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How to Install Third Party Software in Ubuntu Software Center

ubuntu-software-center-iconAfter written a huge number of Linux articles, one of several complaints that I always found out about Linux is you have to make use of the command line to setup applications. Most people don’t like Windows, however they were afraid to move to Linux because of the command line. In Windows, they are able to install a software by double clicking the exe file, however in Linux, they have to use the command line. So is it factual that the command line may be the only way to install applications in Linux?

The response is NO. Most Linux distro is sold with its own package manager where you can search for your applications you want and put them to use in a few clicks. In Ubuntu, the equivalent of your package manager could be the Ubuntu Software Center, although it is more of a marketplace when compared to a package manager. However, as effective as these package managers seem, there is one problem: they just contain applications which are in their repository. If you want to set up a alternative party application not inside the default repository, you won’t manage to find and install the approval from the package managers.

In Ubuntu, below are a few ways to install third party software from your Ubuntu Software Center.

Deb file

The good (and bad) thing about Linux is that there are many ways to install an application. You can compile from source, install from repository, or install while using the deb/rpm package. Ubuntu sports ths deb format and Ubuntu Software Center may be the default handler for deb file. That means, after you have downloaded the deb file, all you have to do is always to double click it and it'll open up in Ubuntu Software Center. You can then view the applying detail and install the applying.

This is by far, the easiest way to install third party application in Ubuntu. However, don't assume all applications are available within the deb format. This brings us to the following method: installing via PPA.

Launchpad PPA

A significant amount of applications are hosted in Launchpad. This means that you can easily add the PPA and install the application in your computer. The classical means of installing application via PPA inside terminal is to use the commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:developer/xyz sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install xyz-software

This is actually a three steps process:

  1. Add the PPA in your repository.

  2. Update it

  3. Install the application

In Ubuntu, we can replicate the above mentioned three steps using GUI.

1. Add PPA in your repository

Open the “Software & Updates” application in Ubuntu. Click the “Other Software” tab, follow through the “Add” button.


Copy the PPA (should be within the format: “ppa:developer/xyz“) and paste it to the field. Click “Add Source”.


Once the PPA is added, it is possible to close the “Software & Updates” application.

Note: Other than Launchpad PPA, you are able to also add other repository here. It must be of the format like “deb raring main“.

2. Update the system
Open the “Software Updater” application. It should automatically update the machine. If not, click “Check now”.


3. Install the applying

Now, you'll be able to open Ubuntu Software Center and search for the application that you want to put in.


You could also click the arrow next to the “All Software” tab to narrow down to the particular PPA in order to make your search easier.



Until Ubuntu Software Center comes with the power to add PPA and refresh the repository within itself, we still have to be determined by three different applications to install third party PPA application in Ubuntu Software Center. Personally, I prefer to use either the .deb file or even the command line within the terminal while they allow me to be a little more productive. What about you? Do you prefer to use Ubuntu Software Center, or even the command line?

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