I download the tar.bz file from the home page of zotero, extract it and run the file 'run-zotero.sh', but it open zotero rather than install it. How to install it? Any help or suggestion will be appreciated!

  • which version of Ubuntu you are using ??
    – rɑːdʒɑ
    Aug 13 '13 at 14:55
  • I use ubuntu 13.04 Aug 13 '13 at 15:01
  • Just a quick note to let you know there is a github repo that should help all debian-based distro to install it with minimal hassle: github.com/retorquere/zotero-deb Best
    – mateMat
    Jan 20 '20 at 15:31

I suggest you add a ppa so that the program gets updated regularly:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:smathot/cogscinl 

Say yes/press enter to accept any requests.

sudo apt-get update

wait for it to complete, then:

sudo apt-get install zotero-standalone

This will install the program.

  • I try this code, but 'E: Unable to locate package zotero-standalone '. Aug 13 '13 at 15:01
  • 3
    Working with 14.04 for me :)
    – nealmcb
    Mar 1 '15 at 0:44
  • 4
    tried on 16.04 and works Aug 15 '16 at 11:51
  • 1
    This works on later versions of ubuntu, but it can later on fail to update to later versions of Zotero, which severely diminishes its usefulness.
    – E.P.
    Nov 14 '16 at 8:27
  • 2
    The following packages are no longer maintained: - Zotero standalone, a reference manager <zotero.org> For an alternative installer, see <github.com/retorquere/zotero-deb>
    – Will
    Apr 3 '20 at 7:11

As of 2019, the preferred way of installing Zotero is by using Emiliano Heyns' packages.

Run the following instructions on your terminal:

wget -qO- https://github.com/retorquere/zotero-deb/releases/download/apt-get/install.sh | sudo bash
sudo apt update
sudo apt install zotero

For additional information about the provided packages, see the README file.

Other answers should be considered obsolete, Sebastiaan Mathot's packages being no longer maintained.


This project is designed to automate installation. It worked for me with 13.04. To install it, run the following in your terminal:

wget https://raw.github.com/smathot/zotero_installer/master/zotero_installer.sh -O /tmp/zotero_installer.sh
chmod +x /tmp/zotero_installer.sh

and answer the questions. If you want it to be installed globally, you will need sudo on the last command:

sudo /tmp/zotero_installer.sh

I have installed Zotero on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS recently.

This is how I have done:

  • First I downloaded the tarball from the Zotero Download page, extract its contents to a folder named Zotero_linux-x86_64.
  • Then I ran the following commands in the terminal:
sudo mv -v Zotero_linux-x86_64 /opt/zotero/
ln -s /opt/zotero/zotero.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/zotero.desktop
sudo /opt/zotero/set_launcher_icon

That's it. The installation's completed.

  • 1
    Last command should be 'sudo /opt/zotero/set_launcher_icon', or cd to /opt/zotero/ before it.
    – timanix
    May 15 at 20:55
  • I have updated it, thanks.
    – raf
    May 16 at 2:22
  • 1
    Very straightforward, and the only answer where setting zotero.desktop worked, +1 thanks!
    – jay.sf
    Aug 28 at 17:20
  • @jay.sf I'm glad to know that my answer has helped you.
    – raf
    Aug 28 at 17:25

I have searched and came to know that , there only standalone Zotero PPA not yet made for Ubuntu 13.04 . you can run it as you've done with the script upto PPA made.

but Ubuntu have a good Documentation for Zotero that can help you to get more information on usage of it.


  • Thanks! I make it a startup application and this will be ok. Aug 14 '13 at 6:48

I found a help here https://www.linuxhelp.com/how-to-install-zotero-in-ubuntu/

The steps in the terminal are

  1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:smathot/cogscinl

Type your password and press ENTER when asked.

  1. sudo apt-get update

  2. sudo apt-get install zotero-standalone

This will install Zotero

  • 3
    Same thing as described in askubuntu.com/a/332117/15003.
    – edwinksl
    Aug 3 '17 at 17:19
  • 2
    How is this answer different from @Boluc Papuccuoglu's? add-apt-repository is a symlink, this should have been a comment below the aforementioned answer at most.
    – Calimo
    Oct 23 '17 at 12:00
  • 1
    Also they are no longer maintaining it.
    – TKH
    Apr 15 '20 at 19:04

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