I was just searching some Softwares on Ubuntu software center and it was giving me "not found" but i could easily find and install them on synaptic.


4 Answers 4


Software centre contains Full packages along with the required dependencies . But In Synaptic all the Packages are individual .

If you'd like to install anything from software centre selecting package will be enough but that's not going to be fine if you are doing with Synaptic package manager .

If you are a basic user of Linux/Ubuntu then I suggest you to choose Software centre not synaptic .


The Ubuntu Software Center by default lists the non-technical packages -- those that an ordinary user might want to install. You take extra steps to see packages such as documentation, debugging, dependencies, etc., (those that may be overwhelming and are typically for tech-minded people).

After searching for a topic click on Shown technical packages at the bottom of a USC package list to see these.


As I understand, Synaptic Package Manager and Ubuntu Software Center are both GUIs that use apt-get under the hood. No matter which you use, dependencies will be installed automatically. The Software and Updates program is a convenient GUI to manipulate apt-get's software list.

In the Beginning, there was apt-get
apt-get is the tool that actually does the heavy lifting, and it is available from the command-line. It took care of dependencies, and automatic updates.

They All Handle Dependencies
Most software, including Windows software, consists of one or more main executable (.exe for Windows) and many library modules (a .dll in Windows). Each of those library modules can by shared by many applications. Many of these executables, in turn, can be a subcomponent of another product; for example, Synaptic Package Manager depends on apt-get.

Because dependencies are managed by apt-get, if you ask to install a product from any of the above tools, all of the necessary dependencies will also be installed (apt-get and Synaptic Package Manager will first ask your permission). That means if you choose to install Java, any of those tools will also install all of the libraries and modules that Java depends on.

Approved Repositories
By default, apt-get will only show Ubuntu's repositories containing Ubuntu's approved lists of software, which include both Free and Open Source software as well as commercial software. However, apt-get allows you to add URLs to other repositories (ppa, or personal package archive).

Then There Were GUIs
Synaptic Package Manager was designed to be a full-featured GUI interface to apt-get; it is supposed to do just about anything you can do from the command line, and has been around for a long time. Everything shows up in both SPM and apt-get.

However, showing all of the libraries and other programs that support a particular product makes it difficult to find what you are looking for. If you didn't choose carefully, you might only install some libraries or optional modules for Java instead of actually installing Java.

The much newer Ubuntu Software Center was invented to be much more user friendly, thus hiding all the dependencies. If you want to add Java, you don't need to see all the libraries and sub-programs that have java in their name or description.

Also, Ubuntu Software Center has some sort of policies in place that also hide some products, probably those that are an integral part of the OS and shouldn't normally be messed with. For example, you can find gcc, but not apt-get in UBC. The details of these policies are still a mystery to me.

The Recommended Solutions
1. First try to find your primary target in Ubuntu Software Center.

  1. Of course, there may be occasions when you are only trying to install some libraries or modules, such as when you are installing a product that is not provided by Ubuntu, and that product depends on other stuff that is hidden by Software Center. Then you will have to revert to the Synaptic Package Manager.

  2. You only need to go to apt-get if you are on a server without a GUI desktop, or the GUI has failed, or the instructions you have only refer to apt-get (that's often done so that the same instructions will work on servers and desktops alike).


Synaptic also lists every package that comes with certain software, whilst Software Center only lists that software without the more "technical" and smaller ones.

I also think that U.S.C. does not list every software due to approval reasons (?)

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