If you are new to Debian Linux, one of the first things you will be wondering how to do is install a software package. Although Debian usually comes with all the essential software installed out of the box, you will inevitably want to extend the operating system’s functionality even further, which can only be done through installing more software. Debian gives us a lot of options to do so, including through the system package manager, software center, or installing a
In this tutorial, you will learn how to install a software package on Debian Linux. This will include several different methods in order to cover every possible scenario. You will also learn essential related commands, such as how to uninstall software or keep it up to date. Read on to learn how.
In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to install a package with
- How to install offline
- How to use the GUI to install a software package
- How to search for new software packages to download
- How to keep a package up to date or uninstall it
|Category||Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used|
|Software||apt, dpkg, gdebi|
|Other||Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the
# – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user
How to install package on Debian Linux
There are several methods that can be used to install a package on Debian. The one you use will mostly depend on the scenario at hand and whether you are comfortable with using the command line. Choose the appropriate method for you below.
Install package with apt package manager
Most users will want to use the
apt package manager to retrieve software from Debian’s package repositories and have it automatically installed. While there are thousands of packages that can be downloaded, the only potential downside to this method is that not everything you want to install may be available.
Take the following command for example where we install the
$ sudo apt install apache2
This same command can also be used to update the package in the future.
In case you need to update your package cache so that you download the latest version of the software, you can first execute the
apt update command:
$ sudo apt update
In case you need to search for a package to download, use the
apt search command followed by your query.
$ apt search "http server"
If you want to remove the package later on, use
apt remove or
apt purge. The latter option will also remove configuration files.
$ sudo apt remove apache2 OR $ sudo apt purge apache2
Install .deb package with apt package manager
aptpackage manager can also be used to install an offline .deb file that you have already downloaded on your system.
$ sudo apt install ./google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
Notice we prepend
./ in the above file name, or the location of wherever the file resides on the system.
Depending on the package you install, you can ordinarily use
apt again to keep the package up to date. It depends whether or not the software added its own repository to your
apt configuration file.
$ sudo apt update $ sudo apt install google-chrome-stable
Install .deb package with dpkg
dpkg is another package manager available by default on Debian. It is the backend program that
apt relies on to perform some installation and removal functions. It, too, can be used to install an offline
.deb file on the command line with the
-i (install) flag.
$ sudo dpkg -i ./google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
Install .deb package with gdebi
gdebi is another common package manager that users like on Debian. It will install dependencies automatically and works very similarly to
apt. Note that it is not installed by default on Debian so must be installed first:
$ sudo apt install gdebi
Then it can be used to install a package:
$ sudo gdebi ./google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
Another nice feature of
gdebi is that it can install software packages directly from the GUI. Simply right click on any
.deb file and you should see an option for “Open with gdebi package installer.”
Install a software package via Software application GUI
Of course, Debian does not force us to use the command line for everything. If you would rather use the GUI to browse for and download software packages, you can open up the app called “Software.”
Find the software package you would like to download, then just click the
In this tutorial, we saw how to install a package on Debian Linux. As you can see, Debian provides us with a lot of options for this task, with the most common one being the
apt package manager. It can be used to search for and download packages online, or to install offline files. In case you prefer the GUI, you also saw how to browse for and install packages in the Software Center, or install an offline .deb file.