If a package is available in an Ubuntu PPA but not in Debian, you can easily create a Debian version of it.

Here we're going to build a Debian package of the Pogo music player.

Checking that the package is absent from Debian

The package might not be available in your Debian version, but it may be available in testing/unstable. You can check this with the command rmadison. If you're interested in a package called vagrant, rmadison vagrant returns something like:

vagrant | 1.6.5+dfsg1-2 | sid          | source, all

which means you should instead do a SimpleBackportCreation of the vagrant package.

Install the Debian SDK

apt-get install devscripts build-essential

Add the PPA source url to your sources.list

The pogo team maintains two PPA's, a stable PPA, which we are going to use https://launchpad.net/~pogo-dev/+archive/ubuntu/daily and a dev" PPA here https://launchpad.net/~pogo-dev/+archive/ubuntu/daily

Step 1: On the page of the PPA, look for the heading that reads "Adding this PPA to your system" and click the "Technical details about this PPA" link.

Step 2: Use the Display sources.list entries drop-down box, and select here the latest version of Ubuntu

Step 3: You'll see that the text-box directly below reads something like this:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/pogo-dev/stable/ubuntu utopic main 

We are interested in the line starting with **deb-src**. which is the source repository of the package.

Step 4: Now we can add this line in your list of repos. As root:

echo "deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/pogo-dev/stable/ubuntu utopic main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pogo.list 

Step 5: To use this repository safely we also have to add the repository signing key, located on the same page. Here it reads:

Signing key:
1024R/0D4D9B55 (What is this?) 

The 0D4D9B55 part in the middle, is the key ID, that we will use to add this key to our list of trusted apted sources. As root:

apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 0D4D9B55

Install the package source and build the package

All of this is possible with the magical command. As normal user:

apt-get source --build pogo

Note: For this to work you need to uncomment the lines starting with *deb-src* in /etc/apt/sources.list, or you will get the error "E: You must put some 'source' URIs in your sources.list".

Install the resulting stuff

You have a package in the directory called something like pogo_0.8.3-0~579~ubuntu14.10.1_all.deb You can install it with

dpkg -i pogo_0.8.3-0~579~ubuntu14.10.1_all.deb

Going further

If you find that the program you used would be of interest to other Debian users, check it if an "ITP:IntentToPackage" or a "RFP:RequestForPackage" bug report has been used. If no one has done this before, create a new bug report. For instance this the RFP for Pogo: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=666008

If you feel brave, have a look at what's inside the pogo-0.8.3/debian/ directory, read IntroDebianPackaging