Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How do I install a .deb file via the command line?

share|improve this question

5 Answers 5

up vote 314 down vote accepted

Packages are manually installed via the dpkg command (Debian Package Management System). dpkg is the backend to commands like apt-get and aptitude, which in turn are the backend for GUI install apps like the Software Center and Synaptic.

Something along the lines of:

dpkg --> apt-get, aptitude --> Synaptic, Software Center

But of course the easiest ways to install a package would be, first, the GUI apps (Synaptic, Software Center, etc..), followed by the terminal commands apt-get and aptitude that add a very nice user friendly approach to the backend dpkg, including but not limited to packaged dependencies, control over what is installed, needs update, not installed, broken packages, etc.. Lastly the dpkg command which is the base for all of them.

Since dpkg is the base, you can use it to install packaged directly from the command line.


sudo dpkg -i DEB_PACKAGE

For example if the package file is called askubuntu_2.0.deb then you should do sudo dpkg -i askubuntu_2.0.deb. If dpkg reports an error due to dependency problems, you can run sudo apt-get install -f to download the missing dependencies and configure everything. If that reports an error, you'll have to sort out the dependencies yourself by following for example How do I resolve unmet dependencies?.


sudo dpkg -r PACKAGE_NAME

For example if the package is called askubuntu then you should do sudo dpkg -r askubuntu.

share|improve this answer
Great info, had to find some way to install traceroute to help debug why my machine won't connect to the internet :) –  Jason Nov 20 '13 at 15:01
Also helpful to note that once installed programs are usually found in /usr/bin, named after what was depackaged. –  Chris Moschini Mar 31 at 9:10

Debian (.deb) packages are the packages that are used in Ubuntu. You can install any .deb package in your system. .deb files can generally be installed from your file manager (Nautilus) merely by clicking on them, since file associations with the default installer is already set in Ubuntu. These instructions are for those who wish to install packages from the command-line terminal (Terminal).

To install a downloaded Debian (Ubuntu) package (.deb): Open Terminal and type

sudo dpkg -i packagename.deb

To remove a Debian (Ubuntu) package (.deb):

sudo dpkg -r packagename

To Reconfigure/Repair an installed Debian (Ubuntu) package (.deb):

sudo dpkg-reconfigure packagename
share|improve this answer

My favourite is GDebi, available from both terminal/shell or graphical desktop.


I usually associate .deb files with GDebi as it is fast and efficient - especially compared to Ubuntu Software Center. One of the main feature of GDebi is it resolves dependencies and installs them.

For command-line run sudo gdebi <package.deb> to install a single deb file.

share|improve this answer
it checks for dependencies before installing, thx!! –  Aquarius Power Nov 13 at 3:18

DPKG commands

There are 2 Actions, They are dpkg-query, dpkg-deb

dpkg-query Actions :

To Install a Pacakge


# sudo dpkg -i {package_name}    
# sudo dpkg -i skype-ubuntu-precise_4.2.0.11-1_i386.deb

To Remove a Package


# sudo dpkg -r {package_name}
# sudo dpkg -r vlc

To Remove a Package and its Configuration files


# sudo dpkg -P {package_name}
# sudo dpkg -P vlc

To List all Installed Packages

Here less = fix in a page to scroll

# dpkg -l | less

To check Wether the package installed are not

syntax :

# dpkg -l {package_name}
# dpkg -l vlc

To check the Package Wether installed are not and if there is package installed it need to get launched

# dpkg -l | vlc

To see Wether the package installed or not.

And this will show the Location were else it have installed Here -S (Captial S) to Search the package installed or not

# sudo dpkg -S {package_name}
# sudo dpkg -S skype

To install a *.deb Pacakge from a Specified location

Here -R is recursive.(Recursively handle all regular files matching pattern *.deb found at specified directories and all of its subdirectories)


# sudo dpkg -R --install {package_location}
# sudo dpkg -R --install /home/sysadmin/soft

To show the Pacakge details

Here -p (small p) will show the pacakge infos


# dpkg -p {package_name}
# dpkg -p apache2

To View the Content of a Package

Here -c (Small c ) is to show the Content


# sudo dpkg -c {package_name}
# sudo dpkg -c skype-ubuntu-precise_4.2.0.11-1_i386.deb

To Extract the *.deb Package file.

Here -x (Small x) stands for Extract


# dpkg -x {package_name} {location_were_to_extract}
# dpkg -x libqt4-phonon_4.6.3-4+squeeze1_i386.deb /home/sysadmin/

To Extract and display the filenames contained by a package.

Here -X (Capital X) Will Display the Content with Extraction


# dpkg -X {package_name} {location_were_to_extract}
# dpkg -X libqt4-phonon_4.6.3-4+squeeze1_i386.deb /home/sysadmin/

To Display the Information About a Package

Here -I is Information


# dpkg -I {package_name}
# dpkg -I libqt4-phonon_4.6.3-4+squeeze1_i386.deb

Reconfigure an already installed package.

dpkg-reconfigure reconfigures packages after they have already been installed. Pass it the names of a package or packages to reconfigure. It will ask configuration questions, much like when the package was first installed.

# dpkg-reconfigure postfix

This will reconfigure the postifx same as while you installed at first time.

Need to know More About dpkg commands ? Have a Look into manual

# man dpkg
share|improve this answer

A handy tip when installing a program like Libreoffice which has multiple .deb files in a folder is to use.

sudo dpkg -i *.deb
share|improve this answer

protected by Community Feb 20 at 20:57

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.