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.
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.
- Create a Launchpad Account.
- Activate a PPA.
- You can only activate a PPA if you have signed the Ubuntu code of conduct.
- What are PPAs and how do I use them?
- Uploading your source packages.
Here is a detailed explanation.
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
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
#!/bin/bash echo 'HELLO FROM PROGRAM' | zenity --text-info
Make the program executable
chmod +x "$HOME/create_deb/pgmdir/zenity_hello.sh"
Create control file for the debian package
Make a file named
mkdir "$HOME"/create_deb/DEBIAN gedit "$HOME"/create_deb/DEBIAN/control
and paste following details
Package: hellodeb Version: 0.1 Architecture: all Maintainer: totti Installed-Size: 6 Depends: zenity, bash Section: testing Priority: optional Homepage: http://askubuntu.com Description: This is my first debian package. Guided by Totti Torvalds. In Description new line start with a space.
postinstscript, that is executed immediately after installation of the package
#!/bin/sh set -e echo 'Installing program : zenity_hello.sh ......' | zenity --text-info
and make it executable
chmod +x "$HOME/create_deb/DEBIAN/postinst"
prermscript, that is executed before removal of the package
#!/bin/sh set -e echo 'Removing program : zenity_hello.sh ......' | zenity --text-info
and make it executable
chmod +x "$HOME/create_deb/DEBIAN/prerm"
Make package structure and copy programs, data, etc..
Create a structure of your installed programs and its data. In this example we put the file at
mkdir -p "$HOME"/create_deb/bin cp "$HOME/create_deb/pgmdir/zenity_hello.sh" "$HOME/create_deb/bin/zenity_hello"
Build the .deb file.
dpkg-deb --build "$HOME"/create_deb .
.will auto name the
.debfile with version, arch etc. Or your custom name
dpkg-deb --build "$HOME"/create_deb "$HOME"/create_deb/hellodeb.deb
Or if you build the .deb file with
debuild -k'your GPG key here' -S
then you can upload it to Ubuntu Launchpad with
dput ppa:<lp-username>/<ppa-name> packet-source.changes
Install the newly created
.debpackage. You can open it with
software-centerbut it may not allow you to install. So I recommend to use
sudo apt-get install gdebi gdebi "$HOME"/create_deb/hellodeb.deb
Now you can install it. During installation you should see a gtk dialogue
Installing program : zenity_hello.sh ......
After installing open a terminal and type
zenity_hello. If the program correctly installed and everything OK you should see a gtk dialogue
HELLO FROM PROGRAM
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.
Create a folder inside your Public-Dropbox-Folder where you put your *.deb Files:
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
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:
put this in it:
#!/bin/bash dpkg-scanpackages . /dev/null |gzip > Packages.gz
make it executable:
chmod x import.sh
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/ ./import.sh
That should create the so called Packages.gz File, which apt looks for to know which Packages are located at this repository.
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.
dpkg-scanpackages is available from
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
create your local repository in a directory of your choice (home server, local pc, your homepage, etc), and
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).
Then anyone who wants to use your repository, can just put your repository’s key (as a file) into his
add a text file to his
/etc/apt/sources.list.d, containing a
debline 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:
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.