deb-get – Easily Install Third-Party Software on Ubuntu

Last updated: November 10, 2022

Developed by Martin Wimpress, deb-get is a new command line utility that allows you to install .deb packages published in third-party repositories or via direct download. This is especially useful for installing proprietary third-party software that will not be found in the standard repos (like Chrome, Discord, VSCode, etc). It works on Debian, Ubuntu, and derivative distributions such as Linux mint.

In this guide, we learn how to easily install third-party Ubuntu Software using deb-get.

deb-get vs Apt

There are software that apt install won't be able to perform. This is especially for third-party software. Traditionally done by downloading the installer and installing using dpkg -i command.

deb-get can easily install .deb installers from third-party repositories, websites, or more from the command line.

Like apt, deb-get can efficiently manage to install all dependencies required for the software.

How to Install deb-get

The deb-get is easy to install and we shall install it in two simple steps. The first step is to install the curl command line utility which is used to download files from the internet.

To install curl, run the command:

sudo apt install curl -y
install curl

Once installed, confirm that curl is installed as follows:

which curl

Once installed, use curl to install the deb-get package manager as follows.

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

Once installed, you can check the version of deb-get installed to confirm:

deb-get version
verify deb-get

How to use deb-get

Just like apt or apt-get package managers, deb-get provides a wealth of options to effectively manage deb packages installed on your system. In this section, we will demonstrate various options that come with deb-get when managing Debian packages.

List available packages

To list available packages that can be installed using the deb-get utility, run the command:

deb-get list

The output will populate a list of possible packages that can be installed.

List available packages using deb-get

To number the list, pipe the output to cat -n argument as shown, At the moment, only 195 packages can be installed using the package manager

deb-get list | cat -n

Install a Debian Package

Having listed the number of packages available for installation, you can install a deb package using the syntax:

deb-get install PACKAGE-NAME

For example, to install Brave Browser, run the command:

deb-get install brave-browser
install a third-party software using deb-get

Alternatively, you can install multiple commands on the same command as follows.

deb-get install PACKAGE-1 PACKAGE-2

For example, to install ksnip and slack-desktop applications, run the following command.

deb-get install ksnip slack-desktop

Search package

To search for the availability of a package, use the search option in the syntax below.

deb-get search PACKAGE-NAME

For example, to check if you can install zoom, run the command.

deb-get search zoom
search a package using deb-get

Delete a Package

If you no longer need a package, you can remove it using the deb-get remove command as shown.

deb-get remove PACKAGE-NAME

For example, to remove the ksnip package, run the command

deb-get remove ksnip
delete a package using deb-get

Alternatively, you can remove a package using the deb-get purge command.

deb-get purge ksnip

The difference between remove and purge is that purge deletes everything including the package's configuration files.

Clear the local repository of retrieved files

To clear the local repository located in the /var/cache/deb-get directory, run the deb-get clean command.

deb-get clean
clears out the local repository

Show details for a given package

To display details of a deb package, run the deb-get show command as follows.

deb-get show PACKAGE

For example, to display details about a deb package, for example, the google chrome deb file ( google-chrome-stable), run the command:

deb-get show google-chrome
show information about the given package

Upgrade packages installed

To upgrade all packages currently installed on the system, run the command:

deb-get upgrade
install the newest versions of all packages

This makes sure we have all the newest versions of all those packages already installed.

Conclusion

deb-get comes in handy to install packages that are not hosted on default Ubuntu repositories due to licensing restrictions.

Just like apt or apt-get tool, deb-get handles dependencies needed by the software to run as expected. In addition to installing software, it handles a broad array of tasks such as updating, upgrading, searching, and removing packages among others.

About The Author

Bobbin Zachariah

Bobbin Zachariah

Bobbin started his career in IT in the year 2000 as a computer science instructor and worked as a Linux system engineer and senior analyst roles. Currently working in DevOps environments to increase efficiency and improve delivery time in AWS Cloud infrastructure. He is certified in RHEL, CCNA, and MCP and holds a Masters's in computer science. When in his free time love playing cricket, blogging, and listening to music.

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