Top List How To Install Software in Ubuntu Linux: A Complete Guide for Newbie

How To Install Software in Ubuntu Linux: A Complete Guide for Newbie

Before ten years ago, when I was new into the world of Ubuntu Linux, I was so confused about many things of how to do this and that. Among all those, how to install software in Ubuntu Linux is one of them. As a beginner, you also faced this sort of problem, especially when there are lot more options available for installing and removing software in Ubuntu Linux.

In this roundup, I will show you some of the popular ways of how to install software in Ubuntu Linux. I will also try to cover how to remove Ubuntu application from the system.

How To Install Software in Ubuntu Linux


For making this tutorial, I am using Ubuntu Gnome Desktop Environment. But this tutorial is also applicable for other Ubuntu-based Linux distros like Elementary OS, Linux Mint, Linux Deepin, Peppermint, etc.

1. How To Install Software in Ubuntu Using Software Center


If you have seen Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store, then installing software from Ubuntu software center is much easier and familiar. Ubuntu Linux comes with a default software center which let you install various software. You can search for software by its name or various categories.

Browse application in Ubuntu software center
Browse application in Ubuntu software center

You can find Ubuntu software center by following “Show Applications >> Search Ubuntu software center.”

Search Ubuntu software center
Search Ubuntu software center

After getting into the software center, you will find all the software by names, categories, editors pick, recommendations, etc. At the top right, the search option is there for searching for the desired application.

Resource Link: Best Linux Software: Our Editorial List of Essential Linux Apps

Search option in Ubuntu software center
Search option in Ubuntu software center

Once you have found the desired software, click on it which will take you into the application description page with an install button. In this page, you will get a short description and reviews of the software. Now it’s time to hit the install button.

Short app description with install button in Ubuntu software center
Short app description with install button in Ubuntu software center

Voila! You have just learned how to install software in Ubuntu Linux via software center.

Extra Important Tips: There are lots of application which are closed source proprietary software but does not come by default in the Ubuntu software center. That software only comes through enabling the Canonical Partner repository. In my tutorial on Best Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu, I have shown how to enable Canonical partner repository to get access to more software.

To do so, search for software & update. In the other software tab, enables “Canonical Partners.”

Enable Additional Repositories
Enable Additional Repositories

Now you know how to install software in Ubuntu Linux using software center. How about uninstalling the software you have just installed. Removing software from Ubuntu software center is also very easy and straightforward. In the software center, click on the install tab, and you can see all the installed applications list with the removal option, click on remove, and it’s done.

Remove software from Ubuntu software center
Remove software from Ubuntu software center

2. How To Install Software in Ubuntu Using .deb Files


Installing software in Ubuntu using .deb files is very easy and similar to a .exe file in Windows system. Many software providers offer their applications in .deb file. You have to download the .deb file from software specific vendor and double click on it which will take you in Ubuntu software center with an option of install button.

Google Chrome deb package
Google Chrome deb package

There are many options available for .deb packages management. You can check out my previous tutorial on all the Possible Ways to Install deb Packages in Ubuntu Linux.

3. Install Software Using Flatpak


Basically; there are few universal package management for Linux environment namely Snaps – created by Canonical, AppImage, and Flatpak from Fedora. All these software management systems provide a universal package installing environment irrespective of what Linux distribution you are using.

Flatpak is a universal framework for installing software in Linux and brings a cross-platform solution that means a single application built for all the Linux distros.

All the new version of Ubuntu and Linux Mint come preinstalled Flatpak support. But you need to install in on older version if you want to use Flatpak.

Enable Flatpak on Ubuntu and other Ubuntu derivatives

There is official PPA for Ubuntu (version 17.10, 16.04 or older) to install Flatpak. Run the below command into the Terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alexlarsson/flatpak
sudo apt update
sudo apt install flatpak

Flatpak application support in Software Center

There are two ways to use the Flatpak software. One is using Ubuntu software center, and another one is using the command line interface. Command line might be a bit difficult for the new users, but here I recommend you to enable Flatpak support for Gnome software center. Run the following command to install Gnome software plugin:

sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak

Now you can download .flatpakref file format application from software specific website or visit FlatHub – Flatpak app store.

flathub software store
flathub software store

Flatpak software install
Flatpak software install

This Gnome software plugin will allow you to open a .flatpakref file directly in Ubuntu software center and let you install or launch the application.

4. Install Software in Ubuntu Using Snap Packages


Canonical has created Snaps for providing a cross-platform solution for installing applications on any Linux distributions. It’s a universal package management system which comes with all the dependencies and libraries that software is required to run on any Linux system.

Install Snap Software Environment on Ubuntu

All the latest Ubuntu and its derivatives are well supported Snaps packages by default. But you need to install Snaps environment for Ubuntu 16.04 and older version. Run the following command into the Terminal to install Snap package management environment:

sudo apt install snapd

Now you can install the software by using Snaps command from software website

sudo snap install <package>

Or use Ubuntu software center.

Snaps application in Ubuntu software center
Snaps application in Ubuntu software center

5. Install Application in Ubuntu Using AppImage


Deb package, and RPM file formats are used for installing software on Debian or Ubuntu, and Fedora/SUSE based Linux distro respectively. There is a problem for the app developer that they have to maintain multiple packages for various Linux distributions. To overcome this problem, AppImage comes into the picture for offering a universal package management system for all the Linux distros.

An AppImage file format is similar to the .exe file used in Windows system. But with the. AppImage format, there is no extraction or installation, you delete AppImage, the software will be removed from Ubuntu, and double click on AppImage will run the application.

You have to follow three simple steps to run an AppImage on Ubuntu Linux.

  • Download .appimage package.
  • Make it executable by following Right Click on software >> Properties >> Permission Tab >> Check “Allow executing the file as program.
  • Now run the program.

6. How To Install Software in Ubuntu Using Apt Commands


This another easy way to install software on Ubuntu Linux. Just like installing software from the Ubuntu software center, the command line is similar to it. The only difference is Ubuntu software center is based on graphical user interface, and an apt command is based on command line interface. Many software provides an apt command for installing software.

For example, Chromium browser has both the way, Ubuntu software center, and apt command, to install it on Ubuntu. If you want to install it then go to Ubuntu software center and give search by keyword Chromium or else just type this simple apt command into the Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T):

sudo apt install -y chromium-browser

Normally the apt command looks like:

sudo apt install package_name

Removing software is also very easy for apt command installation.

sudo apt remove package_name

7. How To Install App in Ubuntu Using PPA


PPA – Personal Package Archive is another easy way to install software on Ubuntu Linux. Many developers want to offer the latest version of their software directly to the end users. In that case, PPA can be used as Ubuntu official software repository takes a month to include any cutting-edge software in Ubuntu software center. So many Ubuntu users may not wait for that long time rather can use PPA to install the latest version instantly.

Here I am going to show you an example of the installation of Cinnamon Desktop in Ubuntu Linux.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:embrosyn/cinnamon
sudo apt update
sudo apt install cinnamon

Note that here I have followed total three commands. First one is for adding the PPA repository to system’s source list, 2nd one is for updating the cache of software list, and the last one is for installing the specific software using PPA apt command.

8. Using Synaptic Package Manager


Synaptic Package Manager is a great alternative to Ubuntu software center. It can help you to install various software in Ubuntu Linux. You can install Synaptic Package Manager from the Ubuntu software center or use command line tool. Run the below command to install it:

sudo apt-get install synaptic

Do the following things to install an app from Synaptic Package Manager.

  • Search for the software or package
  • Check “Mark for Installation”
  • Press “Apply”

Install software from Synaptic Package Manager
Install software from Synaptic Package Manager

9. How To Install Software in Ubuntu Using dpkg


Installing a deb package through dpkg is a bit for advanced users but most reliable one.

  • Install a package

To install a deb file, open the Terminal and run the following command:

sudo dpkg -i .deb

Example:

sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb
  • Resolve Dependency Errors

Run the below command if you get any dependency errors. It will fix all the errors.

sudo apt-get install -f
  • Remove the application

If you want to uninstall a software, run the command into the Terminal.

dpkg -r packagename.deb
  • To Reconfigure/Repair the deb installation
sudo dpkg-reconfigure packagename

10. How To Install Software in Ubuntu Using the Source Code


Installing software using the source code in Ubuntu Linux is a bit complicated and not recommended for the newbie. There are many software which comes with source code, and in Linux, many users prefer to use it. Most of the source code comes in a compressed file as .tar.gz, tgz, tar.bz2, .zip, etc. You have to follow few steps to install this sort of files.

  • Download the source code file.
  • Extract it.
  • Go to extracted folder and look for a README or INSTALL file if any which will let you know how to install or remove the specific software.
  • Run the below command into the Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) one by one to install software:
    • ./configure
    • make
    • sudo make install

11. Installing Packages via Your Web Browser


The APT protocol (or apturl) is a simple and hassle-free way to install software in Ubuntu Linux. This way basically uses your web browser to deliver the software packages to the users. In this case, you just need to click on apturl, and it will prompt the installation process. Below is an example for installing synaptic package manager using apturl:

Synaptic package install using apturl
Synaptic package install using apturl

Synaptic package install using apturl-2

Install Synaptic Package Manager

12. Install Python Applications via Pip – “Pip Installs Packages”


Pip is another way to install software, especially Python-based apps, in Ubuntu Linux. Pip actually a command line based software management system for apps which are written on Python programming language. It’s easy to use, and if you are a software developer, then you can use Pip to install and manage various Python packages and modules for your Python projects. Moreover, there are lots of excellent and useful Python-based software on the market, so install all those, you need to learn how to use Pip on your system.

Installing Pip in Ubuntu is straightforward. Pip varies as per the Python version and as Ubuntu latest version comes with both Python 2 and Python 3 by default, so you just need to check the Python version before going for final installation.

Install Pip on Ubuntu

Run the below command to install Pip for Python 2 and Python 3 consecutively in Ubuntu Linux:

sudo apt install python-pip
sudo apt install python3-pip

Use Pip Command

If you want to search, install or remove any Python package, then you have to learn some Pip basic command.

  • To search the packages, run the below command:
pip search <search_string>

This command will show you the Python Package Index.

  • Install an application using pip, run the following command:
pip install <package_name>
  • Remove a Python package installed via pip, use the following command:
pip uninstall <installed_package_name>

Note: You can use Pip3 instead of Pip for Python version 3.

The Last Words


Now I think it’s clear that installing software in Ubuntu Linux is easy and straightforward. The software which is not available in Ubuntu software center can be found as a .deb package or AppImage format. You can also install or remove any software via Terminal using official or unofficial PPA. If nothing doesn’t work, still there is an option of building from the source code.

Resource Link: 10 GitHub Alternatives for Hosting your Open Source Projects

I hope this tutorial on how to install software in Ubuntu Linux will help the beginner in the way of Linux usages. Did I miss any important ways to install software in Ubuntu Linux? Let us share your suggestions and experience in the comment section.

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