PPA installation on karmic

I don’t know how long add-apt-repository has been around, but I’ve found it very useful for installing some of the bleeding edge stuff I want to test:

$ for ppa in do-core team-xbmc nvidia-vdpau chromium-daily directhex/monoxide
  sudo add-apt-repository ppa:$ppa
$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install chromium-browser nvidia-glx-195 gnome-do xbmc monodevelop

Is there anything like this for debian proper, I wonder?

10 responses to “PPA installation on karmic”

  1. I doubt that. PPAs all belong to the same Launchpad Infrastructure. So when you run add-apt-repository, it queries Launchpad for a list of repos and the signatures for them. There aren’t many 3rd party repos for Debian (in fact, only 2 or 3 I am aware of), and they aren’t united at all. Basically, there is little need for them. If the app is in Debian repo, and you want to be more bleeding edge, you just switch to testing/unstable, or pull it from testing/unstable/experimental, while staying on a more stable branch. If it’s not in the repo… Well, actually, I find Debian repos to be pretty comprehensive. As soon as an app is mature, it hits Sid in most cases – even some really geeky web browsers like Uzbl and Surf. I probably only miss the Gummi LaTeX editor, but it’s not in PPAs either.

  2. That means that you fully trust these PPAs. Some people don’t.
    I may have two questions to ask:
    1) When there is a ton of PPAs offering the same software, which one you choose?
    2) How do you know that the proposed packages aren’t messy?

    This approach looks like the same as distributing .deb files and making gdebi open .deb files by default.

    • 1) I don’t normally add a PPA unless it is recommended by the application developers or packagers. I’ve found that the folks who do the official package also release nightly packages in PPA form. This seems to have the effect of recruiting new users and developers and avoiding competing PPAs.

      2) I look at them ;)

      • But you’re a super-user :-) How the lambda user is supposed to make his choice and keep his system clean/secure? I’m sure (guess) that there are some PPAs with questionable changes. Do PPA admins monitor each uploaded change?

        • A good point. There are some serious security implications here. As with all software installed to a system, long-term side effects should be considered.

          Since superuser permissions are required to add a PPA to a system, this should limit the impact of adding problematic repositories.

          But only time will tell, I guess.

  3. I like it that Karmic also added direct support for lone PPA addresses in the GNOME Admin “Software Sources” app. No more long deb lines to copy and paste, and no more manual key finding and installing, all from the GUI. (Sometimes I prefer the GUI. Also, the GUI is easier and safer to lead unskilled people through, such as teaching someone new to Ubuntu why they need the latest and greatest Banshee.)

      • Yeah, Banshee has been my main music player on my Ubuntu laptop for as long as I can remember (it was in the 0.6x series when I started, IIRC). I even wrote a small, somewhat incomplete plugin for it a few months back (the Magnatune plugin).

  4. I`ve been using Debian since 2001, I tried Ubuntu but always went back to Debian for different reasons (sudo, upgrade path which I did not like, crashes, etc..) and even though I ll always keep a Debian partition I am now using Ubuntu Karmic (64 bit)on a daily basis. The PPAs are an easy way for me to try software without compiling such as KDE 4.4 RC2, daily Mozilla builds and the work that is being done to make Linux understand my iPod Touch 3g. I was never a Gnome fan but I really like the Compiz integration and the themes I downloaded thru the PPAs. You ll tell me: eye candy doesn’t make one more productive, but if it works well, why not have a beautiful desktop.

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