How to download and install programs on Linux

In fact, through the repositories we can even download console emulators, emulators that some companies like Apple and Microsoft consider illegal, although in reality they are not, since what is illegal is having a copy of a game that is not original .

When we want to install an application, Linux checks if it has everything it needs to install it. If so, it installs without problems. But if you don’t have it, we need to tell you by adding a repository where you can find it.

In both the Windows Store and the Mac App Store, if the application we want to download is not available, we have to go to the developer’s website to download the application and install it. Once installed, it also adds an uninstaller to be able to remove it from the computer when we don’t need it. To uninstall applications in Linux we only have to open the corresponding store, it is not necessary to run any installer.

Also, most apps that are installed on Windows and macOS open when you start your computer in the background to check if new updates have been released. Whether or not there is an update, the application remains open consuming computer resources. On Linux, all apps are updated through the app store. If we don’t open it to check for updates, they won’t run automatically when you start your computer.

Graphic interface

The easiest and fastest method to install applications on Linux goes through open the app store of the Linux distribution that we have installed on our computer, we look for the application and click on the download button. It does. Here we could end this tutorial. However, not all apps that we may want to install or need to install are available in the respective app stores.

If the application we are looking for is not found among the repositories of our Linux distro, we can add it to expand the number of applications available through the corresponding store. To add a repository, open the Software & Updates app and go to the Other Software tab, click Add, and set the repository address.

Add Linux App Store Repositories

command line

As I mentioned before, not all the applications available for Linux are distributed through the Linux distribution stores, if they all include a graphical interface with which to interact, so we will be forced to work with it through the line of commands.

To install applications through the command line, we must perform 2 or 3 steps depending on whether it is in the repositories to which the Linux distribution that we have installed has access.

If the application is not available in the repositories to which the Linux distro has access, the first thing we must do is add the repository where the application is located, using the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository direccióndelrepositorio

Next, we update the package manager.

sudo apt-get update

And, finally we install the application using the command

sudo apt-get install nombreaplicacion

Package Types

Each type of package is designed to be used on different versions of Linux. For example, a Debian package cannot be installed on Red Hat, just as an Arch Linux package cannot be installed on Ubuntu or Debian. Fortunately, the solution to this problem comes with the FlatPak, App Image, and Snap packages. These types of packages are compatible with all Linux systems.

However, we will always get the best performance if we use the packages designed for the Linux system where we want to use it. Package managers are exactly the same as an app store, but without including images of the app or a description. It is nothing more than a file with which we can install or remove an application on our computer.

Flat/Snap Pack

Although they are different, both types of packages have a similar operation. The main advantage of this type of package is that include all dependenciesso you need to find a life to download and install them for the app to work.

Application Image

These packages work like a Windows .exe application, since they include everything necessary for their installation, no internet connection required. We could say that it is the closest thing to a portable Windows application, since we can store it on a USB and take it with us and install it on any computer.


The RPM and Yum packages correspond to Linux distributions derived from Red Hat, such as Red Hat Enterprise, Fedora, open SUSE and CentOS mainly. Packages with this extension can only be installed on these distributions.

RPM is used to install files. rpm locally, while YUM is used to install software via Internet repositories.

DPKG /apt-get /apt

The DPKG package extension corresponds to all Debian-based distributions. Apt-Get and Apt are also intended for Debian distributions, however the latter is much more complete than DPKG. DPKG is used to install .deb files locally, while apt is used to install software directly from any repository.

If you usually use Ubuntu, it probably sounds familiar to you as it is the one used in Debian-based distributions like Ubuntu, Elementary OS, Lubuntu, and Linux Mint.

pac man

This package manager is designed for Arch Linux based distributions.

Where to download applications for Linux

When it comes to downloading applications for Linux, we have up to 3 different options, depending on our needs.

From the app store

Using the app store of each Linux distribution is the fastest and easiest method to download and install apps on Linux. As we have explained before, if we do not find the application we are looking for, we can add the repositories where they are.

From repositories

If an application is not available natively on our computer or is not accessible from the distribution store, the only way to download it, either from the command line or from the graphical interface, is by adding the repositories where it is located.

Repositories are like supermarkets, where we have a wide range of applications at our disposal. If we do not find the product we are looking for, we can go to another store/supermarket.

web form

In addition to being able to download applications from the store and add repositories to the device, we also have the possibility of downloading applications that are not found through these two options.

Although this method is used less and less because many users consider it obsolete, it offers us a series of advantages that we cannot ignore, such as taking up less storage space, opening faster and being more secure.

RPM Search

Despite the fact that the name may indicate otherwise, on the RPM Seek website we can find packages for any Linux distribution. The strong point of this website is the wide range of options that it makes available to us to personalize searches. Also, it allows you to search for files based on the dependencies they need.

Whether we’re looking for packages to install on Debian-based distributions (.deb) or Red Hat-derived distributions (.rpm), among many others, will find plenty. All packages are listed with the specific version number from which they are supported. Although the number is smaller, we can also find packages for Arch Linux.

Search for Debian Packages

On this web page we have at our disposal a large number of .deb packages (Debian), one of the most popular distributions and where we can find practically any package we are looking for.

Ubuntu packages

If instead of Debian we use Ubuntu, we can take a look at the Unbuntu packages where we will find packages of all kinds and compatible with the most modern versions of Ubuntu.

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