Installing my favorite tools from the PPAs

In order to benefit of PPA’s, you need a Ubuntu-based Linux distribution.

Most often an Ubuntu-based distribution’s default software manager has very outdated versions of the software I want to use. Also, it would take quite some time to download them from their websites by hand separately.

This is where PPAs come in handy.

PPAs are Personal Package Archives, that basically are usually up-to-date software built from the software’s source code by regular people. Some are official, some are just hobby versions. Anyone can create and keep maintaining a PPA service in Launchpad (where most of the PPAs are found). It’s recommendable to favor the PPAs recommended by the developers of that software.

The software installed via PPA will automatically get updated alongside those regular operating system updates you do once in a while. So, you will have pretty much the very latest versions of the software available to you automatically (unless the PPA stops being maintained).

Other benefit is also that it’s easy to install most of your favorite tools all at once to a freshly installed distro, as long as it’s a PPA compatible one (usually only Ubuntu-based ones support PPA. Some other distros might have their own, like Arch-based distro users can use their AUR or Arch User Repository).

It’s a good idea to use a little bit of caution with these, because probably not every PPA is what they promise to be. So far, though, I haven’t had any problems with using them.

Appimages

In the future there are going be a nice alternative for getting software into Linux operating systems, no matter what distro you’re using. They’re called Appimages. For example Krita uses that already today for distributing their Linux version of the software. Also Etcher .zip file includes an Appimage.

Here’s a small article about the Appimages by David Revoy.

For myself, though, I still like to install the latest Krita through the Krita PPA — but I’m sure I’ll start using Appimages once they become more popular.

Image by David Revoy, licensed as CC-BY

Snaps

In addition to Appimages, also technology called Snap is under development. Elementary OS supports this.

Snap lets you install the latest software no matter what Linux distribution you are using.

You can find and install software that are supported by Snap from UAppexplorer or with command:

# Find Blender or Krita Snap:
snap find blender
# Result: blender-tpaw  2.78-tpaw0
snap find krita
# Result: krita  3.0.1.1-snap16
# Install Blender or Krita Snap:
sudo snap install blender-tpaw
sudo snap install krita
# Launch it:
blender-tpaw
krita
# However blender-tpaw didn't have CUDA available even though I had it enabled in all the other Blenders I had installed or downloaded from Blender's website. Either the Snap Blender is broken or I need to investigate more how this works later.

Flatpaks

Also something called Flatpak is under development. More information here.

Other useful applications

I also started to write a small article about a list of a couple of useful free applications for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Installing some of my favorite tools all at once:

For installing many of my favorite tools I like to use PPAs or for some others I just use what’s available in the distro’s software sources. Install them either individually or all of them at once (not guaranteed to work for you, use caution).

However, I like to install Blender and Krita separately, because I’m very strict that I’m using their very latest versions.

I made simple commands to install these software all at once:

  • GIMP image editor
  • Inkscape vector editor
  • Simple Screen Recorder screen recording software
  • Nomacs image viewer
  • Atom text editor
  • Telegram messaging software
  • Kdenlive video editor
  • Filezilla FTP software
  • GParted partitioning tool
  • VLC video viewer
  • Libreoffice office utility
  • Transmission torrent software
  • Audacity audio editor
  • Mypaint painting software
  • Mypaint-data-extras
  • Gnome-disk-utility partition utility
  • KeePass X password manager
  • Typora markdown editor
  • Easystroke gesture recognition
  • Font Manager
  • Font Viewer
  • Numix Icon theme
  • Xfdashboard — Exposé type of task switcher

Usage:

  • Ctrl+Alt+T (or Super+T, that’s Win-key+T) should open the Terminal
  • Triple-click the command below and copy (Ctrl+C) it to the clipboard
  • Paste (Ctrl+Shift+V) it to the Terminal and hit Enter
# Add all favorite tools' PPAs and automatically answer yes to all questions. Note, the command takes at least 1-3 minutes to finish:
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp && sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:inkscape.dev/stable && sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:maarten-baert/simplescreenrecorder && sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:nomacs/stable && sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:webupd8team/atom && sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:atareao/telegram && sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:kdenlive/kdenlive-stable && sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:achadwick/mypaint-testing && sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys BA300B7755AFCFAE && sudo add-apt-repository -y 'deb https://typora.io linux/' && sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:numix/ppa
# Update package lists to the newest versions of packages and their dependencies:
sudo apt update
# Install all the favorite tools (plus a couple more) and automatically answer yes to all questions. If you have some of these already installed, they will be updated to whatever version is in the PPA. This takes quite a while, they're about 600-800 MB in size in total:
sudo apt install -y gimp inkscape simplescreenrecorder nomacs atom telegram kdenlive filezilla gparted vlc libreoffice transmission audacity mypaint mypaint-data-extras gnome-disk-utility keepassx typora easystroke font-manager gnome-font-viewer numix-icon-theme-circle xfdashboard

Install (or remove) them individually:

Blender ( PPA page )

Note, in order to have CUDA available in Blender's User Preferences in the System panel, use these instructions.

With this command you can install the latest Blender from the PPA:

# Add a Blender PPA, install the nvidia-cuda-toolkit (over 1GB) and Blender:
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:thomas-schiex/blender && sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y nvidia-cuda-toolkit && sudo apt install -y blender
# Remove the Blender PPA and remove Blender:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:thomas-schiex/blender --update && sudo apt-get purge blender && sudo apt-get purge nvidia-cuda-toolkit

Krita ( PPA page )

# Add a Krita PPA and install Krita:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kritalime/ppa && sudo apt update && sudo apt install krita
# Remove the Krita PPA and remove Krita:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:kritalime/ppa --update && sudo apt-get purge krita

If you decide to download the Krita .appimage (ie. into ~/Applications), you can make a .desktop launcher file for it (works at least in Ubuntu-based distros):

# Download Krita Icon to ~/Applications:
sudo mkdir -p ~/Applications && wget http://i.imgur.com/IQHEaPi.png -P ~/Applications && mv ~/Applications/IQHEaPi.png ~/Applications/krita.png
# Make the launcher:
sudo nano ~/.local/share/applications/krita.desktop
# Paste inside the launcher, remember to change the path to your .appimage:
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Krita 3.0 Appimage
Comment=3.0 bundled into a appimage
Terminal=false
Exec=/home/mj/Applications/krita-3.0.1.1-x86_64.appimage
Type=Application
Icon=/home/mj/Applications/krita.png
Name[en_US]=Krita 3.0 Appimage
# Save and close (Ctrl+X, Y, Enter)
# Krita should be now searchable in your system and to be able to be added to favorites or a dock or desktop.

GIMP ( PPA page )

# Add a GIMP PPA and install GIMP:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp && sudo apt update && sudo apt install gimp
# Remove the GIMP PPA and remove GIMP:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp --update && sudo apt-get purge gimp

Inkscape ( PPA page )

# Add a Inkscape PPA and install Inkscape:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:inkscape.dev/stable && sudo apt update && sudo apt install inkscape
# Remove the Inkscape PPA and remove Inkscape:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:inkscape.dev/stable --update && sudo apt-get purge inkscape

SimpleScreenRecorder ( PPA page )

# Add a SimpleScreenRecorder PPA and install SimpleScreenRecorder:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:maarten-baert/simplescreenrecorder && sudo apt update && sudo apt install simplescreenrecorder
# Remove the SimpleScreenRecorder PPA and remove SimpleScreenRecorder:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:maarten-baert/simplescreenrecorder --update && sudo apt-get purge simplescreenrecorder

Nomacs ( PPA page )

# Add a Nomacs PPA and install Nomacs:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nomacs/stable && sudo apt update && sudo apt install nomacs
# Remove the Nomacs PPA and remove Nomacs:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nomacs/stable --update && sudo apt-get purge nomacs

Atom ( PPA page )

# Add a Atom PPA and install Atom:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/atom && sudo apt update && sudo apt install atom
# Remove the Atom PPA and remove Atom:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/atom --update && sudo apt-get purge atom

Telegram ( PPA page )

# Add a Telegram PPA and install Telegram:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/telegram && sudo apt update && sudo apt install telegram
# Remove the Telegram PPA and remove Telegram:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/telegram --update && sudo apt-get purge telegram

Launch Telegram from your distro’s launch menu (like Xubuntu’s Whisker menu) or by pressing Alt+F2 and typing: /opt/telegram/Telegram and hitting Enter

Kdenlive ( PPA page )

# Add a Kdenlive PPA and install Kdenlive:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kdenlive/kdenlive-stable && sudo apt update && sudo apt install kdenlive
# Remove the Kdenlive PPA and remove Kdenlive:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:kdenlive/kdenlive-stable --update && sudo apt-get purge kdenlive

MyPaint ( PPA page )

# Add a Kdenlive PPA and install Kdenlive:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:achadwick/mypaint-testing && sudo apt update && sudo apt install mypaint mypaint-data-extras
# Remove the Kdenlive PPA and remove Kdenlive:
sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:achadwick/mypaint-testing --update && sudo apt-get purge mypaint mypaint-data-extras

Other installs, non-PPA

Google Chrome

Dropbox

DJV View (EXR, image sequence viewer)

Natron (Nuke alternative)

Skype (Messaging)

# Easy way to install Skype (source):
sudo -i
sed -i "/^# deb .*partner/ s/^# //" /etc/apt/sources.list && apt-get update
exit
sudo apt install skype