(An early advice: Please use Ubuntu 18.04 aka. Bionic. Older releases won’t work probably!)
Like many other applications, Cura made it to the package repositories of Debian and thus Ubuntu, too.
Big thanks go to Gregor Riepl, who cared about getting the packages into Debian’s repository.
Earlier than him, I started creating packages for Cura, like for many other projects I personally like and want to help to get distributed better. In these days Ultimaker B.V. used Debian packages, which included a prefix inside. Just for example, like TeamViewer does nowadays. However, most of the dependencies were already there on Ubuntu and therefore I began to make Debian packages for Ubuntu. They were distributed on Launchpad.net and since Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) Cura versions newer than 3.2 are released again in the stable PPA.
The benefit of having these packages is, that you can quickly apply updates using the package manager, but on the other hand, if Ubuntu, as known as Canonical, is applying hacky patches to Cura’s dependencies, like Qt5, then the application can get broken. This was already the case for more than a year during the 16.10 until 18.04 releases, (probably) because of patches made on Qt, which is the toolkit to design user-interfaces.
To make use of the PPA, I prepared the following guidelines:
The choice between stable software and the “bleeding edge”:
When using my package archives, you can choose either for using stable or the current development state, as known as “bleeding edge”. These packages are built daily and are based on the current codebase, which is hosted in the “master” branches of the following repositories:
The stable PPA is using the code, which has been tagged for the latest release version of Cura. This state of the code is also used at Ultimaker to build their own software distributions, like the Windows Installer and the AppImage for Linux. So if you are a developer and would like to fix issues or add new features, you probably would like to take a look at the master PPA. BUT for everyone else I won’t recommend the master PPA, because Cura might not work for a certain amount of time, your personal profiles and other settings could get lost. On the other hand, if you are using the stable PPA, you can expect the most of the support for your problems. As Ultimaker releases it’s software also based on their tags. Using this PPA is only another flavor of publishing software. Only minor patches are applied!
In short: The stable PPA is recommended for end-users!