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How's it going I am fairly new to ubuntu and was trying to get several programs installed and realized that alot of the installations came in the form of tar and deb files. I have no idea how to install tar files so I looked up that you can covert them into deb files and install them via ubuntu software center.

So I did that but when the deb file finished installing I looked for the programs via the dash and could not find the program. when i looked at the install section in ubuntu software center it was not there either. Just want to see if anyone could give me steps on how to install both debs and tar files since im new and only use to theinstall processes in windows. I really like this os and would like to learn. Thank you for your time and patience.

Oh and would some programming knowledge be needed to use this os to its full potential? if so what can i do to learn. thanks again.

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1 Answer 1

There are several methods to install a program in ubuntu. I will list them according to easiness.

  1. Look for the program in ubuntu software center.

    By default Ubuntu provide many software which are free. Those programs are available in your Ubuntu software center. It is most hassle free way because once you install from the software center, any update comes it will be directly integrated with system update.

    Also it takes care of dependency between software. Like when a software wants to use a particular version of a shared library but not available in your system, the software center downloads the required library.

  2. Using PPA. PPA's stand for Personal Package Archives which are software bundled for ubuntu provided by community. The updates are also integrated to system update. But be sure you are installing from a trusty source. In this method you add a source URL to your system. Install the software provided into that repo. One such example is Google Chrome. It is not available in ubuntu repo but you can add it and install Chrome.

    For more information please read - What are PPAs and how do I use them?

  3. Installing from source : This is what you get in tar/zipped format. This is general way of installing software in any Linux OS. In this process, you compile the program from source.

    So in other hand, the deb files are nothing but compiled form of software which are packaged in a way that is understandable by ubuntu for easier installation process.

    The big disadvantage of compiling from source is, for any update you have to compile it again. If your software is depended on kernel (like the drivers), on each update you need to compile again.

    To more know about the process please read How to install a .tar.gz (or .tar.bz2) file?

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