Personal Package Archives

A few years back, I switched from Red Hat to Debian for one main reason: apt. I loved the ease with which I could install and remove software that had been packaged specifically for my operating system.

Now I use Ubuntu and I still think apt rocks. I can’t even remember the last time I thought about dependencies.

Your own apt repository

Recently, we’ve been working on a new Launchpad feature: Personal Package Archives. With PPAs, you can build Ubuntu packages and make them available to other Ubuntu users in your own apt repository. Whether you’re packaging brand new stuff or creating your own versions of existing Ubuntu packages, PPA takes care of the building and hosting.

It works like this:

  1. You create an Ubuntu source package.
  2. You upload your source package to Launchpad.
  3. Launchpad builds your package for X86 and AMD64 architectures.
  4. You invite testers, friends, end-users or whoever else to add your PPA’s address to their sources.list.

Your apt repository is hosted by Launchpad and works just like any other. For example: if you upload a newer version of one of your packages, your users will automatically get the update.

Teams can also have their own PPAs. MythBuntu is one of the teams that have started using their PPA. You can view the overview of their PPA and the archive itself is at:

Beta testing PPA

If you want to start building and distributing Ubuntu packages using your own PPA, the first step is to make sure you’re familiar with packaging for Ubuntu. Other than that, you simply need to join the Launchpad Beta Testers team and then follow our PPA quick-start guide.

Let us know how you get on – post a comment here and join us on the launchpad-users list.

Leave a Reply