Just as the title says. I'm pretty new to Ubuntu, but I've used it before about a year ago. I had help then, but now this seems pretty confusing. I've already read the Installing Software article, I'm currently trying to install Steam and when I do:

cd ~/downloads/
sudo dpkg steam_latest.deb

I get a error saying that I need python-apt and I tried doing

sudo apt-get python-apt

but it says invalid operation can you guys list the ways to install an application, and describe it like I'm five? Thanks.

Edit: I'm not talking about using wine in this case, just using the actual package from Valve themselves.

  • 2
    Programs like dpkg, apt-get, etc generally rely on arguments to specify the requested action. You can always use man <program-name> (e.g. man dpkg) to get more information about how they can be used properly.
    – code_dredd
    Jun 2, 2016 at 9:13
  • 1
    Install steam directly from Ubuntu repo. There are some problems with the official, for example it opens every start a window with "please update steam" even when you the latest version
    – Motte001
    Jun 2, 2016 at 10:35

2 Answers 2


You nearly had it correct, to install steam you need to add the -i flag to dpkg like this:

sudo dpkg -i steam_latest.deb

And if that still fails you can install python-apt this way, which you as well had almost right:

sudo apt-get install python-apt
  • 6
    sudo apt install on current versions on Ubuntu. Jun 2, 2016 at 7:54
  • 3
    @BoristheSpider you still can use both and will be able to use both untill EOL of 16.04 LTS which will be in 04/2021.
    – Videonauth
    Jun 2, 2016 at 7:56
  • 4
    apt alone has a nifty progress bar though
    – myol
    Jun 2, 2016 at 7:58
  • 2
    @myol apt-get --show-progress
    – Motte001
    Jun 2, 2016 at 10:37
  • @Motte001 Really? sudo apt-get --show-progress install 2048-qt outputs something like Avanzamento: [ 0%] Avanzamento: [ 16%] Estrazione di 2048-qt (0.1.6-1)... Avanzamento: [ 33%] Avanzamento: [ 50%] . No progress bar, just more and more lines telling you the progress (sorry for the Italian btw). Using sudo apt install 2048qt produces an actual coloured progress bar using ncurses (I guess).
    – Bakuriu
    Jun 2, 2016 at 17:44

As you are trying to install Steam, here is a different approach: Install Steam directly from Ubuntu's multiverse repository

sudo add-apt-repository multiverse
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install steam

Reference: https://linuxconfig.org/how-to-install-steam-on-ubuntu-16-04-xenial-xerus

  • 2
    This is by far the easiest option, as it will also automatically install dependencies (including python-apt) and updates, whereas the answer by Videonauth won't do so. Jun 7, 2016 at 10:51
  • 1
    @PaddyLandau If you have a look at the edit history of the question itself you will see why my answer isn't satisfactory anymore. Its mostly because people edited the questions to something totally new.
    – Videonauth
    Jun 12, 2016 at 23:45

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