PPA stands for Personal Package Archive. PPAs used in Ubuntu are hosted in Launchpad, a platform for software development and doing related things e.g. bug reports, collaborations, translations, code hosting and reviews, questions and answers etc. Launchpad is launched by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, for hosting the software and coding deployed in Ubuntu. Launchpad PPAs are used extensively in Ubuntu and in it’s derivatives.
PPA, as you can see, are used for hosting software and their codings. This way, the developers can develop the software/app with collaboration from different developers from around the world. It’s like open development. Anyone can join the development of a particular project. Be it be testing, developing, coding, translating or others. And how normal users are benefited from Launchpad PPA. Well, this is what, this post is all about. You see, sometimes (read, most of the times) the software and/or app in the respective Software Center is not up-to-date. Softwares are not updated in the Software Center as frequently as in the case of developing it. Developers are constantly developing their respective softwares and releasing the updated version. They even provide nightly build for the adventurous users who like to use the bleeding edge softwares. And Software Center lacks this feature. It cannot provide you with the latest and greatest software after sometimes of it release. Here goes the utility of Launchpad PPAs. You can use PPAs as a repository for that very software and in this way will be able to get all the latest softwares. PPAs in Launchpad hosts stable, beta and sometimes nightly builds of the software. So users have the option to use any version. And they are sure to remain updated.
I think you grasp the idea behind using PPAs. Now second question is how to use it in Ubuntu and/or it’s derivatives? Okay, you have to know beforehand whether the software you are seeking for uses Launchpad. Then grab it’s PPA from Launchpad page or from it’s website. Now rest of the thing is pretty easy. Just execute the following command in Terminal to add the PPA in your system
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ppa_of_that_software
Now update the repository
sudo apt-get update
Now install the software from PPA
sudo apt-get install name_of_the_software
That’s it. If you’ve got any question, leave a comment below.