I'm very new to Ubuntu, just installed 10.04 when my girlfriend's Macbook Pro (32 bit v1,1) couldn't keep up with OSX any more. I thought it'd be a perfect opportunity to learn how to Linux. I've got to admit that so far I'm really loving it (can't believe I've waited so long!)

Anyways, I've tried doing a bit of programming on it locally but VI in a terminal window can only get me so far (sorry to the old pros, but there's just some stuff I like GUI for).

I've been looking through the options for a good text editor and have seen that GEDIT and GEANIE both have screenshots that look like the kind of thing I'd like to try (and Eclipse, but that means installing Java.. one step at a time).

Last night I tried to install GEDIT and got as far as running ./configure on trying to compile it gave me a laundry list of missing libraries (including but possibly not limited to)

 .. (a bunch of others)

I don't have all the requirements on hand as I am posting from a different computer (the ubuntu is at home). If it's useful, I'll run the configure and copy-paste the list. So far I've been able to find a few of the commands I need like apt-get install and searching for package names via apt-cache search

The problem that I'm having is that none of these CLI options seem to really match up well with the package names that GEDIT is looking for.

For example, I can type apt-get install gtk+3.0 which gives no package found or try apt-cache search gtk and get a list of some 100 packages with GTK in the title. Similarly - searching for libgio returns an option of libgio-2.0-fam but this is apparently not the package required by GEDIT.

So down to the bottom line of my actual question (I guess).

What are some reliable strategies I can use to find the package name (the one I type in to install) that is associated with the package name that the application is expecting?


gedit is installed be default, but has been renamed to "Text Editor" in the Applications menu. Run it via Applications ▸ Accessories ▸ Text Editor.

For your question about finding which package to install, see: If I need a specific library how do I find out which packages can install that library?


Gedit is available by default in Applications > Accessories > Text Editor However, in the future to install software on Ubuntu you won't need to compile from source as ost of the software you'll come across is available in the software center.

To do so launch the Software Center from the top Applications Menu, search for the software via the search box then select install.

apt-get is, for all intents and purposes, the command line version of the Software Center. So apt-get install gedit would be the equivalent of installing GEdit from the Software Center interface.


Gedit comes as default on Ubuntu. You can run it from Applications->Accessories->Gedit.

If you want to search for a package you can use aptitude commands search option, for example:

aptitude search gedit

Firstly, I'd like to third the idea that compiling Gedit is a bit silly. That said, you should be able to solve most if not all its dependencies by running: sudo apt-get build-dep gedit

When I'm solving deps manually, I use a combination of apt-cache search PKGNAME and grep "-dev" to narrow down the results.

  • I'd like to thank everyone for pointing that out. I was completely unaware that I already had GEDIT. I was looking for a good programming texteditor and didn't for a second think to assume that it was already installed! Lesson learned. Thanks for pointing out the build-dep flag too! I didn't know about that one either. – Alex C May 12 '11 at 16:16

If you want to install from source bear in mind that the source version will mean you are going to need to have the latest development libraries and, this is not going to be easy to pull off if you are running 10.4 and I suspect you will be wasting your time to be honest.

If you want to install gedit to develop on it then you are best off using ubuntu 13.10 at least and then using jhbuild build tool to work on the source code after installing it with its dependencies and the required development libraries.


if you still want to compile Gedit. try this code below.
it downloads the latest stable version of gedit which is not available.
via ubuntu-software-center this will take a couple of minutes.

sudo apt-get build-dep gedit

cd /tmp
wget http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/gedit/3.2/gedit-3.2.6.tar.xz
tar Jxf gedit-3.2.6.tar.xz
cd gedit-3.2.6
sudo make install


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