Is there a way to install a deb package directly from a URL, using a shell? Something like

dpkg -i http://domain.com/path/to/package.deb

(I know I could use wget and then dpkg, I'm just wondering if there's something that does it already)

  • The Ansible apt play is a very nice solution. – John McGehee Dec 4 '20 at 2:57

11 Answers 11


Edit: I didn't see your previous statement about knowing you could wget so this is a bit awkward... I'll leave this here for anybody who wants to know how to do this. Additionally the previous version of my answer didn't work but this version (at the expense of being somewhat longer) does:

TEMP_DEB="$(mktemp)" &&
wget -O "$TEMP_DEB" 'http://path.to/my.deb' &&
sudo dpkg -i "$TEMP_DEB"
rm -f "$TEMP_DEB"

You just need to alter the URL at the beginning. This could be aliased or written as a bash function.

I realise there are technical and security issues surrounding this (you don't get automatic updates, can the source be trusted, etc), but on a purely can-I-do-it basis, this might work.


It is not possible without creating a temporary file. Normally you would do this like

### Does not work
wget --quiet --output-document=- http://example.com/path/to/package.deb | dpkg --install -

or maybe

### Does not work
dpkg --install <(wget --quiet --output-document=- http://example.com/path/to/package.deb)

but dpkg uses mmap to access the file so neither works. There is a bug report about this: #367297

  • 8
    This is a useful answer, but the way it's structured makes it seem like the answer is "yes, here are two ways to do that". – bonh Dec 15 '15 at 17:55
  • 1
    Edited. Note that dpkg 1.17.7+ takes stdin arguments for some of its commands but not for install. – Tgr Dec 15 '15 at 22:45
  • 2
    HA HA! I tried both of these before Googling. Thanks for creating this answer to tell like minded people, "you are not crazy." – Bruno Bronosky Sep 29 '17 at 16:30

The quickest method is like this. Click to start installing shutter .

URLs used for clicking on the name:


... and for the click on the icon:


And yes you need Ubuntu Software Center to finish the installation of a .DEB. Otherwise you will have to execute the installation from Nautilus or command line.

Complete text used for this is for Ask Ubuntu only so you need to reformat this into an anchor:

[shutter](http://packages.ubuntu.com/shutter) [![Install shutter]

More info can be found on the apturl wiki page:

  1. 1 Package:

    a href="apt:package"
  2. Bundling several packages:

    a href="apt:package1,package2,package3"
  3. Enabling repositories:

    apturl apt:freevial?section=universe

So if the software is not in a default enabled repository you should add a 'section=' to it. Otherwise you can not use this method and need the user to download it and install themselves.

  • 9
    Just a note: AptUrl doesn't work for software that's not on the users repository – sergio91pt Jul 5 '11 at 11:11
  • 1
    That's nice, thanks! Anyway I'm looking for something that would work from the command line, I edited the question. Sadly apturl expects a running X :/ – Joril Jul 6 '11 at 9:12

You may try with curl.

To download the file into the current folder and install from the local file:

curl -sLO https://apt.puppetlabs.com/puppetlabs-release-precise.deb && sudo dpkg -i puppetlabs-release-precise.deb

or download into /var/cache/apt/archives/ and install from there:

curl -sL -o/var/cache/apt/archives/puppetlabs-release-precise.deb https://apt.puppetlabs.com/puppetlabs-release-precise.deb && sudo dpkg -i /var/cache/apt/archives/puppetlabs-release-precise.deb
  • 1
    using curl getting error: --install needs at least one package archive file argument – itsazzad May 27 '15 at 9:34
  • using dpkg getting error: dpkg-deb: error: /dev/fd/63' is not a debian format archive` – itsazzad May 27 '15 at 9:36
  • using last curl: dpkg: error processing archive puppetlabs-release-precise.deb (--install): – itsazzad May 27 '15 at 9:41
  • 1
    Was trying to install wkhtmltopdf – itsazzad May 27 '15 at 9:41
  • 4
    Confirming: all variants doesn't work in Debian Jessie with dpkg 1.17.27 – Envek Sep 4 '16 at 13:07

lynx can call dpkg (or the Software Center, if a display is available) and offer to install a downloaded package for you. For example, using:

lynx http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/z/zsh/

And downloading one of the .deb files, the following prompt is shown:

Info for debian package '/tmp/user/1000/L11127-6774TMP.udeb':
 new debian package, version 2.0.
 size 2545218 bytes: control archive=5830 bytes.
     857 bytes,    21 lines      control              
   14682 bytes,   169 lines      md5sums              
     225 bytes,    20 lines   *  postinst             #!/bin/sh
 Package: zsh-doc
 Source: zsh
 Version: 5.1.1-1ubuntu1
 Architecture: all
 Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <ubuntu-devel-discuss@lists.ubuntu.com>
 Installed-Size: 5291
 Depends: zsh-common (= 5.1.1-1ubuntu1)
 Section: doc
 Priority: optional
 Homepage: http://www.zsh.org/
 Description: zsh documentation - info/HTML format
  Zsh is a UNIX command interpreter (shell) usable as an
  interactive login shell and as a shell script command
  processor. Of the standard shells, zsh most closely resembles
  ksh but includes many enhancements. Zsh has command-line editing,
  built-in spelling correction, programmable command completion,
  shell functions (with autoloading), a history mechanism, and a
  host of other features.
  This contains the documentation in GNU info and HTML formats.
 Original-Maintainer: Debian Zsh Maintainers <pkg-zsh-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org>

Do you wish to:
 - I)nstall the package now,
 - S)ave it to a file, or
 - Q)uit now
Your choice (I/S/Q)? I
Installation of Debian packages needs to be done as root.
Enter command used to become root (default=sudo): 

Installing package...
[sudo] password for bro3886: 
(Reading database ... 756955 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../user/1000/L11127-6774TMP.udeb ...
Unpacking zsh-doc (5.1.1-1ubuntu1) over (5.0.5-4ubuntu1~ubuntu14.04.1) ...
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of zsh-doc:
 zsh-doc depends on zsh-common (= 5.1.1-1ubuntu1); however:
  Version of zsh-common on system is 5.0.5-4ubuntu1~ubuntu14.04.1.

dpkg: error processing package zsh-doc (--install):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Processing triggers for doc-base (0.10.5) ...
Processing 1 changed doc-base file...
Processing triggers for install-info (5.2.0.dfsg.1-2) ...
Errors were encountered while processing:

Done.  Press <return> to continue: 

(Maybe I shouldn't try to install random packages off the internet.)

  • i want to install from url, by official repositories but dont want to add the repository itself for only one package, maybe the OP has the same problem – Durgeoble Oct 14 '20 at 12:39

I actually have a script that does something similar:

Just copy and paste this script into ~/bin (create this folder if it doesn't exist):

# ~/bin/dpkg
for i in $@; do
        echo $i | grep http 2>&1 > /dev/null
        if [ $? == 0 ]; then
                URL="$URL $i"

#Remove beginning and trailing space
URL=$(echo $URL | sed -e 's/^ //g' -e 's/ $//g')

if [ ! -z $URL ]; then
        mkdir /tmp/debs
        cd /tmp/debs
        for i in $URL; do
                wget "$i"
        dpkg $PASSTODPKG /tmp/debs/*.deb
        dpkg $PASSTODPKG

Then add this to the last line in ~/.bashrc


The script is just a wrapper for dpkg. The line in the ~/.bashrc file tells bash that whenever you type dpkg, it will run ~/bin/dpkg (the script), rather than /usr/bin/dpkg.

The script will just pass the arguments to dpkg if there's no URL's given. The script also supports multiple URL's. Here are some examples that will work:

sudo dpkg -i http://www.example.com/file1.deb
sudo dpkg -i http://www.example.com/file1.deb http://www.example.com/file2.deb
sudo dpkg -i http://www.example.com/file1.deb existing.deb http://www.example.com/file2.deb
sudo dpkg -i existing.deb
  • Please let me know if there are any problems with the script. I not at my Ubuntu computer, so I wrote this off of my memory. – Andrew Gunnerson Jul 5 '11 at 21:46
  • 2
    What a memory ! – enzotib Jul 6 '11 at 15:27
  • @enzotib: haha! With the amount of reinstalls I do, my memory is more useful than my backups :) – Andrew Gunnerson Jul 6 '11 at 15:34

If you have (or install) Ansible:

ansible -m apt -a deb=http://domain.com/path/to/package.deb localhost

I know that it's been a while since this question was answered/posted, but here's my humble contribution:


if [ "$EUID" -ne 0 ]
echo "Please run as root"

[ -d $dir ] || mkdir $dir
wget -q --show-progress -O "$dir/$file" $url && \
dpkg -i "$dir/$file"

How to install dpkg-get from Pastebin with a single command:

sudo bash -c "wget http://pastebin.com/raw/GWu7qLwK -O- | tr -d '\r' > /usr/local/bin/dpkg-get && \
chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/dpkg-get"

How to use it (for example to install PowerShell 6 alpha):

sudo dpkg-get https://github.com/PowerShell/PowerShell/releases/download/v6.0.0-alpha.10/powershell_6.0.0-alpha.10-1ubuntu1.16.04.1_amd64.deb

And that's all.

I know it's not perfect, but it's simple and it works.

Remember to be careful with what you install and from where you download it.


This one-liner based on an SO answer worked for me on Ubuntu 15.04 to identify the latest atom release on github for my environment (64-bit Ubuntu) and then install it:

sudo dpkg -i $(curl -w "%{filename_effective}" -LO $(curl -s https://api.github.com/repos/atom/atom/releases | grep browser_download_url | grep '64[.]deb' | head -n 1 | cut -d '"' -f 4))

If you do this in a tmp dir, the deb file will be cleaned up whenever you empty your tmp folder. Otherwise you can manually delete the deb package if you need the disk space.


You can append it to /etc/bash.bashrc as it follows (it's an upgrade from Chen's script):

'dpkg-url'() {


for package in "${urls[@]}"; do
    if [[ $package = *http* ]]; then 

    dpkg_url="$dpkg_url "$package""

# Remove beginning and trailing spaces #

url=$(echo "$url" | sed -e 's/^ //g' -e 's/ $//g')

if [[ ! -z "$url" ]]; then
    directory=$(mktemp -d);
        trap 'rm -rf "$directory"' EXIT

    cd "$directory" || exit
        for package in "$url"; do
            wget ""$package""
    dpkg $dpkg_url "$directory"/*.deb
    dpkg $dpkg_url

Though I do not see why I get this error when calling it as it follows:

dpkg-url -i http://downloads.sourceforge.net/ldview/ldview-4.2-beta1.x64.deb
dpkg: error: need an action option

Type dpkg --help for help about installing and deinstalling packages [*];
Use `dselect' or `aptitude' for user-friendly package management;
Type dpkg -Dhelp for a list of dpkg debug flag values;
Type dpkg --force-help for a list of forcing options;
Type dpkg-deb --help for help about manipulating *.deb files;

Options marked [*] produce a lot of output - pipe it through `less' or `more' !

I am just wrapped Oli's answer into a bash function that can be added to your .<shell>rc file:

function dpkg_r() {
  local tmp_deb="$(mktemp)"
  local src_url=$1
  local args=${@:2}

  wget -O $tmp_deb $src_url &&
  sudo dpkg -i $tmp_deb $args &&
  { rm -f $tmp_deb; true; } || # commands above succeeded, remove tmp file
  { rm -f $tmp_deb; false; }   # commands above failed, remove tmp file anyway

Name it as you want. I named it as dpkg_r where r stands for remote there

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