What is PPA in Ubuntu, and how to Add/Remove it

PPA makes it easier to install apps that are not included in the Software Center.

When you start using Ubuntu and its derivatives including elementary OS, Linux Mint, etc., you should have come across the abbreviation “PPA”. It is used in the context of adding and removing applications.

What’s a PPA?

PPA is the short-form for “Personal Page Archive”. It is a webpage that has a collection of the instructions for installing an application that is typically not included in the Ubuntu Software Center. PPA sources can be made by anyone. The app is stored in a storage called “repository”. When you add a PPA repository to your computer, it means you have added a link to the download server from which your PC will procure the app and future updates.

Therefore, you will see PPAs hosted by individual developers as well as some organizations. This comes with its own risk. Not all PPAs are trustworthy. Just like not all Microsoft Windows programs are genuine, there may be some PPAs that can cause harm to your computer. Thankfully, these as well are not malware but just outdated or badly written apps.

The best way to stay away from them is to avoid installing them. Before adding a PPA, take few seconds to read through the PPA page and check the last updated and activity in that page. An active developer will update the package periodically with security and bug fixes. Also, make sure that the package works for your Ubuntu version. To check that you need to expand the “Technical details about this PPA” and then look for the Ubuntu version in the drop-down list.

Examples of PPA

For example in the Cryptomator, you can see the compatibility from Bionic to Vivid.

Checking PPA compatibility
Checking PPA compatibility

Adding a PPA in Ubuntu and its derivatives

To add a PPA, launch the Terminal and use the commands as follows:

sudo add-apt-repository [source]

Where “source” is listed on the PPA page. Once the repo is added to your computer, you need to update the repo list.

sudo apt update

Finally, install the package.

sudo apt install [packagename]

Removing PPA

To remove PPA, use the remove command:

sudo apt-add-repository --remove [package location]

If you prefer a GUI way, you can do that too. Launch “Software & Updates” and go to the “Other Software” tab. You should see all the PPAs that are installed on your computer. Simply select the PPA source and click remove.

Software and Updates - Remove PPA
Software and Updates – Remove PPA

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

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