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How to Enable Universe and Multiverse Repositories on Ubuntu

Enable Universe and Multiverse Repositories on Ubuntu

In the world of Linux, Ubuntu reigns supreme as a user-friendly and widely-used distribution. Unlocking its true potential involves tapping into the Universe and Multiverse repositories. These repositories serve as treasure troves, offering an array of software packages that can supercharge your Ubuntu experience. In this guide, we’ll delve deep into the process of enabling these repositories, accompanied by comprehensive step-by-step instructions and troubleshooting tips. So, brace yourself to expand your Ubuntu horizons and elevate your system’s capabilities.

Understanding Ubuntu Repositories

When navigating the Ubuntu landscape, repositories are your compass. They serve as digital storehouses that house an assortment of software packages. Ubuntu is equipped with four main types of repositories, each serving a distinct purpose:

  • Main: This repository is a critical part of Ubuntu and contains officially supported software.
  • Universe: The Universe repository is maintained by the community and provides a plethora of open-source software.
  • Restricted: Proprietary drivers and software reside here, enhancing your system’s functionality.
  • Multiverse: Here lies the realm of software with restrictive licenses and codecs. It completes the software ecosystem.

Benefits of Enabling Universe and Multiverse Repositories

Enabling Universe and Multiverse repositories is akin to unlocking hidden doors to a realm of possibilities. Here’s what’s in store for you:

  • Expanded Software Library: Your software options will multiply, accommodating your every need.
  • Proprietary and Restricted Software: Enjoy access to proprietary drivers and software, filling the gaps in your system’s functionality.
  • Enhanced Customization: Tailor your Ubuntu experience with specialized software and utilities.

Enabling Universe and Multiverse Repositories

In this section, we’ll embark on the journey to enable the Universe and Multiverse repositories, breathing new life into your Ubuntu environment.

Enabling Universe Repository:

  1. Open the Terminal: Let’s start by launching the Terminal, your gateway to the Linux universe.

  2. Edit the sources.list File: To tweak repository settings, use a text editor such as nano or vim. Execute:
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
  1. Activate the Universe Repository: Navigate to the sources.list file and locate the line containing “universe.” Remove the “#” symbol at the beginning of the line to enable the Universe repository.
  2. Save and Exit: Save your changes by pressing Ctrl + O, followed by Enter. Exit the editor with Ctrl + X.
  3. Update Package Information: It’s time to refresh your system’s awareness of the newly enabled repository:
sudo apt update

Enabling Multiverse Repository

  1. Launch the Terminal: As before, fire up the Terminal.
  2. Edit the sources.list File: Utilize your trusty text editor:
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
  1. Enable Multiverse: Locate the line housing “multiverse” in the sources.list file. Erase the “#” at the line’s start to activate the Multiverse repository.

  2. Save and Exit: Secure your changes:
    • Press Ctrl + O, then Enter to save.
    • Press Ctrl + X to exit.
  3. Update Package Information: Refresh the package database:

sudo apt update

Verifying Enabled Repositories

Ensuring that your repositories are correctly configured is crucial. Use the apt-cache command to confirm the enabled repositories. Execute:

apt-cache policy

Example of Enabling Repositories

Let’s take a practical approach and guide you through enabling Universe and Multiverse repositories.

  1. Open the Terminal: Invoke the Terminal application.
  2. Edit sources.list: Type in:
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
  1. Enable Universe and Multiverse: Discover the lines with “universe” ,and “multiverse.” Eradicate the “#” symbols at the start of these lines.
  2. Save and Exit: Preserve your edits:
    • Use Ctrl + O, then Enter to save.
    • Employ Ctrl + X to exit.
  3. Update Repositories: Execute the command:
sudo apt update
  1. Explore New Possibilities: Your Ubuntu world just got bigger! Seek out fresh software horizons with the newly enabled repositories.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Typo Alert: Ensure that there are no typos in your repository lines. Even a small error can throw the process off track.
  • Network Woes: If you encounter errors while updating, check your internet connection and firewall settings.
  • Backup Matters: Before altering system files, always back up important data to avoid mishaps.

Tips for Efficient Usage

  • Stay Updated: Regularly update your repositories to seize the latest software and security enhancements.
  • Trust but Verify: While exploring new software, exercise caution and stick to trusted sources to prevent compromising your system’s integrity.


In the realm of Ubuntu, the Universe, and Multiverse repositories are the keys to an expansive software kingdom. By following our detailed guide, you’ve learned how to enable these repositories and discovered their potential to enhance your Ubuntu experience. Remember to tread carefully, keep your system updated, and confidently explore the countless software possibilities that await. Your Ubuntu journey has just begun, and the Universe is your playground!


r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to idroot.us, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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