How to Import Deb-Multimedia PPA on Debian 13, 12, 11 or 10

In the vast ecosystem of Debian, the repository stands as a pivotal resource for multimedia enthusiasts. This guide will demonstrate how to import the deb-multimedia PPA on Debian Sid, Debian 13 Trixie, Debian 12 Bookworm, Debian 11 Bullseye, or Debian 10 Buster.

Key Highlights of Deb-Multimedia:

  • Repository Evolution: underwent a domain name change in 2012 due to a request from Debian to refrain from using the term “debian” in its domain name. This change was pivotal in its journey, emphasizing its distinct identity while still serving the Debian community.
  • Package Features: The repository is known for offering packages with enhanced features. For instance, their version of the mplayer is built with more functionalities than the official package.
  • Team Behind the Repository: The deb-multimedia repository is managed by a dedicated team. Christian Marillat, the founder, is supported by Thibaut Varene, who assists with specific architectures.
  • Repository Updates: The repository is frequently updated to support the latest Debian releases. For instance, as of June 2023, the repository was updated to support Bookworm.
  • Feedback Mechanism: Users are encouraged to report any broken dependencies or bugs directly to the repository maintainers, ensuring that issues are addressed promptly and efficiently.

To summarize, the repository is an invaluable resource for Debian users looking for an upstream package resource that covers many applications particularly free and opensource packages along with those especially those keen on multimedia functionalities. Its commitment to offering enhanced features, regular updates, and a user-friendly approach makes it a preferred choice for many. As you delve deeper into this guide, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of how to seamlessly integrate this repository into your Debian system, unlocking a plethora of multimedia capabilities.

Section 1: Import Deb-MultiMedia PPA

Step 1: Update Debian Linux

Before diving into the process, it’s crucial to ensure your Debian system is up-to-date. This ensures compatibility and smooth integration of new packages:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Step 2: Import the DEB-Multimedia Apt Repository

The DEB-Multimedia repository is a dedicated third-party source designed specifically for Debian Linux distributions. To ensure the security and integrity of the packages you’ll be installing, it’s vital to import the GPG (GNU Privacy Guard) key:

sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/deb-multimedia.gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 5C808C2B65558117

Upon successful execution, you should see a message indicating the importation of the key, such as:

gpg: keybox '/usr/share/keyrings/deb-multimedia.gpg' created
gpg: key 5C808C2B65558117: public key "Christian Marillat <>" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1

If you encounter any issues during this step, you can try creating the necessary directories with:

sudo gpg --list-keys

Important: Before proceeding further, it’s wise to back up your system. The DEB-Multimedia repository can modify several backend dependencies, which might impact third-party software on your Debian system. Here’s a command to back up your system files:

sudo tar czf /backup.tar.gz \
     --exclude=/backup.tar.gz \
     --exclude=/dev \
     --exclude=/mnt \
     --exclude=/proc \
     --exclude=/sys \
     --exclude=/tmp \
     --exclude=/media \
     --exclude=/lost+found \

Now, let’s proceed to import the repository. The following command is versatile and should be compatible with any Debian version, be it Trixie, Bookworm, Bullseye, or Buster:

echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/deb-multimedia.gpg] \ $(lsb_release -sc) main non-free" \
| sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/deb-multimedia.list

If you face any issues with the above command, it might be due to missing essential packages. Install them with:

sudo apt install dirmngr software-properties-common apt-transport-https curl lsb-release ca-certificates -y

After the installation, you can try the import command again.

Step 3: Refresh the Apt Packages List

With the GPG key and repository now integrated, it’s time to refresh your Apt packages list to recognize the new additions:

sudo apt update

For a harmonized system and to ensure all dependencies are up-to-date, consider executing an upgrade:

sudo apt upgrade

Section 2: Installing Packages from Deb-Multimedia

Step 1: Searching for Packages

When you’ve successfully added the Deb-Multimedia repository to your Debian system, the next logical step is to search for and install the desired multimedia packages. The apt tool provides a straightforward way to search for packages within specific repositories.

To search for a package, say kodi, from the Deb-Multimedia repository, use the following command:

apt-cache search kodi | grep -i deb-multimedia

This command will list all kodi related packages available in the Deb-Multimedia repository. The grep command filters out results to only show those associated with Deb-Multimedia.

Step 2: Excluding Regular Repositories

Sometimes, you might want to exclude packages from the regular Debian repositories and focus solely on those from Deb-Multimedia. This ensures that you’re only accessing the specialized multimedia packages tailored for the repository.

For instance, if you’re interested in ffmpeg but want to ensure you’re getting it from Deb-Multimedia and not the standard Debian repositories, you can use:

apt-cache madison ffmpeg | grep -i deb-multimedia

The madison command provides a table-style output, making it easier to identify the source of the package.

Step 3: Installing the Desired Package

Once you’ve identified the package you want to install from Deb-Multimedia, the installation process is straightforward. Let’s say you’ve decided to install vlc from this repository:

sudo apt install vlc

It’s worth noting that if multiple versions of vlc are available across different repositories, apt will prioritize the version from Deb-Multimedia due to its higher default priority. If you ever want to specify a version or ensure you’re getting the package from Deb-Multimedia, you can be explicit:

sudo apt install vlc/deb-multimedia

Step 4: Verifying the Installation Source

Post-installation, it’s a good practice to verify that the package was indeed sourced from Deb-Multimedia. You can do this using the apt policy command:

apt policy vlc

This command will display the installation candidate and the table of available versions. Ensure that the installed version points to Deb-Multimedia.

Conclusion of Importing Deb-Multimedia on Debian Linux

In wrapping up our guide on importing the Deb-Multimedia PPA on Debian Sid, 13 Trixie, 12 Bookworm, 11 Bullseye, or 10 Buster, it’s evident that the Deb-Multimedia repository is an invaluable resource for Debian users. This repository not only bridges the gap between Debian’s default offerings and the specialized multimedia needs of its users but also ensures a secure and streamlined experience. By following the steps outlined, users can seamlessly integrate this repository, unlocking a plethora of multimedia capabilities tailored for Debian. As always, it’s recommended to regularly check for updates and ensure that your system is backed up before making significant changes.

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