There are two ways to download a package: GUI & CLI (via terminal).

I tried the first one and can run the package via terminal only.

I want the app to appear on Dashboard and also to be findable in the search bar of Ubuntu.


The easiest way is apt-get, but this answer only deals with packages where you have downloaded something through another means.

If it's a .deb file, you can just double click on it. It will open Ubuntu Software Centre, and let you install it.

If it's an archive, you should first unpack it. After that, you typically need to install it from Terminal.

I recommend first getting this neat tool:

sudo apt-get install nautilus-open-terminal

Then restart Nautilus

nautilus -q

Then navigate to the folder in which you have unpacked your archive.

Typically there will be a "Readme" file inside the folder with instructions on how to install.

Sometimes there's a file called Install.sh or something like that.

Read the readme file. Now you can use that neat tool I told you about. Right click somewhere in the folder, and click "Open terminal here". Then follow the instructions from the readme file.

In some cases you have to compile the application from source.

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if the package you're installing has no .desktop file, it will not be shown in Unity Dashboard.

you can always make a .desktop file for a package to be shown.

Check these question:

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