Installing Software

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Starting with MEPIS 8.5, gdebi manages .deb packages installation by default.  
Starting with MEPIS 8.5, [ gdebi] manages .deb packages installation by default.  
*To install a .deb package via [[Dolphin]], just click on it, enter the root password, and gdebi will install it and all the dependencies needed.  
*To install a .deb package via [[Dolphin]], just click on it, enter the root password, and gdebi will install it and all the dependencies needed.  

Revision as of 13:17, 10 September 2011

Download manager.png



Synaptic is a program that helps you to install other programs (packages). It downloads and installs programs from different repositories from the Internet. The prerequisite for using Synaptic is a working Internet connection and if you are using the Live CD you must have selected the R/W Filesytem when booting.

Program packages may involve multiple downloads. The additional packages are dependencies. To over simplify - these are files that contain code needed by the primary program you are installing.

Running Synaptic

Click on the synaptic icon Synaptic icon 8.5.jpg on the kicker panel or click on Kmenu >> System >> Synaptic Package Manager. When the "Run as root KDE su" window opens, enter your root password and click "OK".


Click the Reload button in the top left corner--this updates the list of packages available from Debian and MEPIS repositories. It is a good idea to do a reload prior to installing or upgrading any packages if you want to get the latest versions available.

Install A New Package

Synapticopeningscreen1.png To find packages you can click on Search and a window will pop-up where you can enter your search term(s).


Right-click on package name and select "Mark for Installation"


Another window will open informing you of any other packages that will be installed, if you want to accept the changes offered click on the Mark button.


Now click on the "Apply" button on the Tool bar, a new window will open telling you what is going to be installed, click the "Apply" button.

The "Downloading Packages" and then the "Apply Changes" windows will appear; once it say "Changes Applied" you can close the window.

Upgrade An Existing Package

To upgrade a program you need to right-click on the package and select "Mark package for upgrade"

Downgrade a Package

To downgrade, highlight the package and click on the menu bar Package --> Force Version...

Install All Available Upgrades


To upgrade all programs after you do a "Reload" select "Mark All Upgrades" and then click "Apply"

Notes and Cautions

Be sure to look at all messages when installing or upgrading programs. If packages will be removed that you do not want removed, it is best to cancel the process and ask for advice.

If there are an unusually large amount of update files available it is a good idea to visit MEPIS Community Forum to investigate why.

Check Your Changes

You can double check the changes that will be made before applying them.


Select Custom Filters in the lower left hand corner of the Synaptic window.


Then in the upper portion of the left hand column click on Marked Changes. Now you can highlight the packages and read the description of each. If you have any doubts you can exit Synaptic, canceling your changes and ask for help.

If you change your mind about any package you can right click on it and select Unmark from the context menu.

Installing Recommendations and Suggestions

Another advantage of reviewing the marked package list is that you can check to see what (if any) additional packages are recommended or suggested by the package maintainer. These additional packages usually provide features not found in the base package or support for for additional formats. This can be particularly important when dealing with multimedia software.


Right click on the package name to view a context menu and then move your mouse over either Mark Recommended fro Installation or Marked Suggested for Installation. Another menu will pop-up showing the additional files. You have to select the ones you want to install one at a time by clicking on them.

As you mark the packages they will be added to the list of marked changes. You can then click on them and read the description of the package.

Distribution preferences

Unless you have good reason to do so, leave the Settings > Preferences > Distribution set for "Always prefer the highest version."

Locking Package Versions

Sometimes it may be desirable to keep a package and not upgrade it, this is called Pinning and is a simple procedure in Synaptic.

Error messages

See Synaptic errors

Using apt-get

NOTE: Instead of apt-get, you could also use aptitude which is a newer front-end program and has some advantages over apt-get.

  • Update the list of packages available from all defined repositories with this command:
apt-get update
  • Upgrade your current packages--after updating the list--with this command:
apt-get upgrade
  • Find all available versions (and the defined/cached repository containing) a given package:
apt-cache policy packagename
  • Install (or upgrade) a specified package with this command:
apt-get install packagename 

(hit TAB once to autocomplete the name, hit TAB twice to display a list of alternatives)

  • you can install multiple packages:
apt-get install packagename1 packagename2
  • Remove installed packages with this command:
apt-get remove packagename

To see other available commands, type:

man apt-get

Using KPackage

  1. In KPackage menu -> Special -> Apt:Debian -> Update -- this updates the list of packages available from Debian and MEPIS repositories.
  2. Select either New or All tab.
  3. Search for package name
  4. Select package(s) (put a check in the mark column)
  5. Click "Install marked"
  6. Enter password when asked
  7. Click "Install" again

Note: Kpackage is not installed by default in Mepis 8.5. See Gdebi below.

Installing "deb" files


Starting with MEPIS 8.5, gdebi manages .deb packages installation by default.

  • To install a .deb package via Dolphin, just click on it, enter the root password, and gdebi will install it and all the dependencies needed.
  • To install via the konsole, enter this command as root:
gdebi packagename.deb


  • Install downloaded programs with dpkg, as root type:
dpkg -i /path/packagename
  • If you get a message that dependencies for that package have not been satisfied, type (make sure you read the prompts):
apt-get -f install

List installed packages

dpkg --get-selections | grep -v deinstall | cut -f 1 | tr '\n' ' ' > listpackages.txt

Explanations: "grep" is used to remove lines that contain "deinstall" (packages that were removed) "cut" is used to remove second column and "tr" to transform newline character into blank so the output could be used with "apt-get".

List install history

ls -lt /var/lib/dpkg/info/*.list|awk '$6!=x{print "";x=$6;print x}{printf " %s", substr($8,20,length($8)-24)}'|less

Or to find packages installed after a specific date, let's say "2010-01-01" you can use this command

find /var/lib/dpkg/info/ -name "*.list" -newermt "2010-01-01" | cut -d/ -f6 | cut -d. -f1 | tr '\n' ' '|less

Installing "rpm", "bin", "tar", and other type of packages

If the software you want has something other than .deb written at the end (e.g., .rpm) then check this link about installing different type of packages

Install programs with "klik"

Klik is a system which creates self-contained packages of applications downloadable from the web with a single click.


  • Enable Sudo
  • As Root type:
apt-get install binutils libstdc++5 rpm gnome-about 
  • As a user type:
wget -O -|sh

Windows programs

  • Another approach (more installation-work, but gives much better emulation) is to install a 'virtualization' package, such as VMWare or VirtualBox.

Additional information

General Information

Installing / Removing Software | FAQ | Main Page

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