Ubuntu, Personal Package Archives, Proxies and Update Manager

Recently my iPod Touch stopped connecting to my Ubuntu box. Seems the latest iPod Firmware update caused the problem. The solution is to install the latest version if the libraries providing the iPod connectivity. Problem is the latest versions have yet to make it into the main update channel.

So you have to add a Personal Package Archive (PPA) to pickup the latest version, it should be just a matter of:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pmcenery

but in my case this did not work properly, failing to retrieve the GPG key for the repository, seems gpg has problems traversing the proxy/firewall (I didn’t notice this at the time).

A few days later and Update Manager wants to update the ipod libraries, but then fails saying this would require installing untrusted packages. What an irritating message, give me the option to make an exception instead of point blank refusing. I eventually realise the PPA GPG key is missing, so try various incantations to get gpg to traverse the proxy/firewall without success, after a bit of googling I find an alternative approach:

On the PPA Web Page, there’s a heading called ‘Technical Details for this PPA’, click it to expand it, under ‘Signing Key’ there’s a hyper-linked key, click the link, and then the link on the next page, and you reach a page showing the GPG key for the PPA. Save the text from -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- to -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
in a text file.

In Ubuntu go to System|Administration|Update Manager|Settings|Authentication|Import Key File… and choose the text file you just created. Then press the Close button, then the Check button, and now Install Updates should now work without problems