PLEASE NOTE: While Ubuntu Software Center is now the default package manager, Synaptic is worth installing if you don’t already have it, as being free of the bells and whistles of the former, it loads much faster.
Synaptic Package Manager is the default program in Ubuntu for package management – installing and uninstalling software. It is found in Applications > Administration, and is incredibly easy to use. Simply load it, enter your password, and you’ll be installing apps in no time.
On the left hand side, you’ll notice some categories to browse, but since there could be hundreds or even thousands of packages to sift through, I’ll show you how to get the most out of the Search feature. In the toolbar, you will see a Quick search field where you can type in something useful, like “DVD burner“, or the actual name of the program or command if you know it (eg: “gnomebaker“). You can also use the Search button next to it.
The results will appear beneath, and if you’d like to put them into alphabetical order, click once on Package at the top of the first column. As you look through the programs presented, you can mark any for installation by single-clicking on the little box at the beginning of each line, and choosing Mark for Installation. Note that if you click on the package name and not the box, you will need to right-click to get that menu. Also, if a box is green, then it means that the package is already installed.
Some packages will have dependencies – in other words, require other packages or libraries – but Synaptic will suggest that those be marked for installation as well, and will do it for you when you click OK to that suggestion.
Once you’ve finished selecting some new games and programs, simply click Apply, and everything will be downloaded and installed for you! And not only that, but anything you just installed will automatically get updates when they are released! It really doesn’t get much easier that that, does it?
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