This tutorial is about finding, downloading, and installing software on Linux using Ubuntu. We will do our best to make sure you understand this guide. I hope you will like this blog How to Find, Download, and Install Software on Linux Using Ubuntu. If your answer is yes, please share after reading this.
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If you’ve been using Linux for a long time, you’ll quickly find that there are a lot of different ways to do the same thing. This includes installing applications on a Linux machine from the command line. I’ve been a Linux user for about 25 years and constantly go back to the command line to install my apps.
The most common method of installing apps from the command line is by using software repositories (a place where software is stored) using something called a package manager. All Linux applications are distributed as packages, which are nothing more than files associated with a package management system. Every Linux distribution comes with a package management system, but not all are created equal.
Ubuntu Software Center
For a long time, people believed that the Linux operating system was only for geeks glued to the terminal, producing commands at lightning speed. Not anymore. Linux has come a long way, and if you’re a GUI user, don’t worry. Ubuntu Software Center is a great option for installing and managing software packages in general. The Ubuntu Software Center GUI normally looks like below. On the top bar you have four main buttons: On the far left is an option to search for software packages.
The three buttons in the center of the screen are used to search for new software, list installed software, or check for software updates. Installing the software in the Ubuntu Software Center is straightforward. Select the package you want to install, then click the install button.
APT is short for Advanced Package Tool, it’s not just a package installer, it’s a full package manager. You can use APT to install, update, remove and even search for software packages etc. The most common and easiest way to install packages through apt is to run the following command: apt install package_name. For example, to install the famous nano editor, just launch.
Synaptic packet manager
Synaptic, another powerful GUI based software package manager. If Synaptic is not installed on your PC, you can install it by running the following command.
- $ sudo apt install synaptic
Once Synaptic is installed, you can start it from the GUI. Then select the software you want to install by checking the installation box and click on Apply. The installation GUI should look like the one shown below.
One of the most common ways to install software in Ubuntu is through .deb packages. You first download the package from a software source, and then install it using one of the following methods. There are three main ways to install .deb software packages.
Installation with APT
If you have a .deb package on your local machine, you can simply install it through the APT command line tool. For example, to install the Virtual Box software present in your Downloads folder. First CD in the Downloads folder.
Once in the package location folder, you can use the following command format sudo apt install ./package_name.deb. For example, to install virtual-box, you can run.
- $ sudo apt install ./virtualbox-6.1_6.1.18-142142~Ubuntu~eoan_amd64.deb
Additionally, the above command will install all of the necessary software dependencies for the package you are installing.
Installation with dpkg
Dpkg is the primary software package tool on Debian-based Linux distributions. The installation of the packages via dpkg is very simple and follows the following format.
- $ sudo dpkg -i ./package_name.deb
After the above command, you need to troubleshoot the software dependency issues by running the following command. Unlike installing the.
Installation via the graphical interface
Finally, you can install .deb software packages by simply double-clicking the .deb file. This will open the file in the Ubuntu Software Center, then simply click install on the GUI menu.
Compile from source code
The last option we’ll cover is to install the software from source code. That is, you download the source code of the software and compile it yourself. Unlike the other installation methods we’ve covered so far, this one is probably the most demanding, but well worth it. Since most Linux packages are free and open source, you can modify the source code of any software and change it as you like. Also, you might be interested in learning good architecture and coding patterns from large software projects.
We’ll go over the main steps to build your own software with an example build from git, the popular version control system.
- First, install some useful software packages to compile the source code, for example make and GCC etc. In addition, we will also install curl, which we will use to download the source code for the software.
- $ sudo apt install libz-dev libssl-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev libexpat1-dev gettext cmake gcc curl
- Download the source code files using the curl command line tool. An alternative is to use the wget tool or the graphical interface.
We want to put the source code for the software in the Downloads folder, but you can use any other location, cd in your Downloads folder using the following.
Once in the download folder, you can download the git source code using curl as follows.
- $ curl ./-o git.tar.gz https://mirrors.edge.kernel.org/pub/software/scm/git/git-2.26.2.tar.gz
Source code is usually packaged in a compressed folder. You can extract it using tar with the following command
Then go to the extracted folder, in this case it’s git-2.26.2. Usually, you can get more information about installing the package by opening and reading the README.md file located in the source code root folder.
Configure and prepare your source code using the following command. The command will create make and configuration files for the software we are about to install.
Now that everything is set up, we can compile the software using the following command in the source code root folder.
The build process will take a little while, but once it’s done we are ready to install our newly compiled software.
- Finally, install the compiled software using the following command.
- $ sudo do the installation
You can test if git installed successfully as follows.
Final Words: How to Find, Download, and Install Software on Linux Using Ubuntu
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