Posted by: duskfire | January 22, 2011

A few words about GetDeb

A fellow redditor mentioned the game Tyrian to me, and after checking, I found openTyrian in the GetDeb repositories. Now, in this blog I usually avoid referring to games that can be found only in GetDeb. This is not because I don’t like GetDeb. GetDeb does frequently provide more current versions of games that exist in the repositories. I have found a current version of Assault Cube is in their list, which is great because at the time I was reviewing it, the official repos had an outdated version that would not allow me to connect and play with other people. There are also many excellent games that one cannot find in the Ubuntu repos, but are made available in GetDeb.

However, I am the kind of Linux user who agrees with the general view that if you’re using a distribution of Linux that features repositories, you should nearly always stick to applications that are found in them. There are sound reasons for this.

GetDeb is still labeled “Beta”, and provides unofficial packages for Ubuntu (and by extension Mint, the distribution I love).  But GetDeb packages are not reviewed by Ubuntu, and are updated when their maintainer has time, not always on a consistent basis.

So yes, there are good reasons why some people might want to add the GetDeb repository to their sources.list. However, just as with most other things Linux, you should make sure that it is the right solution for you, and not just say “oh cool, more games!” and add the PPA without another thought. (PPA = personal package archive).



  1. Sorry; Is a more modern version of a game likely to cause library conflicts? As long as the libraries it needs are in your main repository it should be fine, and since I can’t think of many things being built with the game as a dependency, I don’t see a problem.

    • This article was written before I had a lot of experience with Getdeb/Playdeb. I have never had any issues using it.

      • Yeah, the advice about secondary repositories exists because a lot of them have newer versions of software, which often change libraries, demand newer versions, etc. So if you use these too much, you can create some major problems. Games shouldn’t be too much of an issue, so long as you ONLY get the game from them, and not secondary libraries. Additionally, since it is only a game, uninstalling it is pretty easy if you do need ot upgrade.

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