September 28, 2010 · Package Mgmt · Email This Post

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Synaptic is a graphical user interface (GUI) for managing software packages on Debian-based distributions. If you are using Debian or Ubuntu you will easily find Synaptic in the System Tools menu or in the Administration menu. Synaptic uses the GTK graphic libraries . So, if you are using GNOME on your debian-based distro you will probably have Synaptic installed as well. Synaptic is a graphical package management program for apt. It provides the same features as the apt-get command line utility with a GUI front-end based on Gtk+.


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Now we will see how to add repositories,install,remove and update software packages

Adding repositories Using Synaptic

To Open Synaptic Package manager go to System--->Administration--->Synaptic package manager

once it opens you should see the following screen asking for the password for root or equivalent users.To manage package installations you need administration privileges; so you need to either be root or to authenticate as such.

Once it open the Synaptic Package Manager you should see the following screen.The main window is divided into three sections that is a package browser on the left, the package list on the upper right, and package details on the lower right. The status bar shows you the system state at a glance.

Now if you want to add repositories you need to go to settings--->Repositories you can see this in the following screen

Once it opens the Repositories menu you should see  similar to the following screen in this screen you can select ubuntu software,other software,updates,,Authentication and statistics.Now we will see one by one first tab is ubuntu software here you can ubuntu repositories like main,universe,multiverse,restricted,source code and the name of the server you want to download from


Main Repositories

The main distribution component contains applications that are free software, can freely be redistributed and are fully supported by the Ubuntu team. This includes the most popular and most reliable open source applications available, much of which is installed by default when you install Ubuntu.

Restricted Repositories

The restricted component is reserved for software that is very commonly used, and which is supported by the Ubuntu team even though it is not available under a completely free licence. Please note that it may not be possible to provide complete support for this software since we are unable to fix the software ourselves, but can only forward problem reports to the actual authors.

Universe Repositories

The universe component is a snapshot of the free, open source, and Linux world. In universe you can find almost every piece of open source software, and software available under a variety of less open licences, all built automatically from a variety of public sources. All of this software is compiled against the libraries and using the tools that form part of main, so it should install and work well with the software in main, but it comes with no guarantee of security fixes and support. The universe component includes thousands of pieces of software. Through universe, users are able to have the diversity and flexibility offered by the vast open source world on top of a stable Ubuntu core.

Multiverse Repositories

The "multiverse" component contains software that is "not free", which means the licensing requirements of this software do not meet the Ubuntu "main" Component Licence Policy.

Now if you click on other software tab you should see similar to the following screen here you can add partner,third party repositories and if you want to add CD-ROM repositories you can do so

If you want to add new source click on add you should see the following screen here you need to enter your source and click on add source

Next one is Updates tab here  ou can select ubuntu updates options

Now you can click on authentication tab here you can import the authentication keys for the packages you can click on import key file to import


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Final Tab is Statistics this is only for popularity contest

After finishing all your settings you need to click on close once you click on close.you should see the following screen with the information saying you need to click on reload button to take effect of your new settings

Now you need to click on reload button located at the top panel of Synaptic manager or simply you can press or press Ctrl + R

You can see all the required packages are downloading in progress once it finish the download you are ready with your new Repositories list.

Install a Package Using Synaptic Package Manager

For example you want to install a package called dia-gnome for this you need to select the package and right click on that you should see the following screen here you need to select mark for installation or press Ctrl + I

This will popup a window saying that some of the other packages also required changes click on mark

You can see this package is marked for installation with an arrow mark next to the check box

Now you need to apply these changes by clicking on "Apply" in the toolbar or press Ctrl + P

Now it will show you the packages are going to be installed here you need to click on apply

Installing the package is in progress

Changes are applied successfully window and click on close

Remove a Package Using Synaptic Package Manager

Now if you want to remove installed package you need to select that package and right click on that you need to select Mark for removal option


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Here you can see the packages are going to be removed

You need to click on apply or press Ctrl + P

Confirmation message you need to click on apply

Removing package in progress

Changes are applied successfully window appears here you need to click on close

Upgrade a Package Using Synaptic Package Manager

You need to Click Reload or press Ctrl + R to make Synaptic aware of the latest updates.

Now you need to Right-click on the package you want to upgrade and choose Mark for Upgrade from the context menu, or press Ctrl + U.

Now you can see with the selected package with UP arrow mark

Once you have finished with your choices, click on Apply in the toolbar or press Ctrl + P.

A dialog box appears with a summary of changes that will be made. Confirm the changes by clicking on Apply.

This will start the selected package download and installation process

Changes are applied successfully window and click on close

Search a Package Using Synaptic Package Manager

If you want to search a package you need enter package name under quick search box and click on search option in synaptic tool bar

In this example i am searching for shortwell and selecting for installation

Additional required changes widow here you need to click on mark

Selected package installation in progress

Changes are applied successfully window and click on close

As a front-end to apt,Synaptic uses the system-wide list of software repositories file located at /etc/apt/sources.list file.This tools is very simple to use for new users how to install,remove,upgrade packages

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6 Comments to “Synaptic Package Manager Beginners Guide For Ubuntu Users”

  1. Ahmad Amr says:

    An excellent tutorial, thank you.

    [Reply]

  2. aj says:

    Excellent one for noobs :]

    [Reply]

  3. Mer says:

    Thank You very much. I could install packages while learning

    [Reply]

  4. Rob Mongeau says:

    what synaptic package manager? where do i open it? GIMP? Windows? something i download? not clear at all i have GIMP and i want to resize multiple pictures at once. you say “To Open Synaptic Package manager go to System—>Administration—>Synaptic package manager” what system? where?

    Rob <

    [Reply]

    Vic Reply:

    In Ubuntu 12.04 PP, go to Software Centre and search and install

    [Reply]

  5. dadang tanto says:

    Saya membutuhkan software free download synaptic package manager

    [Reply]

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