One of the first things you probably want to do after installing Ubuntu is adding your favorite programs, not in the least because the CD version comes with practically no extra software. Don't bother looking for "Add/Remove Programs" like I did for the first few hours because you won't find it. In Linux, software comes in packages, no really, they are called packages. These contain everything you need to install the software and in that respect don't seem to differ that much from .exe files in Windows. However there are a few crucial differences. For one, you can't just run the package to install the software, you need a Package Management System for that. Luckily Ubuntu comes pre-installed with one of those called Synaptic Package Manager. It can be accessed from the menu System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager


Packages can be found in package repositories all over the internet and you can configure Synaptic Package Manager to connect to any one (or all) of them, putting at your fingertips quite possibly the largest collection of free software I have ever seen. To add a repository just select Settings -> Repositories and make sure your first Tab (Ubuntu Software) looks like this


Then on the second tab (Third-Party Software) you can add your own repositories (I have not found the need yet to do this, the default ones had all the packages that I needed so far). I'll walk you through the installation of Firefox as an example of the installation process.

On the main screen hit the search button, type in Firefox in the Search Box that pops up and press the Search button



From the list that gets returned, select Firefox (verify the version from the Latest Version column) and from the window that pops up select "Mark for Installation" (it should be the only one available). The icon in the first column should have changed to indicate that you selected this for installation. Note that at this moment nothing has been installed yet. For that you need to press the Apply button at the top of the screen

It will ask for confirmation and when you confirm your selected packages will get installed. You will notice that the icon now becomes green indicating that that package is installed on your system.

If you want to remove (uninstall) a package you just click on the green icon and select Mark for Removal



and again select the Apply button after you made your selection. You can select as many installations or removals as you want before hitting Apply, when you then finally do hit apply, all those queued installs and removals get applied all in one go.

After having had so many issues with WoL this was quite a welcome reprieve and I this system is a far better approach to managing software applications than the complete mess in Windows (if only they just called it "Add/Remove Programs")

Oh and of course, for the brave ones, there is also a command you can execute from a terminal that will install your package:

$ sudo apt-get install firefox

Have Fun.

1 comments

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