PPA‘s (Personal Package Archives) are a great way to automatically stay up-to-date with your favourite applications and packages.Below are my top ten recommendations for Ubuntu users.

Some are development PPA’s meaning you get the latest features first but there may be the odd bug or two.I’m sure you have your own list so why not share your tips in the comments!

How to add a PPA in Ubuntu
To add an PPA, open up Software Sources (System > Admin > Software Sources and choose the Third Party Sources tab)

In Karmic this tab is renamed "Other Software"


How to add a GPG key in Ubuntu
In Karmic, key’s are automatically received when you add the PPA.In prior versions you need to manually add them.To add a GPG signing key we’ll use a simple terminal command: –

  • sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys key-number-goes-here

All you need to do is paste the the command from the PPA below into a terminal, hit enter/return and et voila!

Get Them Automatically!
If you installed a PPA previously and are being harassed by authentication errors because you never added it’s signing key, use this script to automatically grab GPG keys.

If you really want to be lazy you can just add the PPA’s listed below and then run the script to grab the GPG keys automatically.Let’s go!

Chromium Daily | Web Browser

Although Google Chrome is already available for Ubuntu, many people like to live on the bleeding edge and use Chromium, the development arm of Google Chrome and a browser in it’s own right.

The PPA is updated daily and contains both 32bit and native 64bit versions.

Karmic PPA: ppa:chromium-daily/ppa

Jaunty/Intrepid/Hardy PPA:

GPG: sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys 4E5E17B5

Epiphany | Web Browser

Epiphany is the default Gnome web browser. Being webkit based it has speed on it’s side.

The Epiphany-extensions package comes with a set of popular extensions for the browser including adblock.The Epiphany PPA requires the webkit PPA to also be installed.

Karmic PPA: ppa:webkit-team/epiphany

Jaunty/Etc PPA:

GPG: sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys 2D9A3C5B

Webkit PPA:

Karmic PPA: ppa:webkit-teamJaunty/Etc PPA:

  • deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webkit-team/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
  • deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/webkit-team/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

GPG: sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys 2D9A3C5B

Banshee | Music Player

Get the latest release of music player/manager Banshee by adding the official PPA.

Karmic PPA: ppa:banshee-team/ppa

Jaunty-to-Gutsy PPA:

GPG: sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys 6E80C6B7

Banshee Daily Builds

If you’re impatient for the latest features and fixes you can add the Banshee Daily PPA alongside the stable PPA. This updates Banshee everyday with the latest bug squashes, features and, of course, new bugs for you to enjoy.

Karmic PPA: ppa:banshee-team/banshee-daily


GPG: sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys 6E80C6B7

Pidgin | Instant Messenger

I’m sure you know what Pidgin is and does! This PPA is replete with more up-to-date builds, although they may be more ‘beta’ than stable, you’ll likely encounter very little issue. (I haven’t!)
Karmic PPA: ppa:pidgin-developers/ppa

Jaunty – Hardy PPA (Replace ‘kamic’ with your version name, e.g. hardy):

  • deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/pidgin-developers/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
  • deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/pidgin-developers/ppa/ubuntu karmic main

GPG: sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys A1F196A8

Emesene 1.5 | Instant Messenger
The PPA for Emesene 1.5 will keep you fully bug-fixed, feature au courant and stable with Linux’s premier MSN Messenger clone.
Karmic PPA: ppa:bjfs/ppa (note, there are no Karmic packages available yet)
Jaunty PPA:
  • deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/bjfs/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
  • deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/bjfs/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

GPG: sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com –recv-keys E2314809

Gimp Testing | Image Editor

Although it’s not an official testing PPA you can still try out the latest version of Gimp – the might fabled Gimp 2.28 – thanks to matthaeus123. 
Built from the official Gimp GIT, he 2.28 release brings a whole supermarket trolley full of improvements including the long-lusted single window mode and direct text editing.
PPA Karmic: ppa:matthaeus123/mrw-gimp-svn
PPA Jaunty:
  • deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/matthaeus123/mrw-gimp-svn/ubuntu jaunty main
  • deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/matthaeus123/mrw-gimp-svn/ubuntu jaunty main

GPG: sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 405A15CB

Official Google Repositories | Miscellaneous

To install Google-Earth, Picasa and other Google applications you should add the Official Google Repo’s. You do need to install both stbale and testing to access most and in order to access most recent software you really can’t afford not to use the testing repo. (Google keep lots of applications in Beta for years. GMail only recently shook off it’s Beta tag…)
  • deb http://dl.google.com/linux/deb/ stable non-free
  • deb http://dl.google.com/linux/deb/ testing non-free

GPG: Needs to be added manually. Download the key from here.

OpenShot | Video Editor

OpenShot is the "iMovie" of Linux. Simple user-friendly interface, tons of effects and transitions and all so easy to use. This development PPA will keep you bang-up-to-date with the latest features and improvements (and likely a few bugs!).
Currently you should NOT add this PPA. The OpenShot team are working to fix an issue whereby video playback is removed if you install OpenShot from it.When it’s all sorted (i’ll be sure to let you know!) the OpenShot PPA will become essential for anyone looking to do some video editing or even just looking to have feature parity with Windows.
Karmic PPA: ppa:openshot.developers/ppa
Jaunty PPA:
  • deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/openshot.developers/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
  • deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/openshot.developers/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

GPG: sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com B9BA26FA

Empathy Development | Instant Messenger

Empathy Instant Messenger is a great tool – but it also have very rapid development, too. Stay on top of the latest features by adding the bleeding edge Empathy PPA.

Karmic PPA: ppa:telepathy/ppa

Jaunty – Hardy PPA (Replace ‘jaunty’ with hardy or intrepid, etc):

  • deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/telepathy/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
  • deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/telepathy/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

GPG: sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com FA3A1271

Thanks to reader Hou for suggesting I write a post on PPA’s.

If you think there is something i should write about let me know in the comments or via joeysneddon at gmail dot com.

#ppa #tips