I just installed Ubuntu, now how do I install programs?
July 20, 2006 10:48 AM   Subscribe

I just installed Ubuntu, now how do I install programs?

Right now im trying to install songbird, and I extracted it, but I don't see any notes about installing.
posted by chuckforthought.com to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
apt-get from the command line, aptitude from the GUI.

Or, download and compile source. (Often that's pretty easy: you run the app's configure script, them run make, then make install).
posted by orthogonality at 10:50 AM on July 20, 2006


The usual way to do this is to use the package management utility, apt, which will take care of checking and installing dependent packages, and is also used to upgrade your system and apply security fixes. If you installed Ubuntu successfully, apt is already on your machine, configured, and was used in the final part of the installation to update your installation with the current security packages.
posted by paulsc at 10:52 AM on July 20, 2006


Usually the best way to find answers to basic computer questions like this is to google your keyword, and "tutorial". I found some nice sites by googling "ubuntu tutorial". Like this one.
posted by agropyron at 10:53 AM on July 20, 2006




Songbird is not in the apt repositories yet, so you won't be able to do the simple install procedure that you do for most of Ubuntu software. You have downloaded the nightly build, I imagine. I would just run it from wherever you have extracted it for the time being, then when somebody build a .deb you can install it more properly. If you're new to linux, I wouldn't bother trying to "properly" install it yourself.

So let's say that you have extracted the package to your home directory. From the command line, just invoke the executable. Let's pretend you start from you home directory:

# cd Songbird_20060717
# ./Songbird

This will launch the application, and show you any crash messages that may come up in the terminal. If the program works, and you don't want to keep a terminal tied to the application, append an ampersand to the final command:

# ./Songbird &

This will allow the application to run in the background, so you can close the terminal or use it for something else. It's a messy way to launch an application, but package installation on linux is kinda complicated. Either read up on how it works (the proper locations for such applications, pathnames, etc.), or just wait until somebody rolls a .deb.

As for installing other software that HAS been included in the apt repositories:

I like Synaptic the best, unless I'm doing specific updates or installs with apt-get (apt-get is much faster, of course). Synaptic offers the most information about the various packages, and control over installs and deinstalls. I use Kubuntu, but I always install Synaptic and all the GTK stuff it needs, since the KDE analog is so crappy and slow (I forget the name).

# sudo apt-get install synaptic
posted by dammitjim at 11:31 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


If you're new to ubuntu, an installation script like Automatix will do a lot of the installing and configuring automatically.
posted by blag at 11:50 AM on July 20, 2006


While I am all for compiling stuff from source, I have to say use packages if you can. I try to install everything I can using apt (actually adept which is a kde tool much like synaptic) to make management easier. I prefer the two click upgrade path to downloading, compiling and installing programs. I save programs built from source for times when I absolutely must have the latest version or want an extremely customized version of something.

Also, apt is a fantastic package management tool all around and with synaptic on top makes installing applications a piece of cake.
posted by chrisroberts at 12:05 PM on July 20, 2006


Ubuntu Forums is a really good source for program-specific installation instructions and for configuration instructions in general.

There isn't much on Songbird yet, but I did find this, which has basic installation instructions.

Being new to Linux, though, you might want to use one of the music players that are available in the repositories until you get the hang of things or until Songbird matures a little more. Good players include XMMS, Rhythmbox (included with Ubuntu), Amarok. Ubuntu Forums also has a number of threads with recommendations.

Finally, blag's recommendation to use Automatix is very important, not for the media player itself, but for mp3/dvd/other codecs that can't be installed with Ubuntu for various reasons.
posted by concrete at 1:17 PM on July 20, 2006


This is a hilarious thread... explains very, very well the amazing user friendly nature of linux.

"apt-get from the command line, aptitude from the GUI.

Or, download and compile source. (Often that's pretty easy: you run the app's configure script, them run make, then make install)."

or in Windows/Mac: double-click the install file.
posted by Cosine at 3:42 PM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


ok now im just trying to get anything that can play mp3's to work instead of songbird
posted by chuckforthought.com at 4:44 PM on July 20, 2006


Defintely go with XMMS for MP3 et al. A VERY nice little app with lots of power under the hood.
posted by Aquaman at 4:53 PM on July 20, 2006


The usual way is Synaptic, which should already be installed.

For Songbird specifically, it seems that the best thing to do is to build it from source.

You'll probably need to install the build-essentials package, with "sudo apt-get install build-essentials", or finding it in Synaptic, and then consult the Songbird forums.
posted by pompomtom at 6:40 PM on July 20, 2006


ok now im just trying to get anything that can play mp3's to work

If I'm reading this correctly and you've got a player installed and it won't play mp3s, you likely don't have the correct codecs installed.

Ubuntu doesn't include a lot of codecs because they are proprietary; you'll need to install them yourself. Instructions are available on the Ubuntu Wiki. You can also use an automated configuration script like Automatix or Easy Ubuntu, which will also help you set up a lot of other components that are either proprietary or difficult to install.
posted by concrete at 9:19 PM on July 20, 2006


This is a hilarious thread... explains very, very well the amazing user friendly nature of linux.

While that was really a very snarky comment, try this. Using a single program, synaptic or adept, I can upgrade my complete system, including all of my installed programs, with three clicks. Please tell me how you can do this with the "easy to use" Windows/Mac.
posted by chrisroberts at 9:15 AM on August 20, 2006


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