I just dipped my toes into Linux, and as obvious as it should be, I am starting with Ubuntu as it makes life easier for starters. I believe, the best way to get a grip over command line is to use it for all day-to-day activities - - like app installation, copying, moving and deleting files etc.

For me, the most trickiest part has been installing apps via command line. Reason? It's not as simple as $ sudo apt-get install app-name-here - - because sometimes (if not most of the time), we need dependencies etc.

Having made that clear, now I ask: is there a way to visualize the terminal commands being issued by the Ubuntu Software Center when I am installing an app?

This way I can note down the commands, find the similarities as to how most apps can be installed flawlessly via command line and from then on, install apps via the command line. (Most importantly, this will help me on the server-side as well.)

  • 3
    apt-get takes care of dependencies and gets them too.
    – Anonymous
    Nov 22, 2011 at 21:11
  • @Anonymous Oh. I don't know why, but Chromium did not get installed properly when I installed it with apt-get via terminal.
    – user33877
    Nov 22, 2011 at 21:12
  • 2
    @BadLearner chromium didn't get installed properly? fix it with sudo apt-get install -f - that'll make sure that the dependencies are properly installed. but that's a different question....
    – jrg
    Nov 22, 2011 at 21:25
  • 1
    I don't think software center is using the standard apt-get commands. It's probably accessing a package management library that takes care of all that so you won't be able to "see" what it's doing.
    – devius
    Nov 22, 2011 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


Note that although this is the literal answer to your question it's not the answer you really want. You can see the "commands" the software center is issuing by enabling debug mode. You do this by opening a terminal and typing the following command:

software-center --debug

You will see all the program's output including package management activities. Look for the parts that contain Apt. You won't be able to reproduce these commands though, unless you make a program yourself that makes use of the same libraries and daemons that software-center is using. If you want to learn more about package management on the command line you are better off reading the man page of apt-get and apt-cache for starters. You do this by issuing the man apt-get and man apt-cache commands on a terminal.

  • I thought there would be a way. Thanks for the clarification.
    – user33877
    Nov 22, 2011 at 22:53

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