What are Ubuntu Repositories? allow or disable them?


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This detailed article tells you about numerous repositories like universe, multiverse in Ubuntu and tips on how to allow or disable them.

So, you are attempting to observe a tutorial from the net and putting in a software program utilizing apt-get command and it throws you an error:

E: Unable to find bundle xyz

You’re shocked as a result of others the bundle ought to be accessible. You search on the web and are available throughout an answer that you must allow universe or multiverse repository to put in that bundle.

You’ll be able to allow universe and multiverse repositories in Ubuntu utilizing the instructions under:

sudo add-apt-repository universe multiverse
sudo apt replace

You put in the universe and multiverse repository however are you aware what are these repositories? How do they play a job in putting in packages? Why there are a number of repositories?

I’ll clarify all these questions intimately right here.

The idea of repositories in Ubuntu

Okay, so that you already know that to put in software program in Ubuntu, you should utilize the apt command. This is similar APT bundle supervisor that Ubuntu Software program Heart makes use of beneath. So all of the software program (besides Snap packages) that you just see within the Software program Heart are principally from APT.

Have you ever ever puzzled the place does the apt program set up the applications from? How does it know which packages can be found and which aren’t?

Apt principally works on the repository. A repository is nothing however a server that incorporates a set of software program. Ubuntu gives a set of repositories so that you just gained’t have to look on the web for the set up file of assorted software program of your want. This centralized approach of offering software program is likely one of the essential robust factors of utilizing Linux.

The APT bundle supervisor will get the repository info from the /and so on/apt/sources.record file and information listed in /and so on/apt/sources.record.d listing. Repository info is often within the following format:

deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ bionic essential

In reality, you may go to the above server deal with and see how the repository is structured.

While you replace Ubuntu utilizing the apt replace command, the apt bundle supervisor will get the details about the accessible packages (and their model data) from the repositories and shops them in native cache. You’ll be able to see this in /var/lib/apt/lists listing.

Maintaining this info regionally hurries up the search course of since you don’t need to undergo the community and search the database of obtainable packages simply to examine if a sure bundle is accessible or not.

Now you understand how repositories play an necessary position, let’s see why there are a number of repositories offered by Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Repositories: Fundamental, Universe, Multiverse, Restricted and Companion

The concept of repositories in UbuntuThe concept of repositories in Ubuntu

Software program in Ubuntu repository are divided into 5 classes: essential, universe, multiverse, restricted and accomplice.

Why Ubuntu does that? Why not put all of the software program into one single repository? To reply this query, let’s see what are these repositories:


While you set up Ubuntu, that is the repository enabled by default. The primary repository consists of solely FOSS (free and open supply software program) that may be distributed freely with none restrictions.

Software program on this repository are totally supported by the Ubuntu builders. That is what Ubuntu will present with safety updates till your system reaches finish of life.


This repository additionally consists free and open supply software program however Ubuntu doesn’t assure of normal safety updates to software program on this class.

Software program on this class are packaged and maintained by the group. The Universe repository has an unlimited quantity of open supply software program and thus it allows you to have entry to an enormous variety of software program through apt bundle supervisor.


Multiverse incorporates the software program that aren’t FOSS. As a result of licensing and authorized points, Ubuntu can’t allow this repository by default and can’t present repair and updates.

It’s as much as you to determine if you wish to use Multiverse repository and examine when you have the appropriate to make use of the software program.


Ubuntu tries to offer solely free and open supply software program however that’s not all the time doable specifically with regards to supporting hardware.

The restricted repositories consists of proprietary drivers.


This repository encompass proprietary software program packaged by Ubuntu for his or her companions. Earlier, Ubuntu used to offer Skype trough this repository.

Third get together repositories and PPA (Not offered by Ubuntu)

The above 5 repositories are offered by Ubuntu. It’s also possible to add third get together repositories (it’s as much as you if you wish to do it) to entry extra software program or to entry newer model of a software program (as Ubuntu would possibly present previous model of the identical software program).

For instance, for those who add the repository offered by VirtualBox, you will get the newest model of VurtualBox. It would add a brand new entry in your sources.record.

It’s also possible to set up further software utilizing PPA (Private Package deal Archive). I’ve written about what’s PPA and the way it works intimately so please learn that article.

Attempt NOT including something apart from Ubuntu’s repositories in your sources.record file. You must hold this file in pristine situation as a result of for those who mess it up, you gained’t have the ability to replace your system or (at occasions) even set up new packages.

Add universe, multiverse and different repositories

As I had talked about earlier, solely the Fundamental repository is enabled by default once you set up Ubuntu. To entry extra software program, you may add the extra repositories.

Let me present you tips on how to do it in command line first after which I’ll present you the GUI methods as nicely.

To allow Universe repository, use:

sudo add-apt-repository universe

To allow Restricted repository, use:

sudo add-apt-repository restricted

To allow Multiverse repository, use this command:

sudo add-apt-repository multiverse

You could use sudo apt replace command after including the repository so that you just system creates the native cache with bundle info.

If you wish to take away a repository, merely add -r like sudo add-apt-repository -r universe.

Graphically, go to Software program & Updates and you may allow the repositories right here:

Add repositories in UbuntuAdd repositories in UbuntuIncluding Universe, Restricted and Multiverse repositories

You’ll discover the choice to allow accomplice repository within the Different Software program tab.

Add partner repository in UbuntuAdd partner repository in UbuntuIncluding Companion repository

To disable a repository, merely uncheck the field.

Bonus Tip: know which repository a bundle belongs to?

Ubuntu has a devoted web site that gives you with details about all of the packages accessible within the Ubuntu archive. Go to Ubuntu Packages web site.

You’ll be able to seek for a bundle title within the search discipline. You’ll be able to choose in case you are in search of a specific Ubuntu launch or a specific repository. I favor utilizing ‘any’ possibility in each fields.

Search packages in UbuntuSearch packages in Ubuntu

It would present you all of the matching packages, Ubuntu releases and the repository info.

Searching packages in UbuntuSearching packages in Ubuntu

As you may see above the bundle tor is accessible within the Universe repository for numerous Ubuntu releases.


I hope this text helped you in understanding the idea of repositories in Ubuntu.

When you’ve got any questions or recommendations, please be happy to go away a remark under. In case you preferred the article, please share it on social media websites like Reddit and Hacker Information.

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