Understanding the sources.record File in Ubuntu

source.list is one of the many files you see when adding software repositories. Here's what you need to know about it.

Whenever you add a new repository on Ubuntu, the system adds a record to the Sources.List File.

What other information about repositories does this file contain? And is it important that the operating system stores this data? You will find out in this post.

What is the sources.list file?

As you may already know, repositories are responsible for making packages available to users on Linux. Ubuntu and other Debian-based distributions use the Sources.List File to keep a record of all repositories that exist on a system.

The Sources.List File contains repository details, with each uncommented line representing a separate repository.

Every line in the Sources.List File follows a common format:

deb https: //repository.url distribution type

The first field indicates the type of package provided by the repository. Under Debian and Ubuntu you can find one of these two archive types: deb and deb-src. By default, Ubuntu disables the repositories that deb-src Packages.

The second field is reserved for the repository URL. This URL points to the server on which all package files are stored along with the database.

The third field gives the version code name for the version of your Ubuntu installation. Maybe you find xenial, bionic, and focal in the case of Ubuntu and Buster or sid if you are using Debian.

The fourth entry contains information about the type of repository. On Ubuntu, the fourth field would contain one of these four repository components: main, limited, universal, and multiverse.

Related: What is the Linux / etc / shadow file and what does it do?

Manage repository information on Linux

Manually adding repository information to the Sources.List File is not a recommended practice. Use the Add-apt-repository Command as it is safer and more reliable. It also makes sure that you don't add anything unrelated to the contents of the file.

On Linux, you can add and remove packages independently as you wish. In fact, software management is one of the many things Ubuntu does better than Windows.

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About the author

Deepesh Sharma
(62 published articles)

Deepesh is Junior Editor for Linux at MUO. He has been writing informational content on the Internet for over 3 years. In his spare time he enjoys writing, listening to music and playing the guitar.

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