Ubuntu Quickie: Enable Dapper Repositories

While messing around on my linux box running Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy Badger, I had the idea to add some repositories to allow the computer access to various packages and upgrades from the Dapper Drake beta. Repositories, in this case, are online reserves of thousands of linux applications, files and packages. Just about anything your linux computer needs to upgrade or stay secure can be found on repositories. If you are not checking enough repositories, especially frequently updated ones, your computer could be using older, possibly unstable versions of software.

By adding Dapper Drake repositories, we will be given access to newer software for the next version of Ubuntu (6.0+). Dapper Drake is currently a beta but in my testing with it, it's rock solid and the benefits of upgrading more than outweigh the drawbacks. Note: Before proceeding make sure you are running the latest software for Breezy Badger by excuting the following lines in the terminal: sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get dist-upgrade.

First off, backup your repository sources list by copying it to a different name. If anything goes wrong, you can revert to it by copying the old file to sources.list.

sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.bak

Edit the original repository sources file with the nano text editor and add the lines below. The w flag for nano enables linewrap, making it much easier to work with the terminal-based editor. Alternatively you can substitute nano -w with gedit if you are more comfortable working with a GUI-enabled text editor.

sudo nano -w /etc/apt/sources.list

The following lines go into the sources.list file which you have begun to edit from the line above. Save sources.list when you're done. Essentially what we're doing is taking the current sources.list and changing every occurrence of badger with dapper. Watch out for line wraps, there are only 15 lines below.

deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper main restricted deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper main restricted deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-updates main restricted deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-updates main restricted deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper universe deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper universe deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-backports main restricted universe multiverse deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-backports main restricted universe multiverse deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-security main restricted deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-security main restricted deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-security universe deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-security universe deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper multiverse deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper multiverse deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-backports main restricted universe multiverse

Now that you have added all of the Dapper Drake repositories, it is time to use them. Execute the lines below in the terminal to start downloading and installing major software updates. This can take about an hour and it is a good idea to back up those vital documents before continuing. Although, having done this on two separate computers, I have not noticed any problems. The best part is the update to Gnome that adds a very nice theme.

sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

If you have any problems with repositories, the repositories section of Ubuntuforums.org is a great resource.