Installing programs

There are different ways of installing software in Ubuntu.

The main method is using the Software Sources (Repositories):

"There are literally thousands of Ubuntu programs available to meet the needs of Ubuntu users. Many of these programs are stored in software archives commonly referred to as repositories. Repositories make it very easy to install new software onto Ubuntu using an Internet connection, while also providing a high level of security, as each program available in the repositories is thoroughly tested and built specifically for each version of Ubuntu."

The other, more Windows-like way would be to have a package in your hands already "compiled", that is ready to be installed by double-click... That is called a deb file. If you have it, install it with a program called gdebi, that you would have to install first :)

(Most such files are provided but the authors, like for Opera and Chrome.)

Considering the main mode of installation, from "Repositories" or, as they are also called, "Sources": your computer have to "add" them first, but the most important are already added. 

To see those already added to `Software Sources`  (to find that look in menus or else in Updates or Synaptic). If a program's source is not there, it has to be added for the program to be installed `from repositories`. Go to `Other software/Add`.

To add a source in the Terminal,
sudo add-apt-repository deb http://something
(the `deb http://something` part is the same thing you alternatively could add in `Software Sources/Other software/Add`)

To find the formula to be added, look about that on the internet, related to the website of the program. (An Ubuntu program's website would provide this type of info just as a Windows program's website would provide the .exe file to install.)

This will add the given source to our sources.list. For some programs a signature key may be needed:

sudo apt-key add <downloaded-keyfile>
Some sources are PPAs (Personal Package Archive) - to add that, the general command is:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:user-name/ppa-name

but first you have to find "user-name/ppa-name", usually on the site of the application

then to access the new PPA, the general command to update all sources:

sudo apt-get update 

The main method of installation, from Repositories, also involves different ways:

  • the installation from CLI terminal command to be used for any program that is already added to sources:

sudo apt-get install name-of-application

  • When a program's source is already added, it can be installed via a GUI program. The main program for this are:
Synaptic Manager (usually already installed)

sudo apt-get install synaptic
To see if a program is or not installable in this way, or maybe even already installed,  search it in Synaptic Manager. Sometimes the basic name is different than the generic name. Select it and right-click to mark for installation/removal/upgrade etc.

And then click `Apply`. etc.

Ubuntu Software Center
sudo apt-get install software-center

 Lubuntu Software Center
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lubuntu-desktop/ppa 
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install lubuntu-software-center
(for a first time user it is not useless to add that such commands are not to be pasted together in terminal, but each line separately, followed by its execution: Enter!)


Some websites like AskUbuntu provide links to start installing a program from the Repositories. This links ("apt://" protocol/links) are usually handled  only by Ubuntu Software Center. But there is a lighter application (apturl) that can do that trick (more here):

sudo apt-get install apturl
Then, in Firefox' Preferences/Applications set apturl to open `apt` links. To see this option you might need to install Ubuntu Software Center first.

Ubuntu websites are continually evolving. 
One of the best to use `apturl` into and install application is Ubuntu Apps Directory.

But what are the programs to install?

Installed programs are easily accessible by the default program "run": ALT-F2. But a more interesting program is Synapse: see this.

The office suite: Open (Libre) Office
Abiword - good text editor
Leafpad, Mousepad - small text editors (other text editors: gedit, kwrite, kate, jedit) 
Pdf: Acroread (Adobe), Foxit Reader, Document Viewer

A powerful image editor (GIMP) is installed by default
Gwenview (lighter image viewer and editor)
Gpicview (even lighter)
To catch the displayed images or selected areas and edit: Shutter

K3b (cd/dvd burner)
k9copy, DVD95 Converter - dvd rip copy
Acetone ISO (iso mounter)
Nero for Linux (if you can get it)

KDownloader (torrent app.)
JDownloader - see below
Free Rapid Downloader - see this post
uGet (download manager, integrated with FlasGot in Firefox)

Pdgin - messenger, chat

Dropbox, Wuala, Ubuntu One 

SMPlayer - excellent video player - in Lubuntu read this before installing
VLC is the best
Gnome Subtitles editor

Deadbeef music player (see below) 
Clementine music player
Qmmp music player (Other players: Aqualung, Audacious, Quod Libet - see post)

Sound Converter
Asunder cd ripper
XCFA - sound converter
Audacity - audio editor

WinFF: video and audio converter

lxtask - a lightweight task manager
Gdebi package installer - lightweight deb files installer (Ubuntu Software Center is heavy)
gnome-search-tool (gnome-utils) - a lightweight file search utility (Catfish is heavier)

Baobab - see details on disk space use
K4DirStat - same, see my post

ARCHIVERS: Archive Manager, Ark, Squeeze. Search in Synaptic Package Manager by type of archive - and install

To install the language panel plug-in (that displays and changes the keyboard language):
sudo apt-get install xfce4-xkb-plugin

To install JDownloader: 
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jd-team/jdownloadersudo
apt-get update
sudo apt-get install jdownloader

To install Deadbeef music player:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alexey-smirnov/deadbeef
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install deadbeef


TO UNINSTALL IN TERMINAL [example to uninstall ‘app’ - replace with the name of the program]
sudo apt-get remove app

To also remove configuration files: 
sudo apt-get --purge remove app
 (also check and delete directory in ‘home’)

To to remove packages that were automatically installed and that are no longer  needed:
sudo apt-get autoremove 

To speed up terminal download, use apt-fast instead of apt-get.
Apt-fast is a different program that uses the Axel download accelerator (which uses multiple servers to download one singe file). To install it:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:apt-fast/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install apt-fast axel

then, use
sudo apt-fast install etc

- To install from an archive, see this post.