Like the other posts say, one of the easiest ways to install software in Linux Mint is to use the "Software Manager
". In Cinnamon it is under "Menu -> Administration -> Software Manager". The "Menu" is a lot like the "Start" menu in Windows. When you start the "Software Manager" you will be asked for your password.
From the Software Manager you can search for all packages that are maintained in various repositories*. From the screenshot, just type in 'Opera' where the magnifying glass is, and hit enter. Double click the program you want to install, and click the "Install" button.
There are a lot of programs available in the Software Manager, and these are by far the easiest to install. You will always automatically get the version of the program that works with your system.
However, sometimes you might want to install programs from other places. For example, if the program is not listed in the Software Manager. In this case, you want to look for files with the extension ".deb
". This basically like an installer file. In Linux Mint you can just double-click on (trusted) .deb files, and it will ask if you want to install the program.
When choosing a .deb to download, you often need to know about your operating system, ie. 32bit/64bit, OS version, dependent software versions. If the .deb file is not compatible with your system, it will probably not install. If it does install and is not comparable, the program will probably just not run.
Other than the Software Manager
and installing from a .deb
, you can also install software from source
. Normally source files come in something like "tar", "bz", etc. These files are basically like "zip" files. That is why when you open it there are more files inside. Compiling from source is definitely the most difficult way to install software
, but sometimes you might want to. See this link for an introduction: http://www.wikihow.com/Compile-a-Program-in-Linux
1) Try to find the software you want with the Software Manager. If it is not there...
2) Try to find a .deb package of the software (for your system) from the vendor's website. Download it, and double click on it to install. If all else fails...
3) Download the "source" files (like tar, tar.gz, zip, etc), unpack the software and build it [instructions above]
*to learn more about repositories you might start here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Repositories/Ubuntu