7.3:     Installing Software by Other Methods

Deb packages

The software packages installed through Synaptic (and APT behind it) are in a format called deb (short for “Debian”, the Linux distribution that devised with APT). You can manually install deb packages using the graphical tool Kpackage or the command-line tool dpkg.

NOTE: It is also possible to carry out other Synaptic functions with these tools: consult the documentation listed below.

Installing .deb files with Kpackage

  1. Double-click the deb package you want to install. Kpackage will open the install dialog. You can also click KMenu --> System --> More Applications --> Package Manager (Kpackage), and select the package manually.
  2. Make sure Check Dependencies and Check Conflicts are both marked. By default in MEPIS Linux 7.0, the box Allow Downgrades is also checked, allowing APT to select a more compatible version of a package, if necessary. Click Install.
  3. You will be prompted for your root password. Enter it to proceed.
  4. Kpackage will attempt to install the package, posting the results in the right pane. If you see result=0 at the end, it means the install was successful.
  5. If you receive errors indicating that the package could not install, consult the MEPIS community forums, or the MEPIS Wiki for more information (see Section 11).

Installing .deb files with dpkg

  1. Open Konsole from KMenu --> System --> Terminal Program (Konsole). Become root using the su command and entering the root password when prompted.
  2. Use the cd command to change to the directory containing your downloaded .deb file(s).
    NOTE:  dpkg is a LOCAL installer/de-installer package. It does not work over the internet like synaptic or kpackage or apt-get. Dpkg can only install a .deb that has already been downloaded to the system.
  3. Install the package with the command:
    dpkg -i packagename.deb
    (substituting the real package name, of course). If you are installing multiple packages at the same time, you can do it at once using
    dpkg -i *.deb
    In a shell command, the asterisk is a wild card in the argument. In this case it will cause the program to apply the command to any file whose name ends with “.deb”.
  4. If required dependencies are not installed on your system already, you will get unmet dependencies errors as dpkg does not automatically take care of them. To correct these errors and finish the installation, run
    apt-get -f install
    Apt-get will attempt to rectify the situation by either installing the needed dependencies (if they are available from the repositories), or removing your .deb files (if the dependencies cannot be installed).

Other install methods

Sooner or later some software that you want to install will not be available in the repositories and you may need to use other installation methods. These methods include: