Installing applications in Ubuntu, in most cases, is as easy as going to the Ubuntu Software Center, search for the application and press the install button. However, there are times when the applications you are looking for is not available in the Ubuntu repository, or that the software version in the repository is outdated. This is when a deb file or a Personal Package Archive (PPA) comes in handy.
The advantages of using a PPA is that you can add new application package to your existing repository and install it the way you normally do (by terminal or Ubuntu Software Center). Additionally, when there is new update in the application, you will be automatically upgraded.
With all that said, the only problem with PPA is that not all applications come with a PPA. And for those that have one, it can be difficult to find. For new users, adding the PPA involves the command line, which many people will shun as much as possible. Y PPA Manager aims to make the above process much easier.
Y PPA Manager is a simple tool that allows you to search for PPAs and install them without hitting the terminal. It also allows you to manage (add/remove/purge) your existing PPAs with a few clicks.
Open a terminal (hopefully this will be the last time you install PPA via the terminal) and type:
Once installed, go to “Applications -> System Tools -> Y PPA Manager“.
There are few options for you to manage your PPAs
If you know the PPA, you can add it to your repository using the “Add PPA” option.
After Y PPA Manager has added the PPA, it will also run a update on your system to retrieve the package files. When it is done (it will notify you via the NotifyOSD), you can go to Ubuntu Software Center to install the application.
When you select the “Remove a PPA” option, it will show you all the existing PPAs you have installed in your system. You can then select the one you want to remove.
Search for PPA
The best part about the Y PAA Manager is that you can search for PPAs right within the app. Double click the “Search All LaunchPad PPAs” option and perform your search. If there are matching results, it will display in a new window and you can then select the PPA and install it in your system.
Removing a PPA only prevents the application from being updated. Your installed application will still be the same. On the other hand, purging a PPA will downgrade the packages to the version in the official Ubuntu repositories and disables that PPA. In Y PPA Manager, you can also purge a PPA with the “Purge a PPA” option. Similarly it will display the list of installed PPA and you just select the one you want to purge.
Most of the functionality in Y PPA Manager are just wrapper for the commonly used commands. Seasoned users might prefer the command line more than using this application, but I am sure that new (or novice) users will appreciate the simplicity and usefulness of this app, and also save you from the terror of the terminal.
One thing that I hope to see is the ability to install applications right after I have added a PPA. People don’t add PPA for fun. They will add PPA so that they can install certain applications not found in the repository. If Y PPA Manager can show the respective applications after adding the PPA and provide an option for the user to install the app, it will be perfect.
What do you think?