Every time I add a PPA I cannot see the package I'm trying to install. I suppose I must be doing something wrong! So here's my latest effort:

In a Terminal I typed:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jeromerobert/misc

and that seemed to work correctly

Then I typed:

sudo apt-get update

But when I go to Synaptic or Software Center the application I want to install is not there. Could someone please tell me what I'm doing wrong?

  • Does the PPA have packages for your version...? Jan 25, 2012 at 13:48
  • try a search with: apt-cache search packagename
    – Sabacon
    Jan 25, 2012 at 14:08
  • I just visit the ppa:jeromerobert/misc launchpad and it has a package for your version, you should try searching the package name. In addition to Sabacon comment you can also try "aptitude search package_name" if you have aptitude installed.
    – dsaint
    Jan 25, 2012 at 14:20
  • This is a USC "bug". One that I have noticed since 11.04. I am not sure if this behavior was already on 10.04 and 10.10, but I have highly noticed this starting with 11.04. What I have observed is when I add the PPA, update the source and install the particular software by hand (through console), the software can then be seen on USC, along with the other list of software in the PPA not installed on my system. This has happened often to me that whenever I add a PPA, I have to do everything by hand at first and later on I can just install/uninstall software from that PPA through USC.
    – Marky
    Jan 25, 2012 at 14:54
  • Thanks to everyone for their advice. I restarted my computer and then the package showed up in Synaptic! (To avoid confusion the following comment is intended as light humour: It's just like updating software on Windows!) This delay in Synaptic et al recognising PPAs seems to be happening with every ppa I add
    – dunderhead
    Jan 25, 2012 at 17:31

3 Answers 3


From my experience there are 3 reasons why it would not immediately show up in the repositories of Synaptic or Software Center:

  1. You added the PPA, did the repo update and immediately went to Synaptic or Software Center to see it. For some reason, it takes a little more time for the package managers to reflect on the new changes. In Synaptic for example I can see the "Refreshing Cache" option in the search box when I add a PPA and go straight to it. I have to actually wait for the refresh to finish to see the package. If I go look for it it will not show up. Same goes with Software Center, doing an apt-get update does not make the package manager show in that instant the new package you want.

  2. The PPA shows the package but you still can not see it in your package manager. This happens when the package has just been added to the PPA. For example, in my case when I updated the Wine PPA, the 1.4 was there for a whole day but I could not update to it until the next morning. For what I know, launchpad needs some time to get a package ready for download after it has been summited.

  3. Cache problems. This can be quickly solved by just rebooting the PC. It happens when you are like me and don't need to reboot the PC because.. well because is Ubuntu, I can go on for days ^^. But in general is good to reboot after doing update after update of stuff.

Hope this helps.


When your adding a PPA you not only have to type the repository followed by update you need to add the package you apt name.


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:simonschneegans/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-pie

As you can see the last line is the name of the package I want "gnome-pie". If you can find the name of the package then you can install it.


I had a similar problem and for some reason the corresponding PPA source file under:


had the apt lines commented out with #.

I removed the # marks and it started to work after I've performed an update:

sudo apt-get update

This is a bug somewhere, because I followed the instructions precisely.

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