How can I install applications like Google Chrome on Ubuntu?

Are there any commands to install an application?

Index of answers:

  • 1
    Mitch's answer is the best way to go. Although, if you'd like you could skip the first part of using the terminal for the "wget" command, by going to google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser and clicking "Download chrome". You could then select 32 bit or 64 bit. Save it where you'd like and double click it just like an installer in Microsoft Windows. Other than that, please refer to Mitch's answer. Welcome to Ubuntu, hope you enjoy it here!
    – Eli
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 0:07

11 Answers 11


You can install applications different ways. Terminal, the Ubuntu Software Center, and Synaptic.

With the Ubuntu Software Center, you just open it from the Launcher, and search for the application that you want.

If you know the right commands to install via terminal, then you'd just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, you can run the command(s) needed to install the application.

For synaptic, it has to be installed on you system. To install it, just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command(s) below:

sudo apt install synaptic

Once installed, you can open it, and search for the application that you want to install, and just mark it for installation.

Also in some cases, you have to download either a .deb file in case of your question about Chrome, and have to manually install it, or a .tar.gz file, and that also have to done manually.

Now as far as Chrome is concerned, you can install it by downloading the .deb file, or just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command(s) below:

For 32bit

wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb

For 64bit

wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb

If you encounter any error during the installation, when its done do

sudo apt -f install

For pros and cons of the different ways to install see this Post.

Source for Chrome installation: Google


Installing software in Ubuntu can be done several ways:

Ubuntu Software Center

You can search for an application, or go through the categories:

enter image description here

Synaptic Package Manager

You can search for an application, or go through the categories:

enter image description here

Installing via Terminal

Installing from terminal can be done in several ways:

You can search for an application. The command to search for software is:

apt search <application_name>

Adding Repositories:

Edit the sources list file, and add

sudo -H gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Or add from terminal

sudo add-apt-repository <repository_name>
sudo apt update
sudo apt install <application_name>

Others ways you can install

Manual download of a .deb (Debian package):

  • Once downloaded, you can double-click on the package to have it open in the Software Center, from where you can install it.
  • Or, just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, navigate to the download location, and run the command(s) below:

    sudo dpkg -i <package_name>.deb

Other options:

  • .rpm files are packaged for Fedora or Mandriva, but you can use alien (you can install using Synaptic) that allows you to convert .rpm files to .deb. (may not work all the time)

  • .tar.gz files are compressed. If you see the .tar.gz, it could be compressed files that have a pre-compiled binary file, or files that have the source code allowing you to compile the application from source. To find out how to install from a .tar.gz, see How to install from a .tar.gz.

For more info see Installing Software, or A beginners guide to installing programs in Ubuntu

  • 1
    Also, if you aren't worried about having the google branded version of the browser, you can always install chromium from the repository.
    – ToniWidmo
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 12:40
  • I strongly advise to only install programs from the official Ubuntu repositories (Synaptic, Software Center, or apt-get). By this, you'll get automatic updates and security patches. Also, programs installed from other sources might in rare cases cause issues when upgrading to a newer Ubuntu release. Only if you really, really need a program, and it is not available in the official repositories, I'd consider a direct download of a .deb file.
    – soulsource
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 12:28
  • 1
    Why talk about Ubuntu Software Center as last? That's the easiest way by far and you push it to the bottom.
    – jobukkit
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 19:35
  • 1
    Ubuntu Software Center is the first listed in the addition.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 20:27
  • You could also add some info about gdebi in the "Manual Download" section. Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 23:27

There are many ways to install packages in Ubuntu. I will try to list the most used methods, giving links to detailed explanations for each one.

Installing packages with an internet connection

1. Installing packages via your web browser

The APT protocol (or apturl) is a very simple way to install a software package from a web browser.

2. Installing packages via a basic graphical method

Ubuntu Software Center is a one-stop shop for installing and removing software on your computer.

3. Installing packages via an advanced graphical method

Synaptic is a graphical front-end to apt, the package management system in Ubuntu.

4. Installing packages via text based methods

Installing packages without an internet connection

1. Using Keryx

Keryx is a portable, cross-platform package manager that provides a graphical interface for gathering updates, packages, and dependencies for offline computers.

2. Using the Synaptic package download script

Synaptic package manager has built-in feature to generate a package download script.

3. Using apt-offline

apt-offline is an offline text based apt package manager.

4. Installing downloaded packages

Source: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/InstallingSoftware


How to install Ubuntu software when you're a (future) ex-Windows user!

16.04 and higher: Ubuntu Software Center has been renamed to Ubuntu Software

(Everything else remains the same)

The most important thing is to remember that some day you'll have to remove this piece of software that you're going to install, so always use a removal method identical to your installation method.

Therefore, use the following priority for installing software on Ubuntu:

  1. Forget about what you know about downloading and installing from websites all over the place and use the following priority list on how to install software under Ubuntu because you now have (and want to keep) a stable system.
  2. For beginning users: first 3 months, up to a year of using Ubuntu
    Install/remove from the standard Ubuntu repositories using the GUI of the Ubuntu Software (Center).

    As per below screen shot, click the dash in the upper left corner, type software, click the Ubuntu Software(Center).

    Opening Ubuntu SW Center

    The Ubuntu Software (Center) opens:

    Ubuntu SW Center Start

    and you have a ton of application categories on the left to choose from. Or type the name of the software in the search box in the top right corner (which is what we'll be using)

    Crap software

    I'm as amazed as you, but there is indeed crap software for Ubuntu, :-) so just click the crap you want, click on "Install", wait a bit and done!

    To remove software using this method, click on the "installed" button on the second screen shot, click the crap you want to uninstall and click the "Uninstall" button! Easy-peasy.

    And if the software is not there, don't go downloading it from somewhere else and install it using some of the more advanced features below! You're a beginner!

  3. (Intermediate users, 6 months-1 year of experience)
    Use the TUI of aptitude
    Press Ctrl+Alt+T to go to a terminal and type:

    sudo aptitude

    and press Enter

    If you get aptitude: command not found, type:

    sudo apt install aptitude

    to install aptitude and wait until nothing moves any more and then type:

    sudo aptitude

    to start it.

    screenshot aptitude

    This is still kind of familiar: you can use the mouse, but it's like you're back in 1988 before the WWW was invented. And now comes the first hurdle: RTFM for aptitude by typing:

    man aptitude 

    This is important! aptitude can let you do more advanced things, but is a back-stabbing servant!

  4. Now on to more advanced stuff: (Use only when directed by knowledgeable people on this site having >5000 reputation + at least one gold badge)

    Press Ctrl+Alt+T and type:

    • apt install szPackageName to install
    • apt purge szPackageName to completely remove
    • apt remove szPackageName to remove the application, keeping its configuration files. (meaning: you might want to reinstall this sometime later and you just spent a few hours configuring the damn thing and don't want to lose the config!)
  5. Really advanced stuff: (Use only when directed by immortals, that is: knowledgeable people on this site having >10000 reputation + several gold badges)

    a. Download and install a .deb file: use dpkg --install szPackageName and dpkg --purge szPackageName and dpkg --remove szPackageName to install, completely remove and remove without config files.

    b. Install a PPA: clearly follow instructions. if anything goes wrong, copy-paste the error, ask a question on this site, insert a link to the question and answer you were following and report back to the immortal! ;-)

  6. 'Just download and build from source!!!'

    Probably a developer telling you this and he knows nothing about installing and maintaining a stable system without any problems, but has the coolest stuff on the planet!
    Depending on your point of view to be embraced with love or to be avoided like the plague.

    So if you do download and build from source, use CheckInstall instead of make install to be able to remove this software more easily in the future, like in this example regardless of what the developer says!


Installing from Ubuntu Software

You can install applications from the Ubuntu Software application present in your launcher:

Ubuntu Software Installing from Ubuntu Software

Here you can search for applications which are present in Ubuntu's repository.

Installing from terminal

Sometimes it is easy to install a software directly from the terminal. You can do so by typing in terminal:

sudo apt install <package name>

ex, Firewalll:

sudo apt install gufw

If anything goes wrong, you can fix most of them by installing their dependencies as

sudo apt install -f

Installing from PPA

If a software isn't present in Ubuntu software or is an older version than the latest official release, you can add a PPA (a software repository) and install software from there. You can add a PPA in your Ubuntu by typing this in terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:<PPA NAME>
sudo apt update
sudo apt install <package name>

Installing DEB files

There are some software (such as Google Chrome) which are present as an executable .deb from their website:

Chrome download for PC

You can download their executable DEB files and run them by double clicking or through terminal by typing:

sudo dpkg -i <file name>.deb
sudo apt install -f

Some applications (such as netbeans) does not come as DEB file, but as a .sh file. You can run them in terminal by typing:

chmod +x <file name>
sudo sh <file name> # or
sudo ./<file name>


A new type of software packaging called "Snaps" is also present which is a collection of the software and its dependencies in a single file. It is a single, distro independent setup for installing a software. Many software such as VLC, Blender etc are present as a Snap package. You can find them in the Ubuntu software.

  • 3
    Instead of sudo dpkg -i foo.deb, do sudo apt install ./foo.deb, which will install dependencies.
    – muru
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 1:58
  • It can be achieved by sudo apt install -f too.
    – Adnan
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 20:38
  • 1
    the point is that you don't need to do it in two steps - it can be done in one with apt
    – muru
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 23:02

Yes, there is an alternative for Windows .exe or .msi files in Ubuntu; that is .deb files. Double clicking on such a file will run the installer.


Installing from a CD

First ensure that the CD does contain the applications; sometimes it just brings some info about the apps and a link you can follow to do the installation through the Software Center.

If the applications are, in fact, on the the CD, then search in the CD folders to find the applications as .deb or .bin or .tar or .sh files.

If it's a .deb file

Just double click on it and Software Center will install it for you.

You can also install them using a command line method.

If it's a .bin file

Rename it to .bin32 or .bin64 depending your architecture. You can find that information by running

dpkg --print-architecture

Go to properties and permit the file to run as a program, then just double click on it and you will open the installer.

If it's a .tar file

Double click on it and extract everything to a folder of your desire, into this folder you may find an icon with the program name, just double click on it to start the program.

If it's a .sh file

Go to properties and permit it to run as a program, and then double click on it to start the installer.

  • 2
    This answer is misleading at best. A .bin installer changing its behavior based on its suffix is far from universal; I'm not personally familiar with any specific installers that use that (though there's no technical impediment to an installer checking what name was used to run it, like this). As for .tar files, it's common that they contain source code that has to be compiled rather than executables. Furthermore, even with .tar files that do contain executables, double-clicking on the executable is often insufficient. It's more common that one must launch the program from a .desktop file. Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 13:48

Note: This was written for a more specific question, but it covers techniques that apply here too.

If I am not mistaken, the chip magazine only offers installers for Windows. You should be able to run these with software called "WINE".

A better way would be to download the *.deb files (or the source code) from the homepages of these programs (if they offer support for Ubuntu) through a friend's PC with a better connection to the internet and to install (or compile) them on your PC.

But: chip mainly offers software to tweak you system, you don't need that on Ubuntu ;)

And: the software-center is the 'best' way to get software for Ubuntu (I think). So, if it is a matter of time (and not money) I would prefer getting a cup of tea/coffee over the other methods, because this way you will be able to easily update the software.

  • 1
    G.Ashwin kumar said that the CD brough linux applications, considering he is sure about that maybe the CD is for an outdated Ubuntu version or it can be for other linux distribution such as OpenSUSE. Although if it's for Windows other option to install software from the internet with a slow internet connection is to use torrent files to download them. Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 14:34

I'll give you the best methods, starting from the simplest.

  1. SIMPLEST: Open the Ubuntu software Center. The fastest way to do this is by hitting start key and typing "Software..." till it pops up. This is a complete store. You'll find everything here.
  2. GEEKY: Ubuntu has by default something called APT. To install any package, just open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and type sudo apt-get install <package name>. For instance, to get Chrome type sudo apt-get install chromium-browser.
  3. SYNAPTIC: Synaptic is a graphical package management program for apt. It provides the same features as the apt-get command line utility with a GUI front-end based on Gtk+.
  4. KERYX: Keryx allows users to select packages to install, check for updates, and download these packages onto a USB portable storage device. The packages are saved onto the device and are then taken back to the Linux box that it originated from and are then installed. This is basically an offline tool to install packages.

Comparison table of the tools presented in the below answer

↓ Name / Format → deb Snap FlatPak AppImage
apt/apt-get + - - -
snap - + - -
flatpak - - + -
Synaptic + - - -
Muon + - - -
GDebi + - - -
Y PPA Manager + - - -
Plasma Discover + + + -
Apper + - - -
AppImageLauncher - - - +
App Outlet - + + +

1. Muon as Synaptic replacement

As we already know modern Synaptic is buggy, it often and ineffective rebuilds search index (see bug 1685376 and discussion on community.ubuntu.com).

So I suggest to use great tool from KDE - Muon.

Muon on Ubuntu MATE 16.04.5 LTS

Below is quote from package description:

Features of note include:

  • A powerful, yet intuitive interface
  • Fast, accurate package search using the apt-xapian index and the Synaptic search algorithm
  • Support for filtering packages by status and category
  • Media change support
  • Support for configuring packages through the debconf system
  • Warn about/disallow the installation of untrusted packages, depending on APT settings
  • Uses Polkit for running privileged actions for enhanced security, convenience, and desktop integration
  • Power management suspension during package downloads, installations and removals
  • Support for download the latest changelog of a package
  • Package screenshots

You can install it with sudo apt-get install muon.
It is located in Applications -> System Tools -> Muon Package Manager.

2. GDebi

gdebi lets you install local deb packages resolving and installing
its dependencies. apt does the same, but only for remote (http, ftp)
located packages.

2.1. GUI-way - gdebi-gtk

Single deb-files may be installed from GUI with gdebi-gtk (which is located in gdebi package - install it with sudo apt-get install gdebi).

Standard usage scenario: download some deb-file, open its location in file-manager, do right-click on it and select Open with GDebi Package Installer option for installation.

2.2. console-way - gdebi

GDebi is useful in terminal too, here exists gdebi command (sudo apt-get install gdebi-core).

Standard usage scenario: download some deb-file, go to its folder, install it with dependencies by executing the following command: sudo gdebi program.deb.

3. Search and install software from Y PPA Manager (y-ppa-manager)

Sometimes software is not packaged in official Ubuntu repositories. In this case we need third-party repositories known as PPAs (Personal Software Archives). There are a lot of them on LaunchPad. You can use special page https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+ppas for search.

But it is difficult to find such repository for exact package. In that case special utility - Y PPA Manager may help.

y-ppa-manager on Ubuntu MATE 16.04.5 LTS

One can install it with

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/y-ppa-manager
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install y-ppa-manager

After installation it will be located in Applications -> System Tools -> Y PPA Manager. The most useful thing is Search in all Launchpad PPAs - you can search packages by name, then add its PPA and install needed package.

But anyway be careful with software, obtained from PPAs. It may trash your system and cause unpredictable behavior of system.

Note: if you do not have access to GUI but want to find PPA for some known package name, then you can use python script named pyppasearch as follows

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python3-requests python3-bs4 python3-launchpadlib

cd ~/Downloads
wget -c https://raw.githubusercontent.com/anenasa/pyppasearch/main/pyppasearch.py
chmod +x pyppasearch.py

Then you can run search using below command:

./pyppasearch.py -c focal -a amd64 firefox-esr

to get results like shown below:

firefox-esr 91.6.0esr+build1-0ubuntu0.20.04.1 ppa:mozillateam/ppa Focal (amd64)
Search is finished.

and then add needed PPA manually to the system.

4. Plasma Discover as GUI for Snap, FlatPak and APT

If you are running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (with any desktop), then you can install Plasma Discover to it and use as GUI for Snap, FlatPak and APT. See this Q&A for details:

sudo apt-get install plasma-discover \
plasma-discover-flatpak-backend plasma-discover-snap-backend \
qml-module-qtquick-controls qml-module-qtquick-dialogs kdelibs5-plugins

and you will get universal GUI:

Plasma Discovery on Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS

5. Apper

The Apper is installable by sudo apt-get install apper breeze on modern Ubuntu versions since 18.04 LTS.

Note: along with its usual functionality, it is very useful application to list installed


or search for


the desktop (GUI) applications.

6. AppImageLauncher

To have applications installed as AppImage organized and integrated one can use special application named AppImageLauncher. It maybe be installed for the most recent Ubuntu versions by adding their PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:appimagelauncher-team/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install appimagelauncher

For Ubuntu 18.04 LTS one can download a deb-package from the AppImageLauncher author's GitHub releases page.

7. App Outlet as GUI to search Snap, Flatpak and AppImage

There is a new, fresh project named App Outlet.

It is installable from deb, AppImage and Snap; it allows to search and install applications:

search for Markdown editor in AppOutlet

  • This answer should more clearly specify its KDE specificity: outside KDE (and maybe other Qt-based like LXQT-Lubuntu) Synaptic is still the best tool. Muon and Apper are great in KDE and LXQT but they are a bad idea in GTK-based distros, like Xfce or Gnome etc. They are not just "Qt" (like VLC, SMPlayer, Qmmp) but bring a lot of KDE dependencies. In Xfce: Muon: 119 newly installed... After this operation, 122 MB of additional disk space will be used. Apper: 99 newly installed...After this operation, 115 MB of additional disk space will be used.
    – cipricus
    Commented Feb 22, 2021 at 14:10

Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T), then type

sudo apt-get install package-name

where package-name is the name of the package you want to install.

For example, to install VLC Player, which is provided by the vlc package:

sudo apt-get install vlc

As a complement for local deb files, a small trick:

My favorite is sudo apt install path/to/deb:

  • open the file manager where you have the deb file

  • open a terminal and write sudo apt install

  • select the deb in the file manager and drag and drop onto the terminal window

  • press Enter.

Also, it is worth mentioning the fact that some programs are available as Appimages. These are similar to portable apps in Windows or to executable applications on Mac. I prefer them to flatpack or snaps because they don't require supplementary installations.

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