How to install software on Linux Mint

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How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby xenopeek on Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:06 am

In Windows most of time when you want to install a program, you have to find it on the Internet, download it, and then you double-click the .exe file to start the installation. In Linux Mint this is done somewhat differently.

There are several ways to install software on Linux Mint. It can be somewhat confusing if you are accustomed to the Windows way, but hopefully you will shortly start appreciating how programs are installed on Linux. The forum is there to help with any doubts :wink:

SECTION ONE - THE RECOMMENDED WAY
The recommended way is using the Software Manager as this automatically downloads and installs not only your program, but also the program's dependencies (libraries or other programs needed for the program to run) and recommended programs (like add-ons). The Software Manager calls it "packages". You can also uninstall programs easily from the Software Manager (installed programs have a green checkmark on their icon, in the Software Manager).

Any programs you install from the Software Manager are downloaded from central software repositories (the default repositories for Linux Mint hold well over 60,000 programs), and any security updates or bugfixes to those programs are all handled automatically by the Update Manager.

Notes:
  • apt-get: On the forums you will often see suggestions to run a command like "sudo apt-get install program" from the terminal to install a program. This command is just a terminal version of the Software Manager; any program installed this way also shows up in the Software Manager and will also be updated by the Update Manager. You may also find the shorthand alternative that is available on Linux Mint, which would look like "apt install program", and does the same.
  • Synaptic: Another alternative you may be see suggested to use is the Synaptic Package Manager. The Software Manager and Synaptic Package Manager both work in the same way under-the-hood. The Software Manager is more user friendly; the Synaptic Package Manager has advanced functions like repairing broken packages.

SECTION TWO - THE ALTERNATIVE WAYS
Sometimes the Software Manager doesn't have the program or version you need. If this happens you can almost always find a PPA repository that you can add, or download the program you need in several package formats to install manually (if it comes to this try to make sure that you go to the package's official site as even on Linux there are malicious persons out there). The most common package formats are .rpm, .deb, and a tarball (files with an extension of .tgz, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, or similar). Linux Mint can use .deb and tarballs directly.

  1. Add a PPA repository: A Personal Package Archive (PPA) is a repository that you can add to your system, so that you can install programs from it with the Software Manager. It is the easiest way to make more programs available on Linux Mint, and you can use all the Ubuntu PPAs on Linux Mint. PPAs are all hosted on Launchpad, which is used by popular software developers to upload their software.

    On the forums you will often see suggestions to add a PPA repository, to make some new program, or a newer version of a program, installable. For example, to install the Y PPA Manager, the commands shared would be:
    Code: Select all
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/y-ppa-manager
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install y-ppa-manager

    From Linux Mint 15 adding a PPA is even easier: open Software Sources from your menu and click on the PPA button and you can directly add the PPA there without the need to use the terminal for above commands. For example, to add the above PPA you would use the text "ppa:webupd8team/y-ppa-manager".

    To find PPAs for the programs you want, you can either do an internet search for "ppa program" which usually gives good results, or you can install the Y PPA Manager. The Y PPA Manager is a GUI program that allows you to search Laucnhpad PPAs directly, and has various other features to manage PPAs. You already know how to install it :wink:

    Note: PPAs are meant for Linux Mint (e.g., Linux Mint 17), not for Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE). If you are using the Debian Edition, you generally can't use PPAs and shouldn't to avoid problems. Use one of the other ways to get software.

  2. Install a .deb package: .deb files are like .exe files on Windows. You download them from the Internet yourself, and they install in just a few clicks. To install the package either double-click it, or right-click on it and choose "Open With GDebi Package Installer". Enter your password if prompted. The rest should be automatic.

    Usually you will find a .deb package for Ubuntu; those will work with Linux Mint (you can find the Ubuntu release on which your Linux Mint release is based here, in the "Package base" column, or ask on the forums for help on this).

  3. Install multiple .deb packages: As an alternative to the previous "Install a .deb package" description, if you have multiple .deb files you want to install you can easily install them in one go. To do so, put all the .deb files you want to install in one folder. Then in your file manager (like Nautilus, Caja, Dolphin, or Thunar) browse to that folder and select File > Open Folder in Terminal from the menu. In the terminal type the following command:
    Code: Select all
    sudo dpkg -i *.deb

    You will be asked for your password, so please type it and press enter to continue (no feedback will appear on the screen as you type, that is as expected). This will install all the .deb files inside the folder. If the .deb files have dependencies that are met by other .deb files in that folder, this command will install the .deb files in the correct order to meet those dependencies. If there are unmet dependencies (packages needed but missing from your system and this folder) you will be so informed.

  4. Tarballs: A tarball is usually the compressed source code of your program, which you need to compile first in order to be able to use it (sometimes it is instead an archive with the already compiled source code, see the next section). These can be trickier to install, but it becomes easier after you have done it a few times. The first thing you need to do is to navigate to the location of the tarball, double-click it, and extract it contents.

    Now that the tarball is unpacked you need to go through the contents until you find a file that is called "INSTALL" (alternatively you may need to check the "README" or even the program's website). In this file you should find directions on how to install your particular package. It should also tell you what the dependencies are. First check to see if you have the dependencies installed. If you are missing any check the Software Manager to see if they are there and of the correct versions. If so install them, if not you have another .deb or tarball to download. If you have them all you will now want to continue reading through the file until you find the directions on how to install. The usual way is to browse to the extracted directory and select File > Open in Terminal, and there run:
    Code: Select all
    ./configure
    make
    sudo make install

    If you install it thus, you can't uninstall the program from the Software Manager. Therefore it is highly recommended to first install the program checkinstall (sudo apt-get install checkinstall), which will allow you to uninstall tarballs from the Software Manager. Replace the last "sudo make install" of the instructions with the following to add an uninstallation option in the Software Manager:
    Code: Select all
    sudo checkinstall

SECTION THREE - PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE AND GAMES
Proprietary software and games, both usually not open source, often come in other ways to install. Two common ways are:

  • A single binary file that you download and run to install it. Usually with a filename extension like .run, .sh or .bin. After downloading the file, right-click it, choose Properties, choose Permissions and mark "Allow executing file as program". Then double-click it to start the installer.

  • A archive file, like a tarball or a .zip, that your download and extract to your user's home folder. Unlike the tarball discussed in the previous section, this wouldn't contain the source code by the already compiled program. You extract the contents of the archive to a folder in your user's home folder and start it from there (see the "README" file for instructions). Sometimes it includes a script to install it to the system folders so all users on your computer can use it.
Lastly, some programs have their own software manager, like the the Steam client and the Desura client (both are for buying and playing games from their respective stores).


Credits: idea and initial text by Luckydog, additional suggestions by sunewbie. Any errors are mine :wink:
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby sunewbie on Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:21 pm

Thank you for posting useful info in a very simple and concise way. This will surely help end users and new windows converts.

Debian forums are more technical and take it for granted that users are already comfortable with Linux.
Last edited by sunewbie on Mon May 14, 2012 4:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby RETNUH on Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:17 pm

Thank you for your additions Sunewbie, and you for yours and putting this up Vincent Vermulen!
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby sunewbie on Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:10 am

Luckydog wrote:Thank you for your additions Sunewbie, and you for yours and putting this up Vincent Vermulen!


Thanks to you, for creating this idea :)
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby olle on Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:04 am

You might add a warning concerning PPA-repositories. Programs in there can be in development, "not ready" yet, in alpha/beta phase and thus create problems.

Or am I just paranoid ?
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby xenopeek on Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:43 am

olle wrote:You might add a warning concerning PPA-repositories. Programs in there can be in development, "not ready" yet, in alpha/beta phase and thus create problems.

Or am I just paranoid ?

As stated the recommended way is to install software from the Software Manager's default repositories, but not all programs that are available from PPAs are available in the default repositories. Usually developers offer different PPAs for the stable branch and for the development branch of their program.
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby AlbertP on Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:01 am

There are PPA's with stable and well-tested software, but also PPA's with experimental software. The description is not always clear.
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby kjomara on Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:56 am

Greetings, I am a newbie to Linux, please help. When I download google chrome to my 32 bit Mint system, I follow the step by step instructions for installing a .deb package. I right click on the chrome package in the download folder, click on open with GDEBI package installer. I get a message 'could not open file it might be corrupt or you may not have permission". What am I doing wrong?
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby mank_in on Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:38 pm

kjomara wrote:Greetings, I am a newbie to Linux, please help. When I download google chrome to my 32 bit Mint system, I follow the step by step instructions for installing a .deb package. I right click on the chrome package in the download folder, click on open with GDEBI package installer. I get a message 'could not open file it might be corrupt or you may not have permission". What am I doing wrong?


Sometime that problem happen with GDEBI. You can see how to install google chrome in linux mint12

If you are already download a installer ( .deb file ), Right click to the folder where downloaded file locate , select open in terminal ( my example is 32bit chrome )

Code: Select all
sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb
sudo apt-get install -f


It will install and automatically add google chrome repository.
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby sunewbie on Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:36 am

kjomara wrote:Greetings, I am a newbie to Linux, please help. When I download google chrome to my 32 bit Mint system, I follow the step by step instructions for installing a .deb package. I right click on the chrome package in the download folder, click on open with GDEBI package installer. I get a message 'could not open file it might be corrupt or you may not have permission". What am I doing wrong?


Double clicking on .deb not working?

I simply go to google chrome download page, download .deb file and double click to install. It works. I also get notifications when new version is released in update manager
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby kjomara on Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:48 pm

<SOLVED> I was running on my inital install. When I did all the updates to Mint everything works now including installing Chrome. Thanks
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby webguy64 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:53 pm

I just downloaded a .Deb file, hoping it would be easy like you said it would, and it was! :)
I kept downloading .tar files and I'm still new to this so that's what confused me. I don't download a lot of programs anyway
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby Scott65 on Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:46 pm

Thanks for your help, but I'm still having a problem with a .bin file, and I followed those instructions.

It's from Adobe:
(Note: if you follow this link it will try to auto-download)
http://get.adobe.com/reader/completion/ ... %28.bin%29

I've set the properties->permissions to "Allow executing file..."
but if I double-click on it, here's the error message i get:

Could not display "/home/scott/Downloads/AdbeRdr9.4.7-1_i486linux_enu.bin" "The file is of an unknown type"

Any suggestions?

Thanks.
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby claudecat on Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:24 am

Scott65 wrote:Thanks for your help, but I'm still having a problem with a .bin file, and I followed those instructions.

It's from Adobe:
(Note: if you follow this link it will try to auto-download)
http://get.adobe.com/reader/completion/ ... %28.bin%29

I've set the properties->permissions to "Allow executing file..."
but if I double-click on it, here's the error message i get:

Could not display "/home/scott/Downloads/AdbeRdr9.4.7-1_i486linux_enu.bin" "The file is of an unknown type"

Any suggestions?

Thanks.


That's not the correct way to get Acrobat Reader. As the OP stated, using the Software Manager (or apt-get or Synaptic) is the way to go. Open Software Manager and search "acroread" and then mark the appropriate package(s) for install then click apply. That's the beauty of finding software in linux... no more dl's from dozens of web sites - everything you need is listed in Synaptic (or Software Manager or whatever your Mint version calls it).

ps - you probably already have a pdf viewer installed... it's called evince or document viewer - should be in your menu somewhere
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby Scott65 on Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:44 am

claudecat wrote:
Scott65 wrote:Thanks for your help, but I'm still having a problem with a .bin file, and I followed those instructions.

It's from Adobe:
(Note: if you follow this link it will try to auto-download)
http://get.adobe.com/reader/completion/ ... %28.bin%29

I've set the properties->permissions to "Allow executing file..."
but if I double-click on it, here's the error message i get:

Could not display "/home/scott/Downloads/AdbeRdr9.4.7-1_i486linux_enu.bin" "The file is of an unknown type"

Any suggestions?

Thanks.


That's not the correct way to get Acrobat Reader. As the OP stated, using the Software Manager (or apt-get or Synaptic) is the way to go. Open Software Manager and search "acroread" and then mark the appropriate package(s) for install then click apply. That's the beauty of finding software in linux... no more dl's from dozens of web sites - everything you need is listed in Synaptic (or Software Manager or whatever your Mint version calls it).

ps - you probably already have a pdf viewer installed... it's called evince or document viewer - should be in your menu somewhere


Thanks for your input.

But if I search for "acroread" in Software Manager, i get a blank screen for search results.
And I do have a .PDF reader, but it won't read this .PDF file (a product user's manual) that I downloaded from the manufacturer, and it was their website which directed me to the adobe webpage to download the file I listed above so I could read their manual.

Regradless if it's the "correct way", it's what the company and adobe have me tied to, and, according to OP's directions, I should be able to install a .bin file, which is what was downloaded from Adobe.
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby sunewbie on Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:36 pm

Scott65 wrote:
Thanks for your input.

But if I search for "acroread" in Software Manager, i get a blank screen for search results.
And I do have a .PDF reader, but it won't read this .PDF file (a product user's manual) that I downloaded from the manufacturer, and it was their website which directed me to the adobe webpage to download the file I listed above so I could read their manual.

Regradless if it's the "correct way", it's what the company and adobe have me tied to, and, according to OP's directions, I should be able to install a .bin file, which is what was downloaded from Adobe.


acroread should be there. Currently I am on Bodhi which has 10.04 Lucid base. It has version 9.47. I will check with Mint 12 also.

EDIT: I checked in Mint 12. Type 'acro' in Software Manager. Install all 3 files. screenshot attached.

I went to Adobe PDF website

http://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/

Selected version Linux, then language english. Along with .bin and tar.bz2, the third option is .deb file (57.25 MB) v9.4.7. a deb file should be easily installed by double clicking on it. If not just update the system and it should be fixed.

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get update


Code: Select all
sudo apt-get upgrade


or there is a shield icon on panel (top or bottom). Just click on it. It's update manager. Enter password and update the system. This should fix the system.

Anyways,an out of way temp solution. Upload that manual to Google Docs, then save as PDF. Then it should open in regular PDF viewer. Sometimes, there is also a PDF file with extension xps, mostly because it's created from MS Office 2007.
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Attachments
acroread LM12.png
Acroread - Acrobat Reader files
acroread LM12.png (44.56 KiB) Viewed 87428 times
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby Scott65 on Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:13 am

sunewbie wrote:
Scott65 wrote:
Thanks for your input.

But if I search for "acroread" in Software Manager, i get a blank screen for search results.
And I do have a .PDF reader, but it won't read this .PDF file (a product user's manual) that I downloaded from the manufacturer, and it was their website which directed me to the adobe webpage to download the file I listed above so I could read their manual.

Regradless if it's the "correct way", it's what the company and adobe have me tied to, and, according to OP's directions, I should be able to install a .bin file, which is what was downloaded from Adobe.


acroread should be there. Currently I am on Bodhi which has 10.04 Lucid base. It has version 9.47. I will check with Mint 12 also.

EDIT: I checked in Mint 12. Type 'acro' in Software Manager. Install all 3 files. screenshot attached.

I went to Adobe PDF website

http://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/

Selected version Linux, then language english. Along with .bin and tar.bz2, the third option is .deb file (57.25 MB) v9.4.7. a deb file should be easily installed by double clicking on it. If not just update the system and it should be fixed.

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get update


Code: Select all
sudo apt-get upgrade


or there is a shield icon on panel (top or bottom). Just click on it. It's update manager. Enter password and update the system. This should fix the system.

Anyways,an out of way temp solution. Upload that manual to Google Docs, then save as PDF. Then it should open in regular PDF viewer. Sometimes, there is also a PDF file with extension xps, mostly because it's created from MS Office 2007.
Image


Thanks. I figured out my problem:
"Available Packages" wasn't checked in Software Manager --> View
(oops)

So Acrobat is installed now, thanks, but now it says that the file I downloaded is corrupted beyond repair.

LOL!
That figures....
Thanks for your help.
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby sunewbie on Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:22 am

Uninstall Acrobat,

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get autoremove


Code: Select all
sudo apt-get autoclean


or combined code

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get autoremove && sudo apt-get autoclean


Open Software Manager and reinstall Acrobat.

Bleachbit can also be used to clean un-used packages. It is not installed by default.

You can also try to repair broken packages in synaptic

Open synaptic and then click on the button custom filters --> broken packages. If it shows something. Select them and mark for reinstallation. click apply.

If still does not work, then grapes are sour :))

Acrobat PDf reader is mostly widely used and so targeted by hackers. It also has security flaws.
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby Scott65 on Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:56 pm

sunewbie wrote:Uninstall Acrobat,

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get autoremove


Code: Select all
sudo apt-get autoclean


or combined code

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get autoremove && sudo apt-get autoclean


Open Software Manager and reinstall Acrobat.

Bleachbit can also be used to clean un-used packages. It is not installed by default.

You can also try to repair broken packages in synaptic

Open synaptic and then click on the button custom filters --> broken packages. If it shows something. Select them and mark for reinstallation. click apply.

If still does not work, then grapes are sour :))

Acrobat PDf reader is mostly widely used and so targeted by hackers. It also has security flaws.


Acrobat reader installed fine once I found it... it works with other files okay... it's this manual.pdf that's the problem... that's the file that's corrupted. Not the reader.
:)

Thanks for the good advice.
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Re: How to install software on Linux Mint

Postby Miekuxi on Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:51 am

I'm not too sure, but doesn't Evince work similar to Acrobat? I have not used Acrobat for ages!
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