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9 installing things, part 1... Repos & Synaptic

The Ultimate Guide for the rest of us

9 installing things, part 1... Repos & Synaptic

Postby LeadFingers » Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:36 am

First the required blah... blah... blah
Synaptic Is the GUI that takes installing, removing, updating, finding & fixing broken packages (apps or dependencies) or reinstalling, out of the hands of the select few (the guru's) and makes it easy & painless for us mere mortals. This is the tool we all dreamed of since the first time we turned on a computer.

(The hardest part first)
Since synaptic pulls newer versions off the repositories (repos are banks of software)
lets first make sure we have all the repos enabled & working.

Open Synaptic (System/Administration/Synaptic Package Manager).
since synaptic can change things in your system core, it requires your password.
Type it in & hit OK.
once it's ready, go to Settings/Repositories

on the first page
make sure everything under Internet is checked
Leave the Download from set to Custom servers.
(this setting should only be changed if you have problems accessing the repos)
Make sure the CDRom/DVD is unchecked

On the Internet Updates page
Make sure everything under Ubuntu Updates is checked
Automatic Updates is up to you how you have them checked

On the Third Party page
make sure every thing is checked

close the window & hit the Reload button.


More than likely there will be an error about accessing a repo,
not to worry this is normal
If there were any other errors Google them

Updating "Linux headers" or anything kernel related will bork your video drivers,
so approach these carefully or be prepared to reinstall your drivers


The bottom left corner has 5 bars, lets look at these first

1) Sections____________________
Lets say you want to install something (like a game) but you don't know the name.
This is the best place to start looking.

once you hit the Sections bar you notice all the categories,
Scrolling down you notice there are 4 different listings for games.
selecting the first one, Games & Amusement, shows a list in the right window.

...the clear boxes are games you can download & install
...The green boxes are games that are already installed
...the green boxes with the little stars are games that are installed but can be upgraded
...The little ubuntu rings are games that are recommended by Ubuntu

For those of us that can't tell from the title barbie-seahorse that this is probably not a game we would enjoy
Select the title and read the description in the bottom right pane.
Don't think all Ultimate Edition games are kiddy sidescrollers,
you'll find everything from Quake III clones to Sudoku.

Once you've found the one you want,
Select it, and tick Mark for instillation
now hit the Apply button, and wait for it to download & install.

2) Status_____________________
The listings under the status bar are self explanatory
...Installed (local or obsolete)
...Installed (upgradable)
...Not Installed
...Not Installed (residual config)

3) Origin_____________________
this lists the packages by the repo it's from

4) Custom Filters______________
This is the first place I hit, after a new install, to check or fix broken packages.
...Marked Changes
...Package with Debconfig
...Search Filter

If a broken package is found
simply Mark for reinstallation
and hit the Apply button

5) Search Results______________
self explanatory

When looking for a specific package,
make sure that All is selected from any one of the bars
scroll down till the title appears
select the box next to the title
tick the box for whatever action you want
...Mark for installation
...Mark for reinstallation
...Mark for Upgrade
...Mark for removal
...Mark for complete removal

now hit the Apply button, and wait for it to download & install.

Downloaded a package yourself but not sure how to install it
select File from the Menu bar
select Add downloaded packages
navigate to the one you want to add
highlight it
hit Open button
Now it's listed in synaptic and can be installed like any other package

To add a CD or DVD
select Edit from the Menu bar
select Add CD-Rom

If there's a package you don't Changed
Select Package from the Menu bar
tick the box for Lock Version

Wondering what one of the synaptic Icons means
select Help from the Menu bar
Select Icon Legend

It's best to hit the Reload button every time you open synaptic
This refreshes the repos and looks for newer versions of packages
There are few things more frustrating than spending a few hours downloading that cool game
and only realizing after it's installed, that you forgot to reload and a newer one is available.
1st Box: Ultimate Edition 2.0 x64/ 1.8 x64
2nd Box: XP (dusty)
3rd Box: Stable Media box Ultimate Edition 1.8 x64 with XBMC

The Oxen are slow but the Earth is patient ~Chuen~
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