How to Install Apps in Ubuntu Based Linux Distributions

LinuxBytes: Have just got your hands on Ubuntu or any of Ubuntu based Linux Operating System? Then the first thing you should learn is how to install apps in Ubuntu and its derivatives. In this article learn how to install software in Ubuntu Linux.

There is no doubt Ubuntu is a beautiful and powerful Linux Operating System. It can be a great alternative to users who are switching from Windows.

Using Ubuntu is very easy as it has a modern GUI. In fact behind the skin, Ubuntu has a powerful command-line interface built on top of Linux kernel. There are many Linux distributions like Zorin OS, Elementary OS and Linux Mint etc that are built on top of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use and so is the other Ubuntu based distributions.

The first thing we do after installing any operating system is that we install our favourite applications that help us to perform of our day to day computing needs like browsing the internet, playing media and doing office work.

While most of the Linux distributions are by default packed with applications that come handy for regular tasks and Ubuntu is also not an exception. It comes with some default applications for tasks like browsing, e-mail client media player, office suite etc.

If you are not happy with the default application then you can install applications of your choice.

If you are new to Ubuntu Linux or any of its derivatives, then you should learn how to install apps/software in Ubuntu based Linux distributions. It is the basic thing as it is not the same as in windows.

In this guide learn how to install apps in Ubuntu and other Ubuntu based distros in different ways.

Installing Apps in Ubuntu:

Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based Linux distributions share the same installation process as they have similar Linux core. So the following instructions work on most of the Ubuntu-based Linux distributions.

1. Using the Software centre:


Ubuntu comes integrated with an inbuilt software centre wherein you can install Linux software quickly and easily. It is similar to that of the Android Play store and lets you download and install software quickly. To install software from built-in Ubuntu software store follow instructions.

  • Click on menu
  • Search for “Software Centre” and launch it by clicking on it
  • There you can discover many apps sorted by category
  • Tap on the one that you prefer to install and click “install” option
  • If prompted enter your password.
  • After successful installation, the app will be placed in the menu.
  • The software centre also helps you to update apps instantly.

This is the easiest way for beginners to install software in Ubuntu. But there is a downside as you can’t find all the apps in the store and also it doesn’t let you enjoy real fun of Linux.

2. Installing software using .deb files

Ubuntu is a derivative of Debian, Ubuntu supports .deb files that allow quick installation of software packages on Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distributions like Zorin OS and Linux Mint.

.deb files are just like .exe files in windows. Some apps can be installed using Deb install files. Just search for the Deb package from the developer or company official site. Learn how to install apps in Zorin OS.

  • Download the deb file of the application
  • Locate it using a file manager
  • Click on the .deb file. Doing so will open the app details in “Software”
  • Now click on the install button to install on your machine. Enter your password if prompted.

3. Installing software using APT commands

You might have come across commands like sudo apt install across various sites that let you install Linux software. These commands are the commands that run behind the screen when you install software using GUI software centre. if you get some experience with Linux then we are sure that you will always try to install software using commands in Linux.

To install Linux software using APT commands just run:

sudo apt-get install package_name

4. Installing Apps through Repository/PPA

Some app developers often create a repository for their apps in Linux. To install these apps one has to first add a repository before installing the application. By adding a repository you can enjoy future updates as well. Follow the below instructions to add a repository in Zorin OS.

  • Open Linux terminal from the menu “utilities”-terminal or simply hit Ctrl+Alt+T
  • Now type the below command if the repository is hosted on launchpad
     sudo add-apt-repository ppa: dev/repository-name
  • Replace “dev” with developer name and repository-name with the repository name of the app.
  • Instead, if the developer hosts the app on their own repositories they will give the instructions for adding the repository. Follow the instructions and add the repository to your computer just paste the instructed commands and run them.
  • After adding the repository refresh app source using the command
    sudo apt update.

5. Installing Apps from .TAR.GZ files

Just like .zip files in Windows .TAR.GZ files are compressed source packages in Linux world.

Unlike extracting contents inside a zip file .TAR.GZ files have to be compiled from source in order to install them. To do that follow below instructions

  • Download the required .tar.gz source file and navigate to its stored location using the file manager
  • Right click on the file and choose “extract here” and copy the directory path.
  • Open terminal and type cd and change the directory to package path. You can copy paste it.
  • Now follow the instructions given by the app developer to install it. These commands will usually be seen in the readme file or install file
  • Upon successful installation, you can see the software in the menu.
  • If you find any error during installation we suggest you report it to the developer


So this is how you can install your favourite apps in Ubuntu and its derivatives. If you are a beginner just try to install apps from the software centre. As you get your hands on Linux, master the art of installing Apps using Linux terminal and from the repository as it gives the real fun in using Linux.

Tell us in comments if you face any trouble and which way you wish to follow? Meanwhile, follow @Linuxflips on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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1 Response

  1. February 17, 2019

    […] Also Read: How to Install Apps in Ubuntu? […]

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How to Install Apps in Ubuntu Based Linux Distributions

by LinuxFlips time to read: 4 min