Knowing APT and Ubuntu repositories

Hello to all Linuxeros and Linuxeras. Today we will deal with this topic, the repository systems of Ubuntu.


Ubuntu and its derived distros use the system APT. APT was developed by the team of Debian and are the acronym for 'Advanced Packaging Tool'.

It is programmed in C and its operation consists, explained in a simple way, to download some '.deb' from an FTP server (in this case those from Ubuntu) and install them automatically with dpkg.

This makes it much easier to install programs. But of course, not all programs can be on FTP servers. So here comes PPA.


PPA From the English 'Personal Package Archive' are personal files and basically allows you to download and install programs that are not in the official repositories. They are usually housed in LaunchPad.


For example I want to install the package 'roger / roger-mola' which is not in the official repositories, so I open a terminal (console, shell, bash) and enter:

sudo apt-add-repository roger/roger-mola

We refresh the database: (explained below)

sudo apt-get update

And we download the Package:

sudo apt-get install roger-mola

APT sections

The packages are divided into 4 sections:

  • Main: Contains only packages that meet the Ubuntu license requirements, and for which support is available from your team. This is intended to include everything you need for most systems GNU / Linux general purpose.
  • Restricted: Contains packages supported by developers of Ubuntu due to its importance, but that it is not available under any type of free license to include in main.
  • Universe: Contains a wide range of programs, which may or may not have a restricted license, but are not supported by the Ubuntu but on the part of the community. This allows users to install all kinds of programs on the system by saving them in a place apart from the supported packages: main y restricted.
  • Multiverse: Contains unsupported packages because they do not meet the free software requirements.

Using APT

APT It has many uses, here I show you the basics:

Install Apps

sudo apt-get install [Nombre del programa]

Repair / Update Applications

sudo apt-get --reinstall install [Nombre del Programa]

Uninstall Apps

sudo apt-get remove [Nombre del programa]

COMPLETELY Uninstall Applications

sudo apt-get --purge remove [Nombre del programa]

Update the database

sudo apt-get update

Don't want to remember commands?

Well, if you don't want to remember commands you have:

  • The Ubuntu Software Center
  • Aptitude that is downloaded with the package: aptitude
  • Synaptic that is downloaded with the package: synaptic
  • Adept

Well I just hope you liked it, because I liked writing this. Soon I will teach both YUM and PACMAN. Until next time.

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  1.   Gonzalo said

    Good post to have knowledge of the operation of APT 😀

  2.   pandacriss said

    do not forget that with "apt-cache search" you can search if a package is in the repositories or packages that meet a description. :3
    try doing
    apt-cache search nokia
    apt-cache search lxde
    apt-cache search nokia | grep management

  3.   oscar said

    Thanks for the input!

  4.   Hugo Iturrieta said

    Very good.

  5.   clow_eriol said

    Thanks for the contribution, waiting for the next ones with YUM and PACMAN

  6.   eliotime3000 said

    You missed Apper for those who use KDE.

    Besides, it seems that the Windows version of Forefox is improving with rendering and the interface itself for obsolete PCs.

    1.    IvanLinux said

      I think that a good gesture on the part of Mozilla would be that Firefox OS was not recognized by Windows systems (to flash, copy data), honestly, I have a great support for FFOS but I think it is very green, if they integrated compatibility with Android like Tizen or Sailfish OS does it, I sure flash my Moto G.

      1.    Noctuido said

        The applications in Firefox are designed so that they can run on any platform, since for them the platform is the web.

        The sucks of Mozilla is that HTML5 ends up prevailing, although fortunately it is gaining more and more ground; With this, FirefoxOS seeks that the applications are multiplatform, being able to run in any browser of the operating system. Another thing is for the dominant to do their thing so that this is not the case, or to postpone their dominance. The developers with this would release applications for all platforms, with the labor savings that it entails.

        1.    KZKG ^ Gaara said

          I read in your comment «(…) Mozilla sucks is that HTML5 (…) »… LOL !, I thought you didn't agree with HTML5 and Mozilla's idea, but reading better I realize that you didn't mean to say sucks, but aputhis haha

        2.    IvanLinux said

          There was a project that was: "You create for Linux and it is also compatible on Windows" (It is not cygwin or CoLinux), unfortunately it had no future (which could happen to HTML5). I bet on HTML5.
          There is a project called Phonegap, very useful, in fact I like HTML5 so much that I am creating an app for the Eliotime web. (You can find the (Mega Ultra Bugeado xD) project on Github).
          Let's leave the «Off-Topic» of Firefox and HTML5 because it has nothing to do with «APT and Canonical Ubuntu repositories»

  7.   atlas7jean said

    Here is an error xd

    sudo apt-add-repository roger / roger-mola

    first you have to put ppa * colon * roger / roger-cool xD

    sudo apt-add-repository ppa: roger / roger-mola

  8.   Manuel R said

    It seems to me that the command to add the PPAs is wrong, in addition to the colon that atlas7jean comments, the syntax of the command is incorrect since it is add-apt-repository, instead of apt-add-repository.

    The example shown should look (according to me) like this:

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa: roger / roger-mola


  9.   TheGuillox said

    The command to add ppa is wrong. It would look like this: "sudo add-apt-repository ppa: [ppa name]"

    outside of that good info, but could have added more commands. For example, when installing, you can install several packages in the same command, that is, "sudo apt-get install [packages1] [package2]". if you add -y before the "install" it doesn't ask if you are sure to install.

    You also need to specify how to clean packages that become obsolete when uninstalling a program, "sudo apt-get autoremove" if you add –purge it removes them completely

  10.   Noctuido said

    The bad thing that I see with the PPA repositories is that many do not usually have a long journey, although on the other hand the variety for Ubuntu is the most assorted in quantity.

  11.   Pcesar27 said

    Excellent post I liked since I am a novice user who is starting in this linux world, I currently use mint petra with cinnamon which I think is an excellent distro for novice users, and this type of post is very helpful for those of us who use derived distros of debian. I will wait for your YUM AND PACMAN post since it would be very helpful to take a look at the well-known opensuse and the archlinux and the like.

  12.   shamaru said

    Thank you very much for your information, people like you are the ones that this community is rich in knowledge.

  13.   Bern said

    Chingón. Thank you.