I would like difference with regard to safety between installing software by adding a PPA or by using a .deb package.

For example, I found a specific application in GitHub and I want to install it. The instructions to install include two options:

Option 1 - Via PPA

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ppaName
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install software Name

Option 2 - From Package

wget https://github.com/path/to/software/download/v1.0/SoftwareName.deb
sudo apt-get install gdebi
sudo gdebi SoftwareName.deb

Since the reliability of a PPA depends of many factors, is safer install it by downloading a deb package?

Are there any safety differences between these two methods?

  • In most cases you will not find deb files in github. – Pilot6 Feb 15 '16 at 16:14

If you trust the provider, it's OK to install from PPA. The advantage of getting software from PPA is that you get automatic updates, which doesn't happen if you install from a Debian (.deb) package.

About security, there isn't much difference between one method and another. If you install an X package through PPA using apt-get, what happens is basically the download of its .deb and its installation with dpkg.

So, overall, it's better to use PPA over manual installation, due to automatic updates.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Automatic updates may be not good if a maintainer pushes a buggy version. like I do sometimes ;-) – Pilot6 Feb 15 '16 at 16:15
  • 1
    In the other hand, in most cases automatic updates bring important security/bug fixes and new features. – Eduardo Cola Feb 15 '16 at 16:19

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