Adding New Software – Ubuntu and Fedora

The greatest advantage the Linux, in particular the larger distributions such as Fedora and Ubuntu, is the vast amount of easily available software the can extend a basic setup and make it suitable for any possible situation. This is then made insanely easy by package management.

Think of package management as the ability of the user to look at all the possible software that they need and select, install, setup and troubleshoot and then provide a way to automate the procedure. It’s like the master key that unlocks the heart of functionality of Linux. The two big package management programs are yum on Fedora (and CentOS)  and apt on Ubuntu (and anything that is Debian based). They both work basically the same way and provide similar functionality.

There are two ways to use the package management systems to install software. The first is a Gui System and the second is via the command line. While both have the merits, and the GUI system is awesome, I have always found that the command line provides a better picture of whats going on.

GUI

On Ubuntu, the package management system is handled by the Ubuntu Software Center. You simple run the program (In Applications) and browse to find the software you are after. If you want a greater control you can use synaptic. Synaptic is located in System -> Administration -> Synaptic and allows you complete control of apt.

On Fedora, the package management system is handled by Package Kit. This program is found in System -> Administration -> Add/Remove Software. If you want greater control you can download and install yumex which will allow greater control over yum. (yumex is also found under System -> Administration -> Yum Extender)

Command Line

Open Terminal

Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal

On Ubuntu you would then use the following command to add a software package (you need to know what your downloading. For this example I will download Battle for Wesnoth, a great Linux game developed by volunteers.

sudo apt-get install wesnoth-1.8

This will then display a whole list of package dependencies and ask whether you would like to install them type “y” without quotes and then hit enter.

You can also download more than one program at a time just by adding then onto the end of the command

sudo apt-get install wesnoth-1.8 apache2 mysql-server etc..

To remove the package use the following lines of code

sudo apt-get remove wesnoth-1.8
sudo apt-get autoclean

This removes not only the main program but also any dependencies that are not needed by other programs.

On fedora type the following to install the Battle for Wesnoth game (or substitute for you desired software)

sudo yum install wesnoth-1.8

And to remove it.

sudo yum remove wesnoth-1.8

Conclusion

I Hope that this helps someone having problems downloading and install software on Linux, (mainly Ubuntu and Fedora). package management is such a powerful tool that is not given enough recognition in the greater computing world. Stay tuned for an expansion into the APT package management system.

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