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Are there any GUI alternatives to the Ubuntu Software Center with

  • Fast application loading/Low startup time
  • Fast search
  • Low weight/size
  • Application purchase facility
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14 Answers 14

up vote 33 down vote accepted

Yes, there is an alternative to the Ubuntu Software Center named appgrid. It's a very lightweight application center for Ubuntu and it will let you purchase applications too. You can install it in Ubuntu with these following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:appgrid/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install appgrid

It was only a 100KB download for me.

Comparison between appgrid and Ubuntu Software Center:

Feature                                                | appgrid  | Ubuntu Software Center
Programming language                                   | Python 3 | Python 2
Warm start to home screen                              | 2.7s     | 20s
Warm start to details screen (eg opening an apt: link) | 2.3s     | 30s
Full database build                                    | 58s      | 6min24
Initial database size                                  | 36.7MB   | 96.5MB
Memory usage after startup to home screen              | 20MB     | 53.6MB
Lines of code (including tests)                        | 5900     | 56960

You can sign in with Ubuntu One ID also:

Ubuntu One sign in screenshot

appgrid screenshot

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@Flimm Thats really looking nice my friend,:) . How did you do that ? – Raja Sep 6 '13 at 1:57
I think it was with this website here. Use tabs to create a new column. Make sure to bookmark it! – minerz029 Sep 6 '13 at 23:31
@minerz029: I actually used a plug-in for Vim called Tabular, but that website looks useful, thanks! – Flimm Sep 8 '13 at 7:15

You can use synaptic , a front-end for apt-get.

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This is not application store - synaptic is a GUI package manager which allows you search and install packages from public repositories. Review this article for more details – Svyatoslav Sep 2 '13 at 20:01

Yes. Try the Lubuntu Software Center. It is very fast and light-weight.

sudo apt-get install lubuntu-software-center

enter image description here

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I noticed that deepin software-center is not on this list...





  • There is a regularly updated list of featured applications on the home page. The list of recommendations are produced based on user ratings.
  • The Software Repository gives you a handy way to choose and install desired applications with just one click. With a powerful multi-threaded download back-end, they are available to you for fast download, limited only by your network connection.
  • Update manager helps you make sure your operating system has the latest and greatest software installed. All the updates are available for free!
  • Uninstalling applications that you no longer need gives you an opportunity to have a cleaner working environment.
  • Comes with 9 pre-installed colorful skins, so you can select one that brightens your day!
  • Cleanup cached packages to gain more space
  • Open download location and refresh application list
  • We have added official Ubuntu sources for fast downloads
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/deepin-sc
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install deepin-software-center


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You can try to familiarize yourself with the command lines: Searching:

apt-cache search wesnoth 

This will often yield many results, so it is useful to pipe eg to less or to use grep to search further:

apt-cache search wesnoth |less

Search in all descriptions for FTP, show only the matches which have FTP in the package description

apt-cache search FTP |grep FTP |less


sudo apt-get install wesnoth


sudo apt-get remove wesnoth
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-1. The user specifically asks for GUI solutions. – landroni Mar 7 '14 at 10:09
@landroni +1. sometimes users need to be educated and do not know what they want :-) – Rinzwind Jan 15 '15 at 8:44

There is Muon Software Center (muon-installer), default Kubuntu software manager.

You can install it in Ubuntu, but it'll probably have a lot of Qt and KDE dependencies.

I recommend you aptitude, it's similar to apt-get but it has a very easy to use CLI.

You can always use synaptic, it's fairly easy to use and very powerful.

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sudo aptitude is my personal favorite, used in the command line, very quick response on my 500mhz comamnd line system.

sudo aptitude

You can also do it without sudo or root, but you can only view packages installed and search for packages.

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I noticed nobody mentioned gnome-software <code>gnome-software</code>

It will replace software-center in 16.04, but I quite like software-center itself.

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+1 with note that this is only available from 16.04 release (see result at Ubuntu Packages Search). Not sure if older release could install this via backport later. – clearkimura Feb 15 at 5:25
It is available on 14.04 as well – WinMacLinUser Feb 15 at 6:05
I researched in repo and online but couldn't find it. Then, I found this discussion on Ubuntu MATE forum, one user quoted that "Should have mentioned, this is for 16.04 only. I'm not aware if there's plans to backport it to 14.04." The user who added testing PPA to 14.04 had errors. – clearkimura Feb 15 at 6:12

You can try this:

Appnr : A web based software center

This is a website which primarily uses the functionality of apt-url to install apps on Ubuntu.

More details find here : How to Download??

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If you just want to search for Ubuntu applications in the Ubuntu official repositories, you can browse the official "Apps" website:

Here you can also quicly see screenshots and reviews for every app.

To install an app, you can just click the "Available in the Software Center" button in app detail page, using the "apt:" protocol.

Here you can find info about apt links:

Or you can just install the found package with synaptic or directly with command line sudo apt-get install <name>, as reported in other answers.

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If you have enabled online search on Unity, your able to search for an app in the Unity App scope, under « More Suggestions ». Right click on the app and you'll see the description (aka Preview mode). And you've the ability to install the app from here, very quickly

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You can use aptitude (if it counts). It should be pre-installed with your system but otherwise you can install it using apt-get :

apt-get install aptitude

And then it should be fine.

Note: I didn't do any research before writing this answer, so some parts can be wrong.

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There is also mintinstall, avaliable from the Linux Mint repos

See How to add Linuxmint repositories to Ubuntu?

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As Linux Mint is off-topic here, I am downvoting this answer as it does not provide an alternative to the Ubuntu software center, equipped with access to the official Ubuntu repositories. – user323419 Feb 15 at 6:01
The Mnt package manager can access the Ubuntu repos and it is an alternative fully compatible with Ubuntu. – WinMacLinUser Feb 15 at 6:04
Then, if you edit your question to walk to the user through the installation and usage of mintinstall, I will reverse my downvote. – user323419 Feb 15 at 6:19

There is gnome-packagekit as well. It is easy to install multiple apps at once with the checkboxes. If you have used gnome-app-install (Add/Remove) on version prior to 9.10, it works it pretty much the same way.

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