How to Install Software in Ubuntu (Guide)

Installing software in Ubuntu is really easy once you get the hang of it. Installing Ubuntu software is done with Ubuntu’s powerful package management tool Apt. This article should get you up to speed with everything you need to know about using Apt to install the software you need.

Using Apt

Assuming you aren’t interested in using a graphical user interface, you’ll have to use Apt to get the software you need. Apt is a versatile package management tool with lots of options but in this article we’ll just be getting you up to speed on the basics.

Apt Update

Apt works based on an official list of available software called a “repository.” I like to think of it like a phone book for software. Like a phone book, the repository needs to be updated all the time with information and updates on new software. Be sure to update the repository on your system with this command:

sudo apt update

Apt Install

Here is one example, let’s say that you want to install and create a web server with Apache. First, you need to know the exact package name of the software that you’re looking for. One way to get an idea of what this is to type in a general name description of the software and hit the tab key twice. This will either autocomplete the command with the only available package or it will show you possible options. Take a look at the following.

The autocomplete menu appears after hitting [tab] twice.

After hitting [tab] twice, we are shown all of the possible packages starting with the name “apache.” In our case, we need to simply install the base package “apache2.” Remember to use sudo when you need it!

sudo apt install apache2

Apt Upgrade

As software gets updated, you will want to make sure that you are running the latest version. This can be both a matter of convenient feature upgrades to bug fixes and security matters. Make sure you are up to date with the latest in the repository with this following command:

sudo apt upgrade

Conclusion

In this article I’ve given you a very basic guide to using apt in Ubuntu to install and update software packages via the command line. With this information, you can do just about anything! Enjoy it, and make sure to learn some more about Ubuntu’s awesome package manager, apt.