories. ppa:// URLs are just simple URLs that the script apt-add-repository converts to a deb line in a file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/, using Launchpad and obeying its demands. (I read the source code.)

TL:DR: See bottom.

It’s just an attempt to gain power and control over us supposedly “dumb” “helpless” users, based on a toxic culture sold as “simplicity”, ultimately stemming from how Apple treats users, due to Steve Jobs having been a pathological control freak. (Sources: Books by people who did work directly under him.)
But this is your computer, so they have no power here. :)

If you look at the deb lines, they contain the real repository URLs. E.g.

deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/maarten-fonville-android-studio-jammy.gpg] https://ppa.launchpadcontent.net/maarten-fonville/android-studio/ubuntu jammy main

And if you open that URL, you see a specific directory structure. That’s all the “magic”.
Now of course the easiest way, is to

  1. create your local repository in a directory of your choice (home server, local pc, your homepage, etc), and

  2. if it’s local, run a very simple httpd server (“web server”) to serve that directory to the target audience (e.g. you, your household, friends).

  3. Then anyone who wants to use your repository, can just put your repository’s key (as a file) into his /etc/apt/keyrings/, and

  4. add a text file to his /etc/apt/sources.list.d, containing a deb line as above, but with your key and your url, as well as the correct architecture and version code name (e.g. jammy) of course.

In the long run, it’s probably easier to just have an extremely simple (one-liner?) script that takes any normal repository URL, and creates those files automatically, imitating apt-add-repository without going through the Launchpad gatekeepers.

This answer serves as the (previously missing) link that “ppas” are just repositories with a bit of “security” (mostly from you, instead of for you, as one might think), and so …

TL;DR: The right question would be: How to create (and add) a repository?

Debian maintains a complete guide on how to do this:
E.g. using reprepro.

So you do NOT need a launchpad account, obey any master, NOR sign a code of conduct censorship, hate and reverse discrimination.

Of course, if you want to share it with entities that themselves prefer to obey and follow Canonical/Ubuntu/Launchpad, and refuse to trust anything else, and so will not use anything unless their masters have agreed that it is safe for them, then that is equivalent to dealing with their masters themselves. Who, as it stands, demand full obedience. (As in signing that CoC.) … I don’t bend over that low, so I cannot tell you how to do that.

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