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 a 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 the 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 the add-apt-repository command is part of 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’s 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’ve installed software-properties-common, you should update the system using this command:

sudo apt-get update

You can now comfortably use add-apt-repository or apt-add-repository commands to add PPAs.

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 fix the “add-apt-repository: command not found” error on Ubuntu and other Debian-based Linux distributions.

If you’re still facing issues with PPAs, let me know in the comments section. Additional suggestions, questions or a quick word of thanks are always welcome.

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