Software management on Ubuntu 12.10

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Integrating PPAs

With about 6,000 active PPAs on Launchpad, running into brand new software versions is likely. Among them are exotic programs and (unstable) developer versions of system components such as the kernel or NetworkManager. Before compiling software from the sources, first use a PPA search [5] to see whether a PPA exists for it.

The fastest way to integrate PPAs into the package manager is through the command interface because it saves you the key search. Press Ctrl+Alt+T to open the terminal and enter what usually amounts to three command lines, something like the following:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lookit/daily
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install lookit

These commands mount the PPA for the Lookit screenshot solution. For other software, simply replace the parts after ppa: and sudo apt-get install. Get the text for the part after ppa: from the website (Figure 7). For the repository to appear in Software Center might take a while.

Figure 7: In this PPA, you'll find the current packages for Quantal Quetzal to install the Lookit screenshot tool.

Removing Software

To remove software, open Software Center again, search for the name of the software, and click Remove. The configuration data is thereby unaffected. The advantage is that you don't need to reconfigure the software if you decide you need it again later. If these remnants (such as you might find in the /etc or /var directories) were to disappear, use the command line to remove the package.

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