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How to install and uninstall software applications in Ubuntu

Once you’ve installed Ubuntu you have most of the software applications you’re going to need, nonetheless you’d like to install many new software applications and as time goes by, you may even want to uninstall existing applications. There are two ways you can install and uninstall software applications in Ubuntu: using command line Terminal, and using the Synaptic Package Manager.

Using the Synaptic Package Manager is quite easy. Just fire it up by first going to System and then Administration. You’ll need to enter the system password before you can access this feature. This package manager is connected with many online software repositories. Some repositories are supported by Ubuntu, and some are not. In order to install a particular software, the repository link needs to pre-exist. Normally if it doesn’t, the software website gives you a link that you can add by going to Settings and then Repositories.

Adding repository links in the Synaptic Package Manager

Assuming the repository already exists, you simply have to search the application, select it for installation. You’ll finally have to click the Apply button in order to install the software. All the applications that are already installed appear with a colored checkbox. So you click a particular, colored, checkbox and uninstall the associated application.

Click Apply in order to install the selected software package

Click Apply in order to install the selected software package

You can also use the Ubuntu Software Center to install and uninstall applications.

Ubuntu Software Center

Installing/Uninstalling software applications using Terminal Window

In Ubuntu you can also use the Terminal to install and uninstall software applications. Start the Terminal window by clicking Applications -> Accessories

For installing programs in the repository, simply execute:

sudo apt-get install {package name}

Don’t use the curly brackets. Replace {package name} with the actual name of the package. For instance, if you want to install audacity, you can use:

sudo apt-get install audacity

Some packages require dependencies — other programs and files it needs to run, but are not supplied with it. You can install the dependencies with

sudo apt-get build-dep {package name}

In order to uninstall a software application using the Terminal window you need the following command:

sudo apt-get remove {package name}

To remove the package along with all its data files you use:

sudo apt-get –purge remove {package name}

Some packages come as .deb files. After downloading the package, go to the folder where you have downloaded the .deb file and double-click it. It’ll install. Or in the terminal window, use ‘cd’ to go to the folder where you have the .deb file and then execute the following command:

sudo dpkg -i package-name.deb

You also get .bin files as program files. Read how to execute a .bin file in Ubuntu.