How to install a program in Ubuntu

Ubuntu packages logo

Installing a program in Ubuntu is an extremely simple task. Ubuntu adds the most common programs by default and powerful that Linux has, however, if you need some more specific software you can install it easily by following the steps that we indicate below. If you want some information about what happens every time you install a program in Ubuntu, which may include questions about technical data, you can get it from the articles it includes, such as Packages and Package Management o Installing a Package.

In Ubuntu (and Linux in general), contrary to what happens in the Windows world, no need to search the program manually over the internet, download it and install lots of libraries necessary for its execution. For that there are repositories (see Software and updates), a kind of centralized warehouse that contains all available software and is always up to date. We just have to choose the application and the system already takes care of only downloading and installing it.

There are several ways to install a program in Ubuntu. We will present them to you from lowest to highest level of «complexity».

1. The Ubuntu Software Center

Ubuntu Software Center

The simplest and most intuitive way of all is through this application. As Ubuntu has been developed, functionalities have been added that have endowed it with the characteristics of a real software store where there are thousands of applications available to users.

To access we must click on the icon Software Center, inside the launcher bar or launcher which is on the left of the screen; or by clicking on the first launcher with the Ubuntu logo icon that opens the Dashboard or dash and write or search Software Center.

This application is divided into several sections:

  1. In rural areas of India, families in charge of a blind minor frequently isolate and deprive him/her of the care and attention they provide to their other children; such situation becomes even more severe among lower-caste families, orphans and if the blind child is a girl. upper lashes we have the following options All applications, Installed and History.
  2. Now hand are the applications divided by subcategories.
  3. In center are the applications divided by Most recent y Best rated.
  4. Here at the top right we have the option of Search.

Once we have chosen the package or application that we want to install, we can directly press the corresponding button and wait for it to be included in our system. If we want to get more details about the application, what it is for, what plugins installs or the evaluation and comments of the users, we can view all this information by clicking on Learn More. Once the application installation is complete, the button Install will automatically become Uninstall and from here we can remove the application from the system. As you can see, everything is very simple and intuitive.

2. The Synaptic Package Manager

Synaptic app

Synaptic is a more advanced system installation and removal of applications than the Software Center. Even so, the environment is graphical and very powerful, and you have complete control over the applications that are installed on the system, their dependencies and the different versions of packages that can be installed according to the needs. Since Ubuntu 12.04 Synaptic it is not installed by default and if we want to use it, we must install it from the Software Center, searching for Synaptic.

To open Synaptic we will have to click on the first launcher of the bar with the Ubuntu logo, we will open the Dashboard and we will write or search Synaptic package manager. With this manager we can install, reinstall and remove packages in a very simple graphical way. The Synaptic screen as you can see is divided into 4 sections. The two most important are the list that includes the category section (1) on the left side and the package section (3) on the right side. Selecting a package from the list will display a description of it (4).

To install a package we will select a category, right-click on the desired package and select Mark to install or we will double click on the package name. In this way we will mark all the packages that we wish to install in the system and we will click on the button Apply for your installation to begin. Synaptic will download only the necessary packages from the repositories on the internet or from the installation CD.

You can also use the button Search to find the packages we want to install. By clicking on this button we can search for programs by name or description. Once the program we want to install is located, we double-click on it to install it. If we want to delete a program, all we have to do is right-click on it and select Eliminate o Delete completely.

In all cases, the changes will take effect once we click on the Apply button.

The Synaptic manager, like the Software Center, takes care of resolving package dependencies by itself for the applications to work properly. In the same way, it is possible to configure it to install the recommended packages that, without being required by the application, can fulfill other additional functions. If we want to activate this behavior we can go to Configuration > Preferences, and in the tab General check the box Treat recommended packages as dependencies.

3. apt-get and aptitude commands via console

So far we have seen the graphical way to install programs in Ubuntu. Next we will see how to do this but through the terminal. Although many users are put back by everything related to "black screens", you should know that this method does not involve any complications at all. Unlike, it is more comfortable and simple and of course faster.

The fundamental commands that we will explain are valid for apt-get (o apt since Ubuntu 14.04) and aptitude. Both work in a very similar way, but we must bear in mind that when invoking them we must have administrator privileges, so stay tuned to the command sudo.

We open the terminal through the first launcher of the bar with the Ubuntu logo, then the Dashboard and we write or search: Terminal. It is also opened by pressing the key combination Ctrl + Alt + T.

  • Installing packages:
sudo apt-get install nombre-del-paquete
  • Install multiple packages:
sudo apt-get install nombre-del-paquete1 nombre-del-paquete2 nombre-del-paquete3
  • Uninstall packages:
sudo apt-get remove nombre-del-paquete
  • Uninstall a package and its associated configuration files:
sudo apt-get remove --purge nombre-del-paquete
  • Update the list of packages available in the repository
sudo apt-get update
  • Update all packages installed on the computer
sudo apt-get upgrade

Once we execute the command, the system may ask us if we want to install the package and what we have selected and those others that are dependent on it, showing us certain details such as its full name, version or size. We will answer affirmatively and wait to finish the installation.


This is the end of this guide in which we have shown you various ways to install packages in Ubuntu. We hope you find it useful.

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  1.   Pedro said

    Interesting article for me, because I am profane in Ubuntu, I would ask you a question about how to install Drivers. I have a USB adapter for wifi from TP-Link (Archer T2U) I have downloaded the drivers for Linux from its official website (Archer T2U_V1_150901) but ?? I don't know how they are installed.
    Thanks and Regards

    1.    Luis Gomez said

      Hi Pedro, regarding your question I have to tell you that, as in almost everything in computing, it depends. If we talk about proprietary drivers, generally a script or program is included that performs the task of installing them on our system. First of all, check that there is no readme file that indicates the steps to follow specifically for the controller you want to add. Secondly, I would tell you that, if you have downloaded a tarball, check if there is any script that you can launch from the command line by previously adding the executable properties.

  2.   atareao said

    In Ubuntu, with Unity, it is also possible to install it directly from the Dashboard.

    a greeting

  3.   Pedro said

    Thank you very much for the information, I have not seen any readme file that indicates the steps to follow, I even contacted TP-Link and they did not know how to give me the instructions for its installation.

  4.   John Jackson said

    Hi Luis, Thank you for your clear, simple and direct contribution.

    I just installed Ubuntu version 10.10 on a laptop, the problem it presents is not being able to surf the internet even if it detects and connects to WiFi. by ethernet if I can surf, it detects qindows network and all that. By wireless network it only specifies that it is connected. I already gave DHCP the opportunity to do the job as well as manually (IP, Subnet mask, gateway, DNS) and the problem persists.

    I also tried to document myself on the net, only that no attempt worked for me.

    Could you help me figure this out.

    Thanks in advance

  5.   john jackson said

    PS I am resolved

  6.   Mark Lopez said

    I am new to this ubuntu, I have installed version 16.04 but I have the problem that whatever I want to install does not let me, I have tried from console and nothing, in the software center nothing, I tried to install synaptic from console and it tells me that there is no candidate.
    Any idea?
    First of all, Thanks

  7.   alfredo said

    Someone knows where I can download the version of utorrent to download it in armbian of ubuntu 16.04.2. If anyone has the answer, contact me in the following email:

  8.   Virginia Rose said

    Hello friends, thank you for your valuable contributions
    I have a problem. My disk is partitioned in 3. a partition1 for windons, partiticon2 I have linux, and the 3rd for my most personal use, as a backup.
    Arta de windons and their famous viruses, I have decided to use only linux for everything, especially to connect to the internet, install Zorin 9 (based on ubuntu)
    x error delete the firefox packages and now I don't know how to solve the problem
    I have already tried various ways, such as updating update, upgrade, installing firefox x the software center.
    this is my error with update:

    Err trusty-security / main Sources
    Err trusty-security / main Sources
    404 Not Found [IP: 80]
    Fetched 3.547 kB in 34min 28s (1.714 B / s)
    Reading package lists ... Done
    W: An error occurred during the signature verification.
    The repository is not updated and the previous index files will be used.
    gpg error: stable InRelease: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY D615560BA5C7FF72
    W: There is no public key available for the following key IDs:
    W: Failed to fetch
    W: Failed to fetch gzip: /var/lib/apt/lists/partial/ve.archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_trusty-updates_universe_binary-i386_Packages Hash Sum mismatch
    W: Failed to fetch Unable to find expected entry 'main / binary-i386 / Packages' in Release file (Wrong sources.list entry or malformed file)
    W: Failed to fetch 404 Not Found [IP: 80]
    W: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

    the fact is that when trying to install it again it throws the error.
    Please if someone can help me !!!

    1.    David yeshael said

      Hello Rosa, from what I see, it first throws this at you because it does not find that address, since it no longer exists.
      "err trusty-security / main Sources
      Err trusty-security / main Sources »
      "404 Not Found [IP: 80]".
      The second is that you do not have imported the public keys of opera
      "GPG failed: stable InRelease: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY D615560BA5C7FF72 ″

      You can show us your sources list, you do it with:
      cat /etc/apt/sources.list