Need More, Or Updated, Software? Try These 7 Ubuntu PPAs

Danny Stieben 23-06-2014

You’ve installed a fresh copy of your favorite Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, either directly on your hard drive or in a virtual machine. The default repositories are pretty good, but since we’re able to add PPAs and other repositories to our installations, we can make our software selection better.


Save yourself the time to check around the Internet for the best PPAs to add to your Linux installation – we’ve done the research for you and compiled it all into a simple list to check out!

Oibaf and Xorg-Edgers

Looking for the latest open graphics drivers? Look no further.

Oibaf is a PPA that includes the very latest graphics drivers Open Source AMD Graphics Are Now Awesome, Here's How To Get Them The AMD proprietary driver on Linux is fast but buggy, and the open source driver has now become awesome Read More , and is updated virtually every day. This PPA is only helpful if you’re using the open source drivers rather than the proprietary nVidia or AMD drivers – proprietary drivers are not included. However, there are constant updates to the major open source drivers that can add support or improve performance, so this is the best way to try them out. You can add it with the command sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers && sudo apt-get update.

Similarly, you can also add the PPA if you’re concerned about your graphics performance. This PPA will give you the absolute latest version of the X display server, which is a part of the entire graphics stack. If you want better graphics performance, it’s important to keep the entire stack updated. You shouldn’t use this PPA if you use the proprietary graphics drivers, as they sometimes lag with support for newer kernel and versions. You can add it with the command sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa && sudo apt-get update.

Additionally, if you plan on using both of these PPAs, make sure that you’re also using the latest kernel that’s available, which you’ll have to download and install yourself.


While my personal experience with these two PPAs has been positive (even when using them both at the same time), do note that they contain bleeding edge software that isn’t guaranteed to be stable. We’re not liable if your system crashes due to these PPAs (or any of them, for that matter).

GetDeb and PlayDeb

GetDeb and PlayDeb are two repositories that add some additional software and games (or newer versions of existing ones) to your package manager. While they include a lot of software that you can easily get from their respective websites, it still makes things a lot easier: they’re all in a central location, and even come prepackaged for easy installation.

To add both repositories, you’ll need to visit this page [No Longer Available] for GetDeb and this page [Broken Link Removed] for PlayDeb. Download and install the configuration package on both. Then, just run the command sudo apt-get update to make sure that your system is aware of the new packages from both repositories.

Webupd8 Java

The Ubuntu repositories no longer carry Oracle’s Java. Instead of having to get Java and installing it manually (which is much more of a pain that it should have to be), you can add the WebUpd8 Java PPA. This handy PPA includes installers for Java 6, 7, and 8.


All you need to do is run sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java && sudo apt-get update in a terminal which adds the PPA and updates your package lists, and then run sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer, replacing 8 with 7 or 6 if desired.


LibreOffice 4.2
Within a release cycle, Ubuntu tends to resist upgrading LibreOffice to the next major version (say from 4.1 to 4.2). This prevents you from getting new features and improved interoperability LibreOffice 4.2 Brings Major Changes To The Popular Microsoft Office Alternative LibreOffice (Version 4.2) offers better performance and better interoperability with MS Windows, and further lays claim to its title of the best free office suite for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Read More with Microsoft Office (as it’s the point releases such as 4.2.x that provide stability). This can be easily fixed with the official LibreOffice PPA for Ubuntu, which includes the latest stable version of the LibreOffice suite. You can add it by running the command sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa && sudo apt-get update in a terminal.


Pipelight is a plugin framework that can be used to get Silverlight to work on Linux 5 Ways to Watch Netflix on Linux without Silverlight Netflix depends on Silverlight; Silverlight doesn't play well with Linux. But Linux users have an easy-to-use workaround. Read More . You need this to access Netflix. We’ve talked about Pipelight before, and it works pretty well – so much so that I recommend it as a PPA to add. To add this PPA, run the command sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pipelight/stable && sudo apt-get update in a terminal.


These five PPAs provide some very useful software that virtually everyone can benefit from. And these PPAs make it very convenient – once it’s set up and the software you want is installed, it’ll remain updated in the same way as all of your other software.


I’m sure there are plenty of other PPAs that people will find useful. Which ones would you recommend? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. saptak
    March 1, 2016 at 11:31 am

    No it is not like that. Mint is for babies. Ubuntu is for grown ups.
    Ubuntu has lot more to do it which is not done in mint. In mint they make the thing a lot easier for newbies.

    • bango
      May 21, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Lol, Ubuntu is a babby OS too.

  2. Anonymous
    September 10, 2015 at 7:37 am

    Thanks for the helpful information. How to find if my Ubuntu installation is using proprietary graphics driver or the free source driver?

  3. Davidcianorris
    March 8, 2015 at 2:34 am

    Also, is it an easy way (ppa like) to install the latest stable linux kernel? i don't want to compile anything manually.

  4. Davidcianorris
    March 8, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Should i install Edgers and Oibaf's at the same time or they will interfer?

  5. Wellington Torrejais da Silva
    February 16, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Very Thanks. Most Useful.

  6. Ronin Dusette
    December 21, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Pipeline is no longer needed. Chrome 37 and up with a user-agent switcher works fine.

  7. DaVince
    July 24, 2014 at 11:03 am

    xorg-edgers seems to work just fine with proprietary NVIDIA drivers, actually. And that's what I do, because that way I have both recent drivers for both my Intel and NVIDIA graphics on this Optimus notebook.

  8. kayla
    July 5, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Direct sales are the best way to earn. What's your read on Modulates? Can you earn with them?

  9. garza
    July 3, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Also heard that Mint wasn’t going to be based on Ubuntu anymore, or maybe it was that they were not going to follow the Ubuntu release cycles? Hmmm….

    ------ Mint Now following LTS cycles.... now you'll get support for five years instead of stuff dropping out every year to reload the whole thing over again and again.....

  10. Timothy
    June 28, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Thank you for the response, Dennis! That's good news, and a great analogy.

    I was wondering since Mint maintains their own repo that something might not quite work!

    Also heard that Mint wasn't going to be based on Ubuntu anymore, or maybe it was that they were not going to follow the Ubuntu release cycles? Hmmm....

  11. Timothy
    June 27, 2014 at 1:04 am

    I recently switched from WinXP to Mint. I thought Mint was based on Ubuntu. Could I use these PPA's with Mint without screwing anything up?

    • Dennis
      June 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Yes you can. Mint is an off shoot of Ubuntu. Think of Mint like this, Ubuntu is "Ford Mustang" and Mint would be"Ford Mustang GT".

  12. Robert R
    June 25, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    You seem to have forgotten about the winehq ppa.

    If you want the latest release of Wine, this one is a must.

  13. Joe
    June 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks. I added the Java and LibreOffice PPAs.

  14. Leo
    June 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Plaese tell me first: what is an PPA.

    • Graham
      June 24, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      Yes - what he said. Help for the newbys

    • Robert R
      June 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Personal Package Archive — Basically a repository with additional packages for Linux systems.

  15. Richard B
    June 24, 2014 at 3:05 am

    Thanks for these, it really helps out!

  16. Ed
    June 23, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    I was under the impression the PPA was also for installing the latest (perhaps beta) proprietary graphics drivers such as proprietary AMD ATI drivers. Can you write the terminal command for installing x server from this ppa without installing the proprietary drivers? Thanks.

    Also, for OIBAF, don't forget your dist-upgrade:

    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    Thanks for the article!