Installing Software

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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.

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 on the panel (small yellow box) or click on Kmenu >> System >> Package Manager (Synatic Package Manager). When the "Run as root KDE su" 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


Search for the package(s) you are looking for.


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

Another window will open informing you of any other packages that will be installed, click OK.


Now click on the "Apply" button on the Tool bar, a new winodw 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"

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 Mepislovers Forums 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.

Using apt-get

  • Update the list of packages available from Debian and MEPIS repositories with this command:
apt-get update
  • Upgrade your current packages--after updating the list--with this command:
apt-get upgrade
  • Install 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

Instead of apt-get you could also use aptitude which is a similar program, but has some advantages over 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

Installing "deb" files


  • Click on the file and that will open Kpackage, click install (twice) and type in the root password when requested.
  • A result of "Result=0" means success. "Result=1" means there are uninstalled dependencies. They can be automatically installed in Kpackage by the menu item Special--> Apt-Debian--> Fixup


  • 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

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.

To install; As Root;

apt-get install binutils libstdc++5 rpm gnome-about 

As a user;

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

Information about the Mepis Repositories:

General Information

Installing / Removing Software | FAQ | Main Page

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