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How to install Applications using Terminal in Ubuntu?

Whenever we install a new operating system we would at first be puzzled at the strangeness of the new desktop environment. We don’t know what to do and what not to do. But when it comes to linux things get easy than a user can imagine and the problem that pops up can be rectified easily.

Users who are new to linux often find it difficult in installing new softwares. Well, installing softwares is quite easy in linux. There are basically two methods for installing an Application in Ubuntu.

  • Installation using the software center which is a GUI tool and comes pre-installed with linux which is used to install, remove and update the softwares.
  • Installation through terminal (like command prompt in Windows OS).

First, I’ll guide through installation of software using Ubuntu Software Center which most would prefer as its easier.

Installation Using Ubuntu Software Center

Users who are using Ubuntu 9.04 and later will have Ubuntu Software center pre-installed. But some who were using “Synaptic Package Manager” don’t be alarmed as it can be downloaded using Ubuntu Software Center.

Step 1:

On your Ubuntu desktop sidebar (on the left) you can find the icon “dash home” (marked in red), click it.

Step 2:

After you have clicked the “dash home” you will see the dash menu appear.

Step 3:

Next, in the search bar(marked red in previous image) type “Ubuntu software center” and you should see the “Ubuntu software center” icon the “dash home” menu, click it. Ubuntu Software center loads as shown in the image below,

Step 4:

  • Once you are at the Ubuntu software center you can search for the software you need in “search” bar which is in the top right corner.
  • For example. If you need to install vlc media player, type as “vlc” in the search bar.

Step 5:

Select “VLC media player” from the search results and click on install (marked in black).

Step 6:

After you have clicked the install button, you will be prompted to enter your administrator password for installing the software. Enter the password and click on “Authenticate” button (marked in red) to begin the installation.

Step 7:

The completion of the installation is indicated by the “green tick”. You can also remove an application by using the “remove” button (marked in black).

These are the few simple steps with which you can install and remove any software you need via “Ubuntu Software Center”.

Installation from Terminal

Now let’s see how to do the installation like a pro using the terminal.

Step 1:

You can open the terminal either from the sidebar panel or click on the “dash home” as you did previously and type in the “search” bar as “terminal” and click on the terminal icon (marked in red).

Step 2:

  • After you get the terminal window, type in the following command and press “enter”.
sudo apt-get install vlc
for example: vms20591@vms20591:~$ sudo apt-get install vlc 

here the ‘~’ symbol denotes that you are in your ubuntu’s home directory, if you don’t see the ‘~’ type in the command “cd ~” without the quotes.

  • Once you have pressed enter, the system asks you for the root/administrator password [Note: While you start typing the password you will notice that nothing is displayed in the screen and don’t be alarmed, whatever you enter is being registered. So, focus on typing the password correctly and press enter. You won’t be able to see the password while you type, so don’t be panic just type the write password.
  • Note: While the installation begins if you are freshly installing the software you will be prompted in the terminal that a certain amount of files should be downloaded , to continue press [y/n]. Type “y” to continue with the installation and “n” for canceling the installation.
  • Then you will prompted on the completion of vlc.
  • To run vlc just type “vlc” in terminal and press enter.

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Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. We would love to explore more on Ubuntu in our future posts. Please feel free to share your views on the tutorial and also please suggest as topics which you would like us to discuss in smashingtips.


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