Useful Tips

Software installation


Author: Nagibin Vladimir. Date of article: 10/22/2008

Often, for many Linux newbies, installing programs on Linux is some sacred process. Indeed, what to do if the program for Linux downloaded from the Internet doesn’t work on the system, but is not installed at all!

The point, of course, is in knowledge, experience and. in a certain "abstraction" from the usual.

"I’ve been in Linux recently (almost a whole week) and he delighted me with the fact that its interface is as friendly as the Windows interface.

Having easily installed (thanks to your “Step by Step” heading) Ubuntu onto my home computer, I was surprised to notice that my inkjet printer was recognized by the system and started working immediately after installation! Everything worked out of the box!

And this is the system that I was afraid to install for several years !! My joy knew no bounds!

This evening I spent studying the programs that were installed with the system. And it seemed to me that they were few. Having completely forgotten about dinner, I rushed to the Internet to download more programs for my Ubuntu. I found an interesting program for me on one of the sites and decided to install it.

After unpacking the program, I tried to perform the steps described in the readme file, which was in the archive with the program. But no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, only errors appeared on the screen. Having suffered with this program, I downloaded another, hoping that the installation process will be much simpler. The second program was installed normally, without errors, but refused to start.

What should I do? I really liked Linux Ubuntu, but when I saw that it was so difficult to install programs in it, unfortunately, I had to go back to Windows.

Why is everything so complicated in Linux and how to install programs in it ?? Why is there no installation file on Linux like on Windows (such as install.exe)? It would be so much easier !! "

I received this letter earlier this week from Andrey from Voznesensk.

Indeed, the main problem for many users who have come from Windows to Linux is that they believe that on Linux everything will be "just like on Windows." This is one of the main misconceptions! One of the tips I give to newbies on Linux is to ignore the “familiar” path.

So oh installing programs on Linux Ubuntu!

Installing Programs on Ubuntu possible in three ways: compilation from source (apparently, in your case, the programs were in the source code), package installationdownloaded from the site and installation using the package manager.

First way it is especially a problem for beginners, since it is a process of "compilation", unknown to them so far. At software installation In this way, you need to be sure that all the libraries necessary for this program to work are present on your system. It is also necessary, at least at a small level, to imagine working with the compiler and to understand the errors generated by it.

Second way already close to how it is "arranged" in Windows. But even it does not imply that the package must have executable files.

The program in this case is installed using a special manager that works on the command line and allows you to operate packages (install, view, delete them from the system).

It is in this way that you can install the program (package .deb) that you received from a CD / DVD / Flash or any other medium (if you do not have the Internet) .

Let us examine the installation of a program, suppose we received a flash drive from a friend, using the net-acct program as an example:

The net-acct_0.71-9_i386.deb file was copied from a USB flash drive and saved in the home directory. Open the Terminal and enter the following command:

Press Enter and Ubuntu will ask you to enter the root superuser password. Enter it without making mistakes:

If you entered the correct password, dpkg will install the program:

Attention! It is possible that the program will need some additional dependencies (libraries, etc.). In this case, you will have to reinstall them, also getting these dependencies from the Internet.

Finally, third and the most optimal way to install programs for beginners Linux world - installation using package manager, available in almost every distribution. Package manager allows you to view the contents of repositories (collections of packages available on the network, compiled and tested for your distribution for errors and problems) and install programs from there. This is the most convenient and safe way to install programs.

Linux Ubuntu Package Manager Available Synaptic package managerBy running which, you can easily install any of the large number of programs offered by the Ubuntu community. Synaptic he will find the necessary libraries, additional packages necessary for your program to work, install them. Moreover, the package manager will inform you about all the released updates of the programs installed on your system!


From time to time, new tasks appear, or the need to solve old problems in new ways - then there is a need for additional software. This article tells you what to do if you need a new program for Ubuntu.

Ubuntu, like other operating systems, has a concept dependencies. This means that the program can be installed only if the packages on which it depends are already installed. Such a scheme avoids duplication of data in packages (for example, if several programs depend on the same library, then you do not have to shove this library into the package of each program - it will be delivered once as a separate package). Unlike, for example, Slackware or Windows, dependencies in Ubuntu are resolved by the package manager (Synaptic, apt, Application Center, apt-get, aptitude) - it will automatically install the dependencies from the repository. You will have to install the dependencies manually if the required repository is not connected, it is unavailable if the necessary package is not in the repository, if you install packages without using the package manager (use Gdebi or dpkg), if you install the program from outside the package (compile from source, run installation run / sh script).

Install from repositories

Repository - a place for centralized storage of software packages. Using repositories makes it easy to install programs and update the system. The user is free to choose which repositories he will use, and can even create his own. The list of used repositories is contained in the /etc/apt/sources.list file and in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory files, the easiest way to see it is through a special application that can be accessed through the main menu: System → Administration → Application Sources, or through the Synaptic Package Manager.

If you have not added local repositories (for example, CD / DVD disks), then you need the Internet to install programs from repositories.

This method of installing programs has a lot of advantages: it’s just convenient, you install already tested programs that are guaranteed to work on your system, dependencies between packages will be resolved automatically, when new versions of installed programs appear in the repository, they will inform you about this.

Install using Synaptic

First, let's look at the easiest way using the Synaptic program. This software comes with any Linux distribution, and you can find it in the "Menu". There, hover over "Administration" and select "Synaptic Package Manager" on the right.

This program is not one of a kind, but they all work on a single principle, so there are no significant differences in them. A good program is that it has a graphical interface that Windows users are so used to.

So, in order to install programs for Ubuntu, go to the package manager. At startup, you will be required to enter the password that you specified when installing the operating system. By entering it, open the program itself. First of all, update all packages by clicking on the button of the same name.

Now you see a list of all the programs that are hosted in the repository. Having found the necessary one, double-click on it or you can right-click and select “Mark for installation” in the context menu. Once you have done this, you can proceed with the installation. To do this, click "Apply" in the upper panel. The installation will begin immediately, they will show you which packages will be installed and give brief information about them.

Now you know how to install programs for Ubuntu using the Synaptic package manager.

Installation via repository using terminal

To install the program for Ubuntu, you can still use the terminal, or, as it is also called, the command line. To call the terminal, press the corresponding icon or the key combination Ctrl + Alt + T.

This method is good in that information about the program is provided many times more, plus flexible configuration is available. But a significant minus is that for a newcomer Ubuntu user, it may seem complicated and incomprehensible, and this is not surprising, because the work is done without a graphical interface.

So, you have an open terminal. To get started, by entering sudo apt-get update, update the program lists. Now you can go directly to the installation. To do this, enter:

sudo apt-get install file name

To make it clearer, it is worth giving an example:

sudo apt-get install chromium

It is also possible to install several software at once. To do this, simply enter their name with a space.

A small remark. When you enter the first line in the terminal, you may be asked for a password, and so, when you enter it, nothing is displayed - this is normal. For example, if you have a password of “0000,” just press four times zero, then Enter.

Now you know another way to install the program in Ubuntu.

Installing from a Dep Package with GUI

It also happens that the file you need was not found in the repository. This is not scary. Most likely, the author of the program simply does not have its own repository. In this case, the program can be distributed using the deb package.

On the Internet, find the necessary package and download it to your computer. The advantage of this method is that the Internet will not be required to install the program. The package can be dropped onto a flash drive and installed on any PC. But there is a significant minus, the fact is that after installation in this way the program will not be updated on its own, since the system will not find it in the repository.

So, the deb package has been downloaded to the PC. To install it using Nautilus (this is the same as Windows Explorer) open the folder where the file is located and double-click on it. A window will open in front of you asking for permission to install this program, click “Install Package”, and the installation process will begin.

Installing from a dep Package Using a Terminal

The deb package can also be installed using the terminal, for this you must first run it. It is important to know that installation in this way implies the presence of dpkg, and if you do not have this utility, you need to install it.

Direct installation of the deb package through the terminal is performed using the command:

sudo dpkg -i file_path

As you noticed, you need to pave the path to the file, for example, it will look like this:

sudo dpkg -i /home/user/soft/yandex.disk.deb

After the command is entered and you press Enter, the installation process will begin. As a result, you will be informed whether everything went well or not. If not, read the reasons and fix the problems.

Also, using the terminal, you can install absolutely all deb packages in a folder. To do this, simply line the path to the folder in the line and end the line ". * .deb ". For example:

sudo dpkg -i /home/user/soft/ntlmaps_*.deb

Do not forget that when you are asked for a password, you will not see it when you enter it.

Launch applications

Well, that seems to be all. We talked about how to install programs in Ubuntu, it remains only to explain how the Ubuntu programs are launched.

Here you can also use several ways. The first involves launching through the "Menu". Just click the corresponding icon and in one of the sections find the program you need. After clicking on the icon, it will start.

The second method is much faster, it involves using the same terminal. Open it and in the line just enter the name of the program. For example, you want to start the Gedit text editor, for this just type:


After pressing Enter, the program will start.

It is also worth mentioning that Windows programs also run on Ubuntu, only for this you need to install a special program called Wine. Its installation and configuration can be found on the Internet. Well, that’s all, you have learned how to install programs on the Ubuntu operating system.

Synaptic Package Manager

This is a graphical tool for downloading and installing software from application sources for Ubuntu. Synaptic Package Manager shows a list of the programs available in these sources and allows the Ubuntu user to select and install the necessary programs in a few clicks.

In the main menu, select “Administration → Synaptic Package Manager” and browse the categories of programs available there, or use the quick search if you have a clear idea of ​​what you are looking for:

You can mark several applications for installation and install all of them at once by clicking the “Apply” button. It will take some time (depends on the volume of downloaded files and your Internet connection speed), during which the system will download and install the applications you have chosen, as well as all the libraries and dependencies necessary for them.

Ubuntu Application Center

But the easiest way to install programs is to use the Ubuntu Software Center. This tool is very simple for beginners in Ubuntu and makes installing applications even easier than through the Synaptic package manager - with just one click.

Select the Ubuntu Application Center from the Ubuntu main menu:

Browse the categories there to find the applications you want to install. Example:

Click on the “Install” button when you are ready to install the selected application (or applications). While Ubuntu downloads and installs the selected programs, you can continue to browse application categories and select new programs to install:

Programs in Ubuntu come in the form of binary deb packages that can be installed using the Gdebi graphical tool or through the command line (which is described below). Say you downloaded the picasa_3.0-current_i386.deb package from and saved it to your hard drive. In Ubuntu prior to version 10.04 (inclusive), Gdebi is supplied by default, and deb files are initially associated with this application, so you can simply launch them with a standard double-click, and then click on the “Install” button in the window that appears to continue the installation:

In Ubuntu 10.10 and above, by double-clicking on the deb-file, the “Ubuntu Application Center” will open, which was mentioned above.

Aptitute Console Tool

Aptitude is a command line tool designed to run in a terminal.

Select “Accessories → Terminal” from the main menu (“Accessories → Terminal”) to open the standard Gnome terminal. In the terminal window, type sudo aptitude and press Enter to run the command:

Browse through the applications and mark with the + key the ones you want to install:

You can select multiple packages, and then press the G key twice to start the installation:

For some time, Ubuntu will download and install selected programs.

You can also install specific applications using aptitude (in the example below, “realplayer” is installed):

You can also install the deb package saved on your hard drive from the command line. To do this, you can use a command like the following (substituting the desired package name):

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Using graphical interface

Choose System → Administration → Synaptic Package Manager and get a more functional tool for working with packages. In particular, you can, for example, install programs in part if, for example, you do not need documentation or something else. Launch Synaptic Package Manager System → Administration → Synaptic Package Manager. Enter your password upon request. In the launched program, click the Update button, wait until the system updates the data on available programs.

In the list of available programs, double-click on the desired program (or right-click - the item "Mark for installation"). After all the necessary programs are marked for installation, click the "Apply" button. Wait for the required packages to be downloaded and installed. Similar functions are performed by the Add or Remove Applications program. It can be easily found in the menu. Applications → Add / Remove ...

Using command line

Installation from the command line allows you to get more information about the installation process and allows you to flexibly configure it, although it may seem inconvenient for a novice user.

Launch the terminal. You can update the data about the programs available in the repositories with the command:

Enter your password upon request. Note that when entering the terminal, the password is not displayed, neither with asterisks, nor circles, in any way. This is normal. To install the desired program, enter the command:

Если нужно установить несколько программ, то их можно перечислить через пробел, например:

Если потребуется - ответьте на задаваемые вопросы (для положительного ответа нужно ввести Y или Д). Программа будет установлена, если она уже установлена - она будет обновлена.

К сожалению не все программы входят в основные репозитории Ubuntu. Поэтому вам придется вручную подключать необходимые репозитории с нужными вам программами или пакетами, для этого вы можете воспользоваться статьей: Подключение репозитория. Или же попытаться найти необходимую информацию по установке, на официальном сайте программы.

To search for a program in the list of available packages, use the commands:

where keyword is the name of the program, part of the name of the program or a word from its description.

Install from deb package

If the desired program does not have the main repository, and the author of the program does not have its own repository, or if the repositories are unavailable (for example, there is no Internet), then the program can be installed from the deb package (downloaded in advance / brought to a USB drive / ...). If the deb package is in the official repository, then it can be downloaded from Often, the deb package can be downloaded from the site of the program itself. You can also use the search at The downside of this approach is that the update manager will not track the appearance of new versions of the installed program.

Installing programs with your own installer from sh, run files

Sometimes programs can be distributed with their own installer. This is no different from the situation in Windows. Only here, after unpacking the tar.gz archive with the distribution package, you will see something like instead of setup.exe. This is a pre-assembled software package, which is designed as a script or binary, it takes the job of placing the files in the right places and prescribing the necessary parameters. At the same time, the ability to manage such software with the help of a package manager disappears. Using such packages is undesirable, but if there is no choice, then go to the directory with the file, for example:

Permission to execute this file:

Sometimes a program can be installed without superuser rights (without sudo), but this is rather an exception.

Sometimes the distribution package of the program is distributed as a self-extracting archive. In this case, it will be just one single .sh file that you need to run. Then you just get a wizard where you will need to answer a number of questions, just as it is done in Windows. This is how the official nVidia, ATI drivers, NetBeans developer environment, etc. are installed.

There are programs that do not need installation and are distributed in the form of a regular tar.gz archive, which is simply enough to unpack somewhere. Windows also has such programs, they are often called the word Portable. You do not need to install such programs, just unpack to any place, but the standard place is usually the / opt directory. Of course, you will have to manually add launch items to the menu, for this you need to right-click on the heading of the Programs menu and select Edit menu.

Installation from source

If there are no deb packages for your system anywhere, then the program can be compiled (compiled) from the source code itself, which can be downloaded from the official website of any Open Source program or from the distribution source repository.

I recommend avoiding this way of installing programs whenever possible. The main thing you will need is compilation tools, for this you first need to install the build-essential package. Next, you need to unzip the archive with the program codes into some temporary folder. Then you need to find the README or INSTALL file, read it and execute what is written there. More often, installing programs in this way is limited to sequential execution of the following commands:

But in some cases there may be differences. In addition, after running the ./configure script, you may receive a message stating that the system does not have the libraries necessary for compiling the program. In this case, you will need to install them yourself and repeat the process. Usually the compilation process takes some time and depends on the power of your computer.

Like this. It is advisable, of course, to avoid installing programs if possible. not using deb packages, that is, other methods are not recommended. However, they need to know in order not to get confused in the flow of information.

Automatically install dependencies when building from source

This type of installation is better than just ./configure && make && make install, and is suitable for installing programs that are not in the repositories.

Go to the folder with the unpacked sources and command:

The auto-apt team itself will deliver the necessary packages for assembly, and will allow you to ask fewer questions.

Creating a deb package for easier work in the future, (install, uninstall, and so on):