Ubuntu and its related distros like Elementary, Mint, and Pop!_OS have access to an enormous software library. There are times when a particular program may not be available in an official repository or is lagging behind in updates. Ubuntu developed Personal Package Archives (PPA) as a way to easily create small personal repositories to deliver software that either doesn’t qualify for the official repos or that the developer may not wish to release there. While PPAs have waned in popularity as Flatpak and Snap have received more attention, there are still many great PPAs available.
As always, be cautious and use common sense when installing software from non official sources.
The PPAs listed below are intended to give the latest stable version. Newer but unstable software may be available in beta channels. The commands below need only to be copy and pasted in the command line.
The Linux Mint built this desktop environment in response to Unity and the Gnome 3 mess. It offers a traditional desktop with an application launcher menu in the bottom left along with a task manager bar. This PPA will give Ubuntu users the latest Cinnamon software just like Mint users enjoy.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:embrosyn/cinnamon sudo apt update sudo apt install -y cinnamon
A cool looking system monitor, Conky is endlessly customizable. Its the choice of Linux ricers everywhere.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:teejee2008/ppa sudo apt update sudo apt install -y conky-manager
Darktable is an open source application for photography management and RAW developer. If you do photography, you need Darktable. This is not an official PPA from Darktable. Darktable officially uses openSUSE’s Open Build Service.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/darktable sudo apt update sudo apt install -y darktable
Firefox and Thunderbird
Mozilla has one PPA that includes both the web browser Firefox and the email client Thunderbird.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa sudo apt update sudo apt install -y firefox sudo apt install -y thunderbird
Handbrake converts audio and video files into numerous different formats.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:stebbins/handbrake-releases sudo apt update sudo apt install -y handbrake
Krita is a free and open source painting application.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kritalime/ppa sudo apt update sudo apt install -y krita
Linux has its own media center: Kodi.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa sudo apt update sudo apt install -y kodi
LibreOffice is the de facto office suite for Linux. It rivals Microsoft Office in terms of features and compatibility.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa sudo apt update sudo apt install -y libreoffice
Lutris is a FOSS gaming platform.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lutris-team/lutris sudo apt update sudo apt install -y lutris
Nvidia graphics are the scourge of Linux. The open source drivers manage but the proprietary drivers will offer better performance.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa sudo apt update
Stacer is a system monitor and cleaner. I’m not sure how much I trust system cleaners but Stacer does offer pretty pie charts with how much RAM I’m currently eating up.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oguzhaninan/stacer -y sudo apt update sudo apt install -y stacer
If there is a de facto office suite for Linux, then there’s a de facto video player too. VLC is immensely popular for the ability to play nearly anything.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily sudo apt update sudo apt install -y vlc