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CompTIA Linux+ XK0-005 - 1.7 - Updating Configuration Files: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/

In Debian-based Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, repository configuration files are used to manage package sources for the APT (Advanced Package Tool) package manager. The repository configuration files, typically located in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory, allow you to specify the software repositories from which APT retrieves packages. By modifying these files, you can add, remove, or modify package sources, enabling you to install and update software from different repositories.

This guide will provide you with an overview of the /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory and its repository configuration files. We will discuss the configuration options available in these files and explain their functionalities. Understanding these options will allow you to customize the package sources and optimize package management on your Debian-based Linux system.

Configuration Options and Their Functionality

The repository configuration files in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory contain individual files, each representing a specific repository. These files typically have a .list extension and consist of lines with various configuration options.

The syntax to be used in the file follows:

Type URI Suite Component 

Here are some common configuration options you may encounter:

  • Type:
    • deb:
      • Purpose: Indicates a binary package repository.
      • Example: deb focal main
    • deb-src:
      • Purpose: Indicates a source package repository.
      • Example: deb-src focal main
  • URI:
    • http, file, ftp & more:
      • Purpose: Specifies the protocol used for accessing the repository.
      • Example: deb-src focal main
    • domain/path:
      • Purpose: Defines the URL or path to the repository.
      • Example: deb-src focal main
  • suite:
    • Purpose: Specifies the code name of the distribution.
    • Example: deb-src focal main
  • component:
    • Purpose: Identifies the repository section or component.
    • Example: deb-src focal main

These examples demonstrate some commonly used configuration options in repository configuration files. Each line represents a package source entry, and you can have multiple entries in a single file.

Modifying Repository Configuration Files

To modify repository configuration files in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the repository configuration file you want to modify. Each file represents a separate repository.

  2. Open the chosen repository configuration file using a text editor. For example:

sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list.d/myrepo.list
  1. Locate the line that corresponds to the repository you wish to modify or add one if it does not exist.

  2. Modify or set the value associated with the configuration option according to your requirements.

  3. Save the changes and exit the text editor.

  4. Repeat the above steps for any other repository configuration files you wish to modify.


Modifying repository configuration files in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory allows you to control the software repositories used by the APT package manager on Debian-based Linux systems. By customizing these files, you can add new repositories, remove existing ones, or modify their settings to suit your needs.

In this guide, we discussed the purpose and functionality of common configuration options found in repository configuration files. These options enable you to specify the type of repository, protocol, URL or path, distribution code name, and repository component.

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