Guest Post: How to Install or Uninstall Applications in Ubuntu 10.10

By Dr. Muhammad Saleem

There are three different ways of installing / removing applications in Ubuntu. We describe one of these techniques in the following paragraphs. We assume that you have a working Internet connection unless specified otherwise.

Ubuntu Unleashed 2011 Edition: Covering 10.10 and 11.04 (6th Edition)1.            Installation/removal through Ubuntu Software Center

Dependencies problem is common in Linux OS. Therefore, installation through software center or synaptic package manager is recommended because they automatically resolve this issue by downloading and installing the other required packages. Here is the recipe.

  • Run it by selecting Applications and then Ubuntu Software Center.
  • With Get Software selected in the left pan, browse through the categories and locate the application of interest.
  • Once an application is selected, simply clicking the install will start the installation process. Your application will be available in the Applications menu once the installation completes.

Removal is as simple as installation. While selecting the installed software in the left pan, click the application and then remove.

Warning: Be careful!! If the application being removed is needed by some other, both will be removed. But don’t worry, you will be asked to confirm this operation.

2.            Installation/removal through Synaptic Package Manager

There are certain applications which are not managed by Software Center. Therefore, you have to use Synaptic Package Manager. Here is the procedure.

  • Click System à Administration and then Synaptic Package Manager.
  • There are two ways to locate an application of interest. Click the search (in the toolbar) button (you should know the application name or use previous searches record) or browse through the Sections (lower left)/categories (Upper left) to find the one of your interest.
  • Once application is selected (top right), right-click and choose Mark for Installation.
  • You might need additional packages. Confirm them by clicking Mark from the pop up menu.
  • Then click Apply from the toolbar, the downloading and installation will begin once you choose Apply from the next pop up window.

Removal is as simple. When you select an application, right-click and choose Mark for Removal. Clicking Apply twice will serve the purpose.

Synaptic Package Manager offers a range of other services e.g. adding repositories, forced installations, offline installation etc. Click here ( for more details.

3.            Installation of rpm/deb Packages

Majority of Ubuntu packages are available in *.deb format. Installation of *.deb is simple. Double click the file. It will be opened in a package Installer. Choose Install and the installation begins. However, there are still some applications which are available in rpm format. The installation of these files is a two step process. First is to convert the ‘rpm’ file into ‘deb’ format. Then install the package using the method described above or use ‘dpkg’ command line utility.

Conversion to ‘.deb’ format is done through ‘alien’ utility. Therefore, you have to get it installed if not available already. Type this on the command line.

#sudo apt-get install alien

It might complain like most Linux applications? Oops!! Resolving dependencies is a common problem in Linux like OS as stated earlier. Alien also needs ‘gcc’ and ‘make’. Therefore, you might have to issue the following command if the above fails (need working Internet connection).

#apt-get install alien dpkg-dev debhelper build-essential

The next step is to convert your ‘xyz.rpm’ file into ‘xyz.deb’.

alien –d xyz.rpm

Then install xyz.deb using:

dpkg –i xyz.deb

Or you can also install by locating and double clicking the resulting xyz.deb file.

Note: You can also install the packages from CD. Click here for details (

Editor's Note: Dr. Muhammad Saleem has a PhD from the Center for Advanced Studies in Engineering, located in Islamabad, Pakistan. He spends his spare time writing as a freelance writer and has co-authored a paper entitled "On Performance Modeling of Ad Hoc Protocols"

The article above does not reflect the opinions, observations and is not recommended in any form whatsoever by 

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