For the old school Linux users, this is familiar territory. The terminal and Synaptic uses the apt-get system which allows you to remove, add, or update applications easily and painlessly. All you need to install via terminal is administrator privileges and the name of the application you want. For instance, to install VLC, you will type;
Sudo apt-get install vlc
This command basically downloads the necessary packages and installs them onto your computer, allowing you to use VLC. Some other common and useful commands are:
Sudo apt-get remove vlc
To remove the application, in this case vlc,
Sudo apt-get update
This command can take a few minutes to run, but once it is finished you can then upgrade any packages with updates available.
Sudo apt-get upgrade
This will update any packages with updates pegged to them in the system
Sometimes you may need to install a .deb package from the command line, especially if you are trying to install applications in Ubuntu server installs. To install a deb file called example.deb, type:
Sudo dpkg –I example.deb
Similarly, you can remove deb packages with the following command
Sudo dpkg –r example.deb
Installing a PPA
- It is not uncommon to have to install via ppa every now and then. Be sure to install ppas only from trusted sources, however, as you may leave your system open to people with malicious intent. To install a ppa:
Open a terminal
Open your browser and go to the application’s website you want to install
Search for a heading somewhere to the effect of installing or adding this ppa.
Make a note of the ppa’s location. For example, gwibber can look like ppa:gwibber-daily/ppa
Now, in the terminal type:
Sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwibber-daily/ppa
Using synaptic package manager (spm)
I personally try to avoid using synaptic package manager unless I absolutely have to partly because its interface is not the most informative unless you know absolutely what you are looking for. Ubuntu 11.10 no longer includes SPM by default so you will have to troll the software center to get it. Once you install it, launch it. SPM is basically a massive list with all the packages available for Debian and Debian derivatives like Ubuntu as well as all packages available to the repositories you’ve added. If you know
the name of the application or package you want, you can search for it in the search box, check the packages you want, mark for install, and then hit apply. If you do not know the name of the package you want, no worries, you can also search by typing a description. For instance, if you wanted to search for a new screensaver application, but don’t know the name of a particular one, you can search for “screensaver” and take a look at the packages available. You will see a variety of packages for gnome – screensaver, xscreensaver, etc.
Another feature here worth mentioning is the “Mark All Upgrades” button near the top of the application. This button, similar to sudo apt-get update, will search out all updates for packages you have installed and mark them all for installation. Hit apply.
Sometimes, software developers will prefer not to have their applications available in the repositories and will want to distribute them themselves such as Opera, or any of Google’s software available to Linux. Installing these is allot like installing software on Windows since you have to go to the site and install the package. Let’s use Google Chrome as an example.
Open your web browser (Ubuntu uses Firefox by default) and go to the google chrome home page
Then download the .deb package.
Once the package is downloaded, go to your Downloads folder
Double click on the .deb package
The Ubuntu Software Center will open
Enjoy the program!
Sometimes, the software center will not open the application when you double click it even though it is a .deb package. Sometimes, you have to make the software center the default application for certain file types. To do so, right click on the package, go to properties, hit the Open With tab, then choose the software center as the default application to open with.