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I want to install VLC. When I ask it to download in Ubuntu, it tells me to 'Choose an Application'. What does it mean, and what should I do? Clicking on 'choose' gives me a list of my own files and I'm no wiser.

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You don't need to download it that way, look at the answers posted below. –  i08in Jun 28 at 17:46
    
Generally in a Linux OS, before manually downloading anything you should check if you can get it directly from the distribution. –  leftaroundabout Jun 29 at 15:44

2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

The two most common ways to install software in Ubuntu are:

Ubuntu Software Center

Ubuntu Software Center icon

This allows you to install software in a comfortable graphical way like you are used to in Windows or Mac OSX. Software installed from here is updated automatically, although it may not be the latest version which exists of a specific program.

or

Command line (usually apt-get)

To install VLC, just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command below:

sudo apt-get install vlc
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I'll try to be as verbose as possible. Please let me know at what step you need more instructions:

  1. Press the super key on your keyboard (the key with the ubuntu/windows logo on it- usually besides the left alt key) and in the text box of the window that opens up, type "software center".

  2. When the software center opens up, in the search bar(the text box to the top right), type "vlc".

  3. After the search results have come up, click on the application and then press the "install" button.

  4. This will take some time to download and and install. Once installed, you should be able to type "vlc" in the place where you typed "software center" above to get vlc opened.

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