HowTo: Install Applications in Ubuntu

1 11 2006

Congratulations on finally installing and trying out the Ubuntu Operating System. You will soon find out that using Linux is not as difficult as it sounds, it’s actually simple and fun. Now after trying out the default applications, you might wonder, “how do I install more applications? Will it be hard? Do I need to compile programs from source?” Well, fortunately for you, the Ubuntu Community is kind enough to give a large repository of programs which can easily be installed with a few simple clicks. There are two approaches to doing this: (1) Synaptic Package Manager, (2) Aptitude.

Synaptic Package Manager

To run Synaptic Package Manager, simple go to System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager. From here, you can search for applications to install via the “Search” button. But first, let’s add a few more applications to the default setting, so that we have more programs to choose from. Let’s enable the extra Universe and Multiverse repositories, from within the Synaptic Package Manager:

  1. Settings -> Repositories
  2. In the Installation Media tab, click Add. There are three separate repositories; Dapper Drake (or Edgy Eft), Security Updates and Updates. Select each repository and check Officially supported, Restricted copyright, Community maintained (Universe) and Non-free (Multiverse). Ensure you click OK between each repository to save your changes
  3. You should now see those three repositories under Channels. Make sure Officially supported, Restricted copyright, Community maintained (Universe) and Non-free (Multiverse) appears under each repository

Now, let’s add the backports and PLF repositories.

  1. Settings -> Repositories
  2. Click on Add and then Custom
  3. Paste the following four lines into the box and click Add Repository, one line at a time:

deb edgy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src edgy-backports main restricted universe multiverse

deb edgy-plf free non-free
deb-src edgy-plf free non-free

Then refresh the list of known packages:
Edit Menu -> Reload Package Information[1]

Now that you have a wider list of applications available to you, simple search for the programs that you wish to install. If you wish to install C/C++ compilers, for instance, simply install the ‘build-essential’ package.


Now this approach is more for the experienced ones, since we’ll be making use of the terminal. However, using this feature doesn’t have the search feature as in the above method, but it’s faster than the GUI-bound Synaptic.

To install applications using Aptitude, first enable the extra repositories by following the above instructions (the one under Synaptic). After this, all we need to do to install our programs is to type the following:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

for installing the C/C++ compilers, for example. Doing a ‘sudo’ however, asks for your administrator password. Simply enter it when it is asked for. It’s as simple as that! 🙂


[1] Taken from

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3 responses

1 11 2006
HowTo: Install Photoshop in Ubuntu « The Pinoy Geek

[…] First, make sure that you’ve read and done the stuff I babbled about adding extra repositories in Ubuntu in this HowTo. Next, let’s install wine by going on the terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal) and typing the following: […]

5 12 2006

(Are HTML tags allowed? 🙂 Hi, Cricket! Kristina here.)

When using the apt package directly, you can update the package index files with:

$ sudo apt-get update

and search for packages with:

$ sudo apt-cache search $REGEX

5 12 2006

Also, apt and bash is just as powerful (actually, it should be more powerful) than synaptic, which depends on apt. IMHO.

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