How to add or remove programs and applications on a Dell PC using the Ubuntu Operating System

Summary: This article is a guide to how to add and remove programs and applications on a Dell PC using the Ubuntu Operating system.

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The following article provides information about how to add and remove programs and applications from your Dell PC using the Ubuntu Operating System.


Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. How to add and remove from the Ubuntu repository
  3. A summary of other methods

 

Introduction

 

There are several ways to install or remove the various software offerings available on the Ubuntu Operating system.

In this article, I will concentrate on the GUI (Graphical User Interface) options that are easiest for those new to Ubuntu and Linux.

I will summarize the other options available to more experienced users at the bottom of the article.

Check the Additional Information section at the foot of the article, if you have any issues with the article.


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How to add and remove from the Ubuntu repository

 

The latest revision of Ubuntu GUI has a lot of similarities to the Windows configuration panel. The steps below take you through using the Ubuntu equivalent of the add or remove programs panel in Windows.

SLN136002_en_US__1icon Note: There are commonly four (4) types of repositories that are used in Ubuntu. Most programs and applications that are available on Ubuntu are Open Source and Free, however there are still some programs that are chargeable. This section will deal with software available in the Main repository, which is the default one on your system:
Main

This is the officially supported and tested software available for Ubuntu.

Restricted

This is software that is supported, but is not available under a free license.

Universe

This is software that is not supported, but is maintained by the Ubuntu Community.

Multiverse

This is software that is not supported and is not free to download as is all other Ubuntu software.

The Ubuntu Software Center

The Software Center lets you add or remove programs and applications from the Ubuntu Operating system.

You can open the Software Center window from the Dashboard. (It is the suitcase icon.) Or by running a Search for it.

SLN136002_en_US__2Ubuntu_Software_Center_BK_01

(Fig.1 Ubuntu Software Center Application)

Remove installed software

  1. When the window opens click on the Installed icon on the taskbar at the top of the window. You can access a list of categories to look for the software you want. Or you can search for the software in the Search box at the top-right hand side corner of the window.

  2. When you find the program or application you want, you can click it and it highlights your selection. It shows a More Info button. (A line down from the program information about the left-hand side.) It also shows a Remove button (A line down from the program information about the right-hand side.):

    1. Clicking the More Info Button brings up another screen.

      1. The screen that appears will have a message advising whether the software is already installed on your PC. A description of what the software does and some screenshots of the software itself at the top of the page.

      2. Scrolling down the page reveals information about Optional Add-ons, the version, size, license, and updates for the software in the middle of the page.

      3. If you keep scrolling to the bottom of the page, you will see some suggestions about other software offerings. Packages that are installed with your current selection by other users and some reviews from people who have used your selected software.

    2. Clicking the Remove Button will bring up a dialog box.

      1. The first box is usually one that advises of any other installed software that is tied into the software you want to remove.

      2. There is a Cancel button and a Remove All button at the bottom of the box.

      3. Click Remove All to uninstall all the software listed in the dialog box.

      4. An Authentication dialog box appears whenever you are uninstalling software, enter your password and click Authenticate to complete the uninstall.

      5. The program is removed from your list of installed programs.

Installing new software

  1. When the window opens click on the All Software icon on the taskbar at the top of the window to access a list of categories. You can look for the software you want. Or you can search for the software in the Search box at the top-right hand side corner of the window.

  2. The categories break down into further sub categories, and the software is listed in those sub categories. When you find the program or application, you want. You can click it, and it highlights your selection and shows a More Info button. (A line down from the program information about the left-hand side.) It also shows an Install button (A line down from the program information about the right-hand side.):

    1. Clicking the More Info Button brings up another screen.

      1. The screen that appears will have a message advising whether the software is already installed on your PC. A description of what the software does and some screenshots of the software itself at the top of the page.

      2. Scrolling down the page reveals information about Optional Add-ons, the version, size, license, and updates for the software in the middle of the page.

      3. If you keep scrolling to the bottom of the page, you will see some suggestions about other software offerings. Packages that are installed with your current selection by other users and some reviews from people who have used your selected software.

    2. Clicking the Install Button will bring up a dialog box.

      1. An Authentication dialog box appears whenever you are uninstalling software, enter your password and click Authenticate to complete the uninstall.

      2. The installation progress is shown as a bar above the Install button.

      3. Once the program is fully installed the Install button changes to a Remove button.

SLN136002_en_US__1icon Note: Dell Supports the hardware on any in warranty Dell system that is sold with Ubuntu. All software support past testing the hardware and reinstalling the operating system is outside of their support boundaries. You may be directed to contact Canonical or the Ubuntu Community Forums for further software help. This article is a general guide and any methods in the section below are used at your own risk.


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A summary of other methods

 

This section is going to give a brief summary of the other methods you can use to add or remove software on the Ubuntu Operating System. Some of these methods should only be attempted by users who are experienced with Ubuntu and Linux.

Add or Remove in Terminal

  • Installing and removing software using the Terminal Application (CTRL + ALT + T):

    1. First is installing software:

      1. The terminal command for installing software is:

        sudo apt-get install <Software Product Name>

      2. You need to know the name and location of the software product.

    2. Second is uninstalling software:

      1. The Terminal command for uninstalling software is:

        sudo apt-get --purge autoremove <Software Product Name>

      2. You can find a list of the software that is already installed on your system using:

        dpkg --list

Adding Repositories in Ubuntu

  • Adding repositories in Ubuntu to increase the number of programs and applications that are available:

    1. These additional repositories are for third-party software. The software will not be supported or tested by Canonical and may be chargeable. It is recommended that you only install software from trusted sources.

    2. There are two methods to accomplish this:

      1. The GUI method:

        1. Open Software Center.

        2. Go to the Edit menu and select Software Sources.

        3. The window that appears has five (5) tabs across the top.

        4. Main, Restricted, Universe, and Multiverse should already be selected on the first tab.

        5. Make sure that Community-maintained Open Source software, Proprietary drivers for devices and Software that is restricted by copyright or legal issues are ticked.

        6. Select close and then hit Reload. If you have made a mistake choose Revert instead.

      2. The Terminal method:
        1. Additional repositories such as Universe and Multiverse can be enabled by deleting the # at the beginning of the apt lines.

        2. For Universe:

          deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty universe
          deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty universe
          deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty-updates universe
          deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty-updates universe

        3. There are four (4) similar lines for Multiverse.

        4. Or you can use the add-apt-repository command:

          sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty universe multiverse"
          sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty-updates universe multiverse"

Deb Package Files

  • Ubuntu software packages are in .deb format. Ubuntu is based on Debian which is where the .deb format comes from:

    1. These can be downloadable from the repositories, from websites, or from files you have compiled.

    2. You can install them using either the Software Center or using Terminal commands as shown above.

Binary Files

  • Some programs and files are distributed in binary form, rather than as source code. However, these types of files and programs need work done on them with other programs. This is before they can be changed to a format that Ubuntu can use.

Third-party Package Repositories

  • Anyone can set up a package repository for Ubuntu. (Most are distribution-specific.) If you know the name of the repository, you can add it. (As described above.) These repositories can often be added to your system seamlessly. If they are formatted as .deb files, they will install from the Software center. When an update becomes available, it will show in the Software Updater application along with your other updates.

PPAs (Personal Package Archives)

  • Anyone can create a PPA, they are like third-party Packages - only they are hosted on Canonical's Launchpad SLN136002_en_US__4iC_External_Link_BD_v1 system. PPAs often contain software that has not officially been added to Ubuntu's main Stable repositories. Think of them like Beta or developer versions of current programs and applications. You can add a Launchpad PPA repository using the command:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:<repository name>
    sudo apt-get update

Adding Canonical Partner Repositories

  • Adding Canonical Partner repositories in Ubuntu to increase the number of programs and applications that are available:

    1. These additional repositories are for third-party software. The software will not be supported or tested by Canonical and may be chargeable. It is recommended that you only install software from trusted sources.

    2. There are two methods to accomplish this:

      1. The GUI method:

        1. Open Software Center.

        2. Go to the Edit menu and select Software Sources.

        3. The window that appears has five (5) tabs across the top.

        4. Go to the Other Software tab.

        5. Make sure that both options are ticked.

        6. Select close and then hit Reload. If you have made a mistake choose Revert instead.

      2. The Terminal method:

        1. Open the sources.list file:

          gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

        2. Add the Partner repositories by deleting the # from these lines:

          deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu maverick partner
          deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu maverick partner

        3. Save and close the file.

        4. Resynch the index files from their sources:

          sudo apt-get update

CD-ROM/DVD

  • Installing media from a CD-ROM or DVD is an option as well:

    1. There are two main methods possible:

      1. The GUI method:

        1. Open Software Center.

        2. Go to the Edit menu and select Software Sources.

        3. The window that appears has five (5) tabs across the top.

        4. Tick the box at the bottom of the first tab, titled Installable with CD-ROM/DVD. (Only have this box ticked when you are installing from disc, leave it unticked at all other times. If you do not, it will generate erroneous messages during other installs.)

      2. The Terminal method:

        1. You can mount the contents of the disc. You can then view them through the file manager or Terminal. (Mounting the disc makes it accessible to the system by making it part of the filesystem. It means that the programs can view as if it was another random directory.)

        2. Use the command (Where <drive name> is the drives identifier name under Ubuntu. i.e. cdrom0):

          mount /media/<drive name>

        3. From this point you can run the list, run, and install commands as needed.


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Additional Information:

 

SLN136002_en_US__1icon Note:
Software support is by Canonical through the following methods:
Technical Support is provided by Dell:


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Article Properties


Affected Product

Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Fixed Workstations

Last Published Date

21 Feb 2021

Version

3

Article Type

Solution

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