Wonderful site IT-TALK just recently published a couple of interesting articles: “Installing Ubuntu Tweak on Ubuntu 9.10 and Ubuntu 10.04″And”Installing Firefox 3.6 on Ubuntu 9.10″. These notes are very tiny, but they gave me one interesting idea – to tell you how to install the latest software versions in Ubuntu, without waiting for them to appear in the official repositories.
In general, I’m unlikely to tell something radically new, because the process comes down to several steps that we have already done several times:
find the source of applications;
add an application source;
update the list of applications;
install / update the required applications.
The first and foremost source of application sources (sorry for the tautology) is launchpad.net… This site has an incredible number of projects, and, importantly, a convenient search. It’s safe to say that 99% of software goes through a “lunchpad” before it gets into the official repositories.
Another place to look for app sources is the official website of the app you are interested in. Firstly, it always indicates the original working source, and not “forks”, of which there may be many. Secondly, sometimes on the same “lunchpad” it is difficult to find the desired project (especially for new software), because it may be in someone’s personal repository, or have a different name.
One way or another, we always get the URL to the repository or repositories. In favor of launchpad.net, it can also be noted that it supports “short links” to the repository, for example: “ppa: gwibber-team / ppa” is the repository for the stable branch of the Gwibber program (a popular twitter client).
Step two is adding an application source. You can often find in articles that you need to execute some tricky command, then another one to add a key, and so on … Forget it if you have a GUI (for example, Gnome), but the vast majority of users have it who need the latest software versions. So, go: “System” – “Administration” – “Sources of applications”, – we log in, open the tab “Other software” – here it is, a list of our additional sources of applications. This list can vary greatly depending on the lifespan of the operating system and many other parameters. In particular, when upgrading, Ubuntu usually disables old sources that do not match the new version.
Already noticed the Add button? This is exactly what we need! By clicking on it, we get a window with a single input field: “Line APT”. This is where we need to paste our URL to the application source. If you have a “short link”, just insert it like this: “ppa: gwibber-team / ppa” – the system will figure it out and insert the correct path. If the link is not “short”, then it should start with “deb”, and at the end contain the code name of your distribution kit and an indication of what exactly we will receive from this repository, at the moment, usually it is: “karmic main”. Do not worry too much about this, because most software manufacturers immediately give a full link, which you just need to copy and paste.
After making changes, click “Close” in the window with application sources. The system will offer to update the list of applications. The choice is yours: you can agree and the list will be updated immediately, or you can update the list yourself in the next step. I usually update myself. As you may have guessed, to remove the source of applications, you just need to uncheck the box in front of it, or delete it completely.
Step three is to update the list of applications. In fact, this happens automatically, depending on your update settings. To update now, we just go to: “System” – “Administration” – “Update Manager” – and click the “Check” button (you need to log in).
After that we see a list of updated programs. If you need to update the program, then you are already there, you just need to click “Install updates”. If you want to install new software, then you do it as usual, and in whatever way is more convenient for you: from the console via apt-get or aptitude, from Synaptic, or from any other application manager – this is exclusively your choice!
Let’s try to install the Pino Twitter client. First, we need to find where to download it. To do this, use your favorite search engine, and findPino official website… In the Downloads section, we see a section for Ubuntu, and (hurray, hurray!) – “short” links to the repositories. In this case, there are two of them, and it is not entirely clear whether we need both of them, or one marked as “// only for karmic” is enough. Let’s play it safe and add both – it won’t be bad, Ubuntu will always choose the newest and most suitable version.
So, we add two entries to the “Application Sources”: “ppa: vala-team / ppa” and “ppa: troorl / pino”. Note that the site contains full commands for adding repositories, but we are following the GUI path, so we only need “short links”. Added, closed “Sources”, now we update the list of applications. Alternatively, you can write to the console: “sudo apt-get update”. Now you need to directly install Pino itself: “sudo apt-get install pino”. Done!
It turned out to be a large note, but, I hope, detailed, and now it is clear how to install new and update existing programs.