How to fix the apt-add-repository error on a Chromebook that runs Linux apps

If you'd like to install Linux software from third-party repositories, you'll need to take care of one simple task first.

How to fix the apt-add-repository error on a Chromebook that runs Linux apps

If you happen to own one of the many Chromebooks that can run Linux apps, you might have hit an issue that prevents you from installing applications from non-standard repositories. For example, say you want to add the Debian stretch repository. You attempt to run the command sudo apt-add-repository 'deb stretch main contrib non-free', when you are presented with the error "apt-add-repository command not found." 

What do you do? Do you stick with only software supplied by the standard repositories or do you fix the problem so you can install third-party software? 

SEE: 10 free alternatives to Microsoft Word and Excel (TechRepublic download)

Chances are pretty strong you'll want to install that third-party software, otherwise you might find yourself slightly limited. Let me show you how to make this work. Believe it or not, the fix is quite simple. 

Log in to your Chromebook and open the Linux terminal window. Once the window opens, issue the command:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common -y

Once that piece of software installs, issue the command to install the repository once again, and you should see no errors. 

That third-party repository has been added and you can start installing software, once you run the command:  

sudo apt-get update

Congratulations, your Chromebook world has just been opened up to a deluge of possible software.

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Image: Jack Wallen

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....