Fix ‘add-apt-repository command not found’ Error on Ubuntu and Debian

This quick tutorial shows you how to quickly fix the “add-apt-repository command not found” error on Debian, Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions.

One of the many ways to install software on Ubuntu or Debian is to use PPA (Personal Package Archive).

If you want to add a new PPA repository, you’ll have to use the add-apt-repository command in the following fashion:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:some/ppa

In Debian, elementary OS and sometimes on Ubuntu, you’ll see the error that add-apt-repository command is missing.

sudo: add-apt-repository: command not found

Let’s see how to fix this annoying error.

Fix add-apt-repository: command not found error

The error is simple. The package add-apt-repository is not installed on your system.

But if you try to use sudo apt-get install add-apt-repository, it won’t work.

It’s because add-apt-repository command is under the package software-properties-common and you need to install this package in order to install add-apt-repository.

So, open a terminal and use this command:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

The command output will be something like this:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  software-properties-common
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 9,912 B of archives.
After this operation, 197 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic-updates/main amd64 software-properties-common all 0.96.24.32.5 [9,912 B]
Fetched 9,912 B in 2s (5,685 B/s)                      
Selecting previously unselected package software-properties-common.
(Reading database ... 265950 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../software-properties-common_0.96.24.32.5_all.deb ...
Unpacking software-properties-common (0.96.24.32.5) ...
Processing triggers for man-db (2.8.3-2) ...
Processing triggers for dbus (1.12.2-1ubuntu1) ...
Setting up software-properties-common (0.96.24.32.5) ...

Once you have installed software-properties-common, you can now comfortably use add-apt-repository or apt-add-repository commands to add PPA.

Note: If you see an error saying software-properties-common command not found, you should run sudo apt-get update and then try to install it again.

I hope this quick tip helped you in fixing “add-apt-repository: command not found” error on Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions.

Suggested readHow to Check if Your Computer Uses UEFI or BIOS

If you are still facing issues with PPA, let me know in the comment section. Additional suggestions, questions and a quick word of thanks are always welcome.

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