Useful Copy/Paste Repos List

ubuntu karmic koala

Repositories store Ubuntu software packages & libraries online. Here's a guide to them, to using access keys, and my own repository list for you to copy & paste.

When you need some package – maybe a library, an application, whatever – just type in the name, it downloads and installs, together with whatever dependent files are required. Hey, it'll even warn you if there's a conflict with other software.

.. so this is a great, safe system.

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There are three ways to add extra repositories:-

  • using System > Administration > Synaptic > Settings > Repositories
  • by entering command line directives to the repositories file
  • by editing directly that file, /etc/apt/sources.list

We'll do the latter. In each case, you need a key to use the repo, so we'll get that too.

Ubuntu's Official Repository Guides

Worth a read:-

About My Repository List

Essentially, this list opens up new package choices from Ubuntu Karmic's universe, multiverse, backport and Canonical’s partner sources, as well as adding repositories from some of the most useful vendors. Some you may not want to bother with. I've included a line about what some of these things are for, and linked to where you can find out more.

Fact is, some repos are safer than others. Any doubt, Google it. Nonetheless, my choices are are widely recognized as being safe. For sure I've had no problems and wouldn't recommend what I don't use. Then again, use them at your own risk.

For noobs out there, let me be specific, you are not downloading anything here, except the key to each repository you want to query and, when you update your records at the end of this exercise, the details of what packages are available from those repos (from which, if you like, you can download applications thereafter.)

How to Import Repository Keys

Before you can see what's available in a repo, you have to unlock the resource. So, 10 repos? .. that's 10 keys. Let's get them. Look at the layout of my sources.list file. A typical entry reads:-

Note the line that begins # sudo apt-key adv. There is your repository-specific key-request command. So, minus the commenting-out #, for each repo you want, paste just that line into your Terminal, like this, hit return and it'll download, unlocking the repo:-

.. You can paste a bunch of them in one go, too, pasting something like this:-

For each, you'll receive back a message saying the key has been imported.

Editing the /etc/apt/sources.list File

Open and edit your repository file:-

.. delete its content, or copy that to somewhere else for now if you prefer, (then bin it in a moment anyway.)

Now paste your edited version of my list or, if you like, just copy the lot:-

Save the file.

Updating the Repository Records


There will be a bunch of errors because you've not secured the keys for these places.

If you are pushed for time and just want my list in its totality (or even if you don't but don't mind having the odd irrelevant key hanging about in your records), paste this into the terminal as one batch, to save some fiddling about:-

Now you've unlocked the resource, don't forget to update:-

Still Getting Errors?

Maybe you're getting an error or three, reading something like:-

The reason you're getting that, is because you haven't imported the key, for whatever reason, but basically because you have been a thoroughly disorganized chap 😉 Or is that me?

Of the error message: that last line – ‘You may want to run' – ignore it.

Of the first line: there's a hexidecimal number, in this case ‘4FEC45DD06899068'.

Remember our key-request command?:-

OK, swap that number on the end for the one in the error message, for each of the error messages, inputting them as before in the Terminal or, for this error:-

Then have another go:-

Next, in Part 9 – Safe-Upgrade 9.10 System & Packages, we'll see the true power of this repository file when we upgrade our core system and packages, before we start having fun adding our favorite wares for work and play.


About the Author:

Olly Connelly (yeah, that's me) blogs at, polices WordPress security at and helps noobs build web servers at, so if you've got sleeping problems you know where to come.


  1. wwinfrey  March 3, 2010

    The author may want to put this in comments above the drizzle repo section:

    sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver 06899068

  2. the_guv  February 3, 2010

    @bobbiescap .. splendid .. no, dunno a specific backup but I keep a list, like the one on this page, and just run the thing in the terminal when I install a new sys. generally there’s an error or two but using the above i just add those keys afterwards, again doing the above.

    yes, come back .. I’ll be writing up the Lucid Lynx guide in April!

  3. bobbiescap  February 2, 2010

    Thanks dude, you saved me a lot of shagging around a I needed to get my MSI Wind going quickly after I upgraded the hard disc and decided to reload instead of cloning as I had too much crap loaded before. I was able to copy the sources.list file over but didn’t know how to transfer the keys and got them from you. Do you know of a way to back up and restore repository keys?

    Anyway, thanks once again for your hard work that has made my job a lot easier. BTW the get-deb repository has a lot of the apps that you are listing individual repos for so you can maybe simplify it a bit via that and keep everybody happy. I am coming back to check out your site some more when I have more time.
    Kind regards
    the policeman’s helmet

  4. the_guv  November 2, 2009

    @Michael .. big cheers for the tip-off, changed that now.
    I’ll have a play with this list to reflect what’s now available in defaults too .. not that it hurts to double up every now and then .. but sure, I wanna have this right, course.

  5. Michael  November 2, 2009


    The bit on adding the Opera repository is wrong.
    the apt line should read:

    deb stable non-free

    Apart from that, isn’t it a bit of an overkill to have separate repositories for everything? After all, most of these things are included in the default repos.

    Anyway, thanks for all the good work!

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