I've recently started using some select Ubuntu ppa repos with debian, and once you know how it is extremely easy to set it all up and get working. So, heres how to do it, using "Homebank" as an example.
Currently in the debian repos, Homebank is showing as stable = 4.6.1-1, testing = 4.6.3-1, and unstable = 4.6.3-1, with the latest dated activity being 2015-04-27. Yet if you look on homebanks homepage, http://homebank.free.fr/index.php, you see that their most current version is at 5.0.3 released on 2015-06-06. And in between the debian date and the homebank last date there has been one update to the programme. So as I want the recent version I'm going to use the ubuntu version as shown on their download page,
You can try "sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mdoyen/homebank" but it won't work, as it won't be written to your "/etc/apt/sources.list" although everything will seem to be okay until you check your sources.list. It has to be written in a form that debian will recognise, and to get it in that format, here's what you do -
So, put the ppa source into google, "ppa:mdoyen/homebank" which gives https://launchpad.net/~mdoyen/+archive/ubuntu/homebank
Go to that link and look for the green hyperlink on the left of the page which says "Technical details about this PPA" and then takes you to the page showing the various versions available.
Choose your version, I chose "vivid" and then do
sudo add-apt-repository 'deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/mdoyen/homebank/ubuntu vivid main'
Note the ' in front of "deb" and after "main". They are necessary, and without them you won't succeed.
- Do a
sudo apt-get update, and then do a "apt-cache policy" [which I've aliased to "acp", much easier to remember] which will show you the versions of home bank able to be installed. Hopefully you should see something like this -
500 http://mirror.bytemark.co.uk/debian/ jessie/main i386 Packages
- Success, now you can install the most up-to-date version of "Homebank", and when it is updated you'll pick up the update and can install it if you want.
This method works with any Ubuntu programme from a ppa repo, but the more you install the further away you get from a "pure" debian setup and you will increase the risk of problems developing. In that situatiuon it would be extremely hard to get support from debian help-channels whilst you had the Ubuntu programmes installed. So please be wary of what you actually install using this method!
Good luck, and enjoy :)