How to Add Ubuntu PPA Repository to Debian 7 Wheezy

By | August 15, 2020

Launchpad ppa

On ubuntu, lots of software can be installed from the launchpad ppa repository.

The repository url has to be added to the apt sources list on ubuntu and then the software can be installed from the package manager like synaptic.

However for Debian there is no such ppa repository.

But since ubuntu is based on Debian and uses the same apt based package management system, in many cases its possible to use the ubuntu ppa repositories in debian directly.

Adding PPA to Debian 7

On debian 7 the add-apt-repository command is available and can be used to add any launchpad ppa repository in a single command.

# add-apt-repository 'deb quantal main'

The section titled 'Technical details about this PPA' will contain the deb urls for the given ppa repository.
The ppa shown above can be found at

For Older debian versions

On older versions of debian, if the add-apt-repository command is not available, the the repository can be added by manually editing the /etc/apt/sources.list file and adding the key with apt-key.

Step 1 - Import Key

First import the key using the apt-key command

# sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 685D1580

The key can be found on the launchpad website under the section titled 'Technical details about this PPA'.

Signing key:
1024R/685D1580 (What is this?)


Check the signing key portion after the forward slash. That is the key to use in the apt-key command.

Step 2 - Add repository to sources.list

Next, add the deb line to /etc/apt/sources.list at the end

# echo 'deb quantal main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

Update cache

After you have added the repositories, now update the apt cache and get the new software packages to show up in Synaptic package manager.

# apt-get update

Now you can install the new software packages either from synaptic or using the apt-get command.

If you have any feedback or questions, let us know in the comments below.

About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].


How to Add Ubuntu PPA Repository to Debian 7 Wheezy
    1. Just someone passing by

      Maybe it’s the quotes? I just successfully added a repository and if I try to add it without the quotes it also gives an error: “Error: need a repository as argument”

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