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Get third-party Ubuntu apps with ease using Deb-get

Many useful programs are available for Ubuntu that don’t make their way to the official Ubuntu software repositories. Thankfully, the Deb-get program can bridge that gap by making it easy to install third-party software.

How does Deb-get work? It manually downloads DEB packages unavailable on Ubuntu package repos and feeds them into your system. This guide will show you how to use Deb-get to install third-party apps on Ubuntu with ease.

Installing Deb-get on Ubuntu Linux

The Deb-get tool must be installed on Ubuntu using the Curl tool. However, you will need to set up the Curl program on Ubuntu if you do not already have it installed. To set up Curl, open up a terminal window on the desktop.

Unsure about how to open up a terminal window on the Ubuntu desktop? Press Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard. Or, search for “Terminal” in the app menu and launch it.

Once the terminal window is open, follow the Curl installation instructions to get the app working. Note that Deb-get should also work on Ubuntu-based Linux OSes like Mint, Elementary OS, etc.

Installing Curl

Set up the “curl” package on your Ubuntu system using the apt install command.

sudo apt install curl

Upon entering the command above, Ubuntu will ask you to enter your password. Using the keyboard, do so. Then, press Y to continue.

Once the Curl program is installed, use the curl -sL command to download the Deb-get installation script.

curl -sL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wimpysworld/deb-get/main/deb-get | sudo -E bash -s install deb-get

The installation script shouldn’t take long. Execute the deb-get command to view the available commands when the process is complete.

sudo deb-get

Searching for programs in deb-get

To install programs using deb-get, you must search for available packages. Searching for packages in deb-get is a lot like Apt. For example, you can run the deb-get list command to list all available packages in the deb-get repo.

sudo deb-get list

After running the deb-get list command, you’ll see a long, descending list of all available packages that users can install (like Google Chrome, Brave Browser, BitWarden, etc.) However, the list isn’t exactly to read.

If you want a better list of available packages and packages that are easier to read, try the deb-get prettylist command. Prettylist will print out a well-made, properly formatted markdown package list.

Note: to view this file correctly; you will need to have a document viewer app (like Okular) installed.

sudo deb-get prettylist > prettylist.md

After saving your “prettylist” to an MD file, open up the Linux file manager, double-click on “prettylist.md,” and open it in Okular (or another document viewer) to view the Markdown-formatted package list.

Searching for individual packages

Just need to search for one individual package instead of an entire list? Use the deb-get search command example below.

sudo deb-get search program-name

It is also possible (although not recommended) to print out a “prettylist” of just a search term.

sudo deb-get prettylist | grep program-name > program-name-prettylist.md

Installing programs with deb-get

To install a program with Deb-get on your Ubuntu system, start by opening up a terminal window on the desktop. Once the terminal window is open, find the program’s name you wish to install by following the “search” section.

When you have the name of the package you wish to install with Deb-get, you can install it using the deb-get install command. For example, you’d run the following command to install Google Chrome using Deb-get.

sudo deb-get install google-chrome-stable

sudo deb-get install name-of-package

Upgrading deb-get programs

While insanely useful for Ubuntu users, Deb-get doesn’t get automatic upgrades through Apt. Instead, if you wish to upgrade a package, you’ll have to do it yourself using the deb-get update and deb-get upgrade commands.

To start, open up a terminal window. Once it is open, run the deb-get update command. This command will refresh the deb-get cache on your computer. Keep in mind that updating the cache may take a couple of minutes.

sudo deb-get update

After running the update command, it is time to upgrade using the deb-get upgrade command. Running this command will fetch all updates for your installed packages. It will also run an apt upgrade to update anything on Ubuntu.

sudo deb-get upgrade

Uninstalling programs with deb-get

At some point, you may need to uninstall a program you previously installed using the Deb-get tool. That is where the deb-get remove command comes in. For example, to uninstall Google Chrome, run the command below.

sudo deb-get remove google-chrome-stable
sudo deb-get remove package-name

Alternatively, you can purge a package. Purging is similar to removing. However, it will also remove configuration files as well.

sudo deb-get purge google-chrome-stable
sudo deb-get purge package-name



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