Ubuntu's Software Center (actually Gnome-Software) likes to register itself as the tool to open a local .deb file.

But it always seem to report that app as being proprietary. Even if the file was downloaded from an official repo. Try opening any deb in your apt cache (/var/cache/apt/archive/*) for example.

Is this a decision to try and discourage users using deb files not displayed by the Software Center?

I have demonstrated this to my satisfaction on U1810. I normally use Mate and Synaptic so don't know how long this has been going on for.

  • Worth noting that this is still the case in U20.04. "Software Install" registers itself as a being able to open a local deb file. And it will tell you that it it has a Proprietary license, no matter what license it has.
    – David B
    Jul 27, 2020 at 8:09

1 Answer 1


It is a known bug. It was fixed upstream (https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=765482), but it still persists on Ubuntu.

GNOME Software does not install third-party .deb packages on Launchpad.

  • No, don't think its 765482, thats about installing, my question is about gnome-software saying (my) open source app is proprietary. It says any deb that exists as a local file is 'proprietary'.
    – David B
    Feb 10, 2019 at 11:30

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