How to install software in Ubuntu
To install an application, either double-click on the item on the list or right-click on it and select Mark for Installation. Some software will need extra libraries or applications to be installed in order to work, so click OK when the prompt appears.
Once you’ve marked all the apps you’re interested in, just click the Apply button on the toolbar at the top. The Synaptic Package Manager will run its installation scripts, download all the necessary files and get everything ready to use.
The Ubuntu Software Centre
The Synaptics Package Manager is effective, but it’s also confusing. For everyday use, it’s better to use the newer Ubuntu Software Centre (Applications | Ubuntu Software Centre). Think of the USC as an all-encompassing app store and software manager for Ubuntu; you can use it to find, download and install software, then remove any programs if you decide they’re not for you.
If you like what you see, just click Install. It’s the same basic model as the iTunes App Store and Android Market
The apps in the USC also go through a more stringent review process, which should – in theory – keep the quality levels high. The majority of apps in the USC are free, but Canonical hopes that the USC will one day function as a proper marketplace for paid-for Ubuntu apps.
It’s very easy to use. On the left are the options to Get Software, manage your Installed Software and check your History to see what’s been installed. Click on the arrow next to each option and it expands to show different sources.
In the default Get Software View, you’ll see a list of categories, plus two boxes for Featured and New applications. Just click on a category to browse the applications within. Click on one, highlight it and click Get Info, and you’ll see details of what the program does and any issues that may affect your usage.
If you like what you see, just click Install. It’s the same basic model as the iTunes App Store and Android Market, although without the same sophisticated review process – for now.
Using your apps
Unlike Windows applications, most Ubuntu programs won’t install a desktop shortcut. However, finding your new software isn’t a challenge.
If you’re using the Gnome interface – the default with the Desktop Edition of Ubuntu – click on the Applications menu, browse down to the relevant category and you should find a launcher for the new application waiting there. From here, you can also create a desktop shortcut, by right-clicking and selecting “Add this Launcher to Desktop”.
In the Unity interface that comes with the Netbook edition (and which is intended for future desktop editions), there’s no Applications menu, but you can click on the little Ubuntu icon at the top left to open up the application interface.
Here, you can either type the name of a program into the search field or browse through the various application categories. Once your app is up and running, you’ll see its icon in the sidebar, and you can pin it there by right-clicking on the icon and select “Keep in Launcher”.
However, the Unity interface doesn’t let you keep icons on the desktop.
Complete guide to Ubuntu:
How to install Ubuntu
Installing Ubuntu from a USB memory stick
Getting started with Ubuntu: the essentials
How to install software in Ubuntu
10 essential Ubuntu apps
How to run Windows apps in Ubuntu
The Ubuntu file system
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