PPAs Turning Ubuntu into Arch?

A few years ago I started hearing about ppas everywhere.  More and more, I see developers telling people that if they want the latest of program X, they should load the developer’s ppa.  A ppa is a repository of software that is neither maintained by Canonical nor the Ubuntu community.  In some cases the software available via ppa is also available in the official repositories, just at a much slower pace since distros usually only provide major software version upgrades when they do a full system upgrade.  In between they tend to just provide security updates and bug fixes.  As usage of ppas grows, the user starts to have a system that is more like a rolling release than a snapshot of Debian’s testing branch.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, after all, a user’s system should do whatever the user wants it to do.  I just wonder if the ever increasing usage of ppas will lead the Ubuntu community to switch to a rolling release style distro.  Arch Linux users do enjoy having such a system, but they do admit that it can potentially lead to some instability if you upgrade right away when a new update comes through.

Author: Eric Mesa

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