I find apt in terminal as the best way to install a program from a deb package. As I prefer it to other gui tools, I want that in the context menu for deb files or as a launcher among applications in order to install the deb by executing it with (double) click.

In Kubuntu with Dolphin I have created a service menu to create that context menu, also a desktop file in ~/.local/share/applications to achieve the same action by executing the deb file.

The file ~/.local/share/kservices5/ServiceMenus/install-deb.desktop:

[Desktop Entry]


[Desktop Action install]
Exec=konsole --hold -e sudo apt install %f

The file ~/.local/share/applications/install_deb_term.desktop:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Install in terminal with apt
Comment=Install deb files in terminal with apt
Exec=konsole --hold -e sudo apt install %f

All is well, excepting the fact that without the --hold argument in konsole the terminal closes to quickly (which is not good in case of error), while with that argument the terminal stays open with a rather inconclusive message like so:

 Setting up <whatever_program> ...

which is not what I expect if the installation went fine.

Can I get some "OK" message at the end of the installation process with apt? Maybe through a script containing the apt command?


Following comments by @DKBose: modifying ~/.bashrc as in this answer I get the desired notification popup with a command in terminal like

sudo apt install /path/to/deb; alert

but not with the line

Exec=konsole --hold -e sudo apt install %f; alert

in the files above (installation works, but no popup).

For the alert argument to work at all, installation of libnotify-bin was needed.

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    So, apt install ... && echo OK? – muru Dec 11 '18 at 13:33
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    @DKBose - When missing dependencies cannot be installed (I just tested with an Exaile package in Kubuntu 18.04) they are not specified in qapt-deb-installer. – user47206 Dec 11 '18 at 13:39
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    And is askubuntu.com/questions/748860/… of help? – DK Bose Dec 11 '18 at 13:59
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  • 1
    @DKBose - modifying ~/.bashrc as in this answer I get the desired notification popup with a command in terminal like sudo apt install /path/to/deb; alert, but not with the line Exec=konsole --hold -e sudo apt install %f; alert in the files above (installation works, but no popup). I will add that to question. – user47206 Dec 12 '18 at 12:23

This answer addresses the issue of installing a .deb file using apt install via a service menu in Kubuntu 18.04.

First, we download a small .deb, gcolor2 which is not in the bionic repos, using the link provided by N0rbert here.

~/Downloads $ wget http://mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/universe/g/gcolor2/gcolor2_0.4-2.1ubuntu1_amd64.deb

Next, based on the service menu .desktop file in the question and comments by muru, the following service menu .desktop file, ~/.local/share/kservices5/ServiceMenus/install-deb.desktop was constructed:

[Desktop Entry]

[Desktop Action install-deb]
Exec=konsole --hold -e bash -ic 'sudo apt install %f && notify-send --expire-time=50000 "DONE"'

From now on, if one right-clicks on a .deb file in Dolphin, the context menu offers "install-deb" as one of the options. Selecting "install-deb" will open up konsole and run sudo apt install %f, where %f in this case, refers to the gcolor .deb downloaded via wget.

This is what konsole's output looks like:

[sudo] password for dkb: 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Note, selecting 'gcolor2' instead of '/home/dkb/Downloads/gcolor2_0.4-2.1ubuntu1_amd64.deb'
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B/25.4 kB of archives.
After this operation, 112 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 /home/dkb/Downloads/gcolor2_0.4-2.1ubuntu1_amd64.deb gcolor2 amd64 0.4-2.1ubuntu1 [25.4 kB]
Selecting previously unselected package gcolor2.
(Reading database ... 257481 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../gcolor2_0.4-2.1ubuntu1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking gcolor2 (0.4-2.1ubuntu1) ...
Setting up gcolor2 (0.4-2.1ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.23-1ubuntu3.18.04.2) ...
Processing triggers for man-db (2.8.3-2ubuntu0.1) ...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.60ubuntu1) ...

Once the install is complete, konsole will have "Finished" in its titlebar but will remain open until it is closed via the window manager. Additionally, because of the notify-send bit, a notification will be visible for the number of milliseconds specified. (I don't know why but --urgency=critical doesn't make the notification persist.)

kdialog --passivepopup "whatever text string" seems better suited for this purpose than notify-send.

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