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A month ago I moved from Windows to Ubuntu. While using Ubuntu I notice some things about installing software. I've read some installation guides about installing software, and been curious about two things: the first thing is the dependencies and the second one is the repositories.

I've search over the internet, and by definition I found this:

  • A dependency is a file that something you are trying to install requires.
  • A software repository is a storage location from which software packages are retrieved for installation.

But still I do have some questions.

  1. Do I really need this two things as always? Why?
  2. How can I identify which and what repositories and dependencies to use?
  3. What things must I remember before installing dependencies and repositories?
  4. Is there a good book to read about these two things?
  5. Another option to deal with aside from using terminal? Should I use software center?
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Repositories serve several purpose :

  • every program from an "official" repository has been validated by canonical. It is thus considered safe for your system (not a malware).

  • repositories allow to notify users when an update is ready. Your system is automatically up to date with new features and security releases.

To answer your questions :

  1. Not necessarily. For instance, a .deb file can be installed without a repository (just download the file, and use dpkg -i file.deb to install it)
  2. You can read the official documentation about this. There are default repositories from canonical, but you can also add custom repositories if you need some other resources. Dependencies are shown automatically when you try to install a package.
  3. If you are invoking the update manager from the terminal, be careful about which options you use. For instance, apt-get update and apt-get upgrade are fairly harmless, but option like apt-get dist-upgrade or apt-get autoremove can break your distro in some occasions. Also, always run apt-get update before upgrading your system or after you modified your repositories information.

  4. I don't know of any. I learnt from reading the official documentation & practice.

  5. All package managers do about the same thing, the interface and some functionalities change. Have a look at this question for more details about the differences between them.
  • Can I see the default repositories through canonical official website? If it's not in the official website where can I see default repositories? – Ian024 Aug 19 '15 at 5:41
  • @Ian024 reading from the link of my point n°2, your current repositories addresses are stored in /etc/apt/sources.list. I believe by default the only repository is the main one. Also, if you want to visualize your repositories in a GUI instead ofgoing through editing the sources.list file, have a look at this question – Aserre Aug 19 '15 at 7:46

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