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Ubuntu 9.10 Software Center: For better or worse

Ubuntu 9.10 has migrated from Add/Remove Software to the Ubuntu Software Center. This migration is causing a stir, but Jack Wallen is here to ease your fears.

The latest Ubuntu release is out, being used, and being praised and shot down at all points. So far, the vast majority of my experiences have been outstanding. The hardware recognition is tops, all of the interfaces are slick and stable, the boot time is getting faster and faster, many sound issues have been resolved, and software is just as easy to install as it has been in the past. Or is it?

One of the new features in Ubuntu 9.10 is the Ubuntu Software Center. In a rather bold move Canonical has migrated away from the standard Add/Remove Software tool and (in the future) plans to drop Synaptic and Gdebi as well. Is this a move just for "moves" sake? I don't think so, but much of the general public does. Just what is causing these disparate opinions? From my vantage point it's a lack of knowledge. Let's take a look at the road map of the Ubuntu Software Center.

Currently the Ubuntu Software Center is at Version 1. The features of Version 1 are:

  • The ability to Install open source/free software.
  • Replacement of Add/Remove Software utility.
Seems like a fairly ubiquitous feature set. And, let's face it, the Add/Remove Software utility wasn't anything really special. Now let's take a look at the plans for Version 2.
  • Rate and review software.
  • Replace Synaptic and Gdebi.

Okay, now we're venturing on interesting and dangerous grounds. If you've ever used Synaptic, you know how powerful it is (while remaining easy to use). Synaptic is one of the finest software management tools available. Why would Ubuntu want to replace this? If you look at the other Version 2 feature you might start to get an idea of what's going on. It seems Canonical is attempting to mimic another platform's software management tool: The iPhone App store. And why not? Everyone knows the iPhone has "an app for that." So, why wouldn't Ubuntu have "an app for that?"

Considering the Linux repositories hold far more applications than the Apple App Store does - it just makes sense. And having the ability to rate and review software just might keep unwitting users from installing useless software.

Now let's move on to planned features of Version 3. This is where it REALLY gets interesting.

  • Install commercial/non-free software.
  • Integrate ratings from Launchpad into the Center.

Say no more. Canonical IS attempting to add an Apple App Store to Linux-land. The ability for users to shop for commercial software on Linux is an outstanding idea. Why? Have you ever tried searching for commercial Linux software? It's not always easy. And when you combine the entire roadmap together you can see the Ubuntu Software Center could possibly be a real game changer for Linux.

But does that make it perfect? No. There are current issues and some foreseeable ones. One of the big problems plaguing the Software Center now is that you can only install one piece of software at a time. With Synaptic and Add/Remove you can install as much as you want. This is a big issue with Linux users, and one Canonical best address or someone is going to get his beard in a knot.

Another, foreseeable, issue is the "fix broken packages" feature in Synaptic. If the Software Center doesn't include this, there could be problems. There will be those users (like myself) who will always want to go back to the command line and install using apt-get. That can, sometimes, cause packages to be installed with dependency issues. For that, Synaptic is perfect. You can simply select "Fix Broken Packages" and Synaptic will do just that. Will the Software Center? At this point, no one knows.

The last issue is choice. The Software Center is slowly winning me over. But I do like choice. I would highly recommend to the Ubuntu developers (and planners) to make sure Synaptic CAN be installed through the Software Center (or apt-get) so that those who prefer the older tool can use it. Having Synaptic available would solve a few problems. It could also generate problems - like users using applications they don't rate or review.

And that brings up my final point about the Ubuntu Software Center. If Ubuntu realizes both Versions 2 and 3, it is up to the users to make it successful. One of the reasons the Apple App Store is so successful (outside of the fact it's the only way to get applications on a non-jail-broken iPhone) is because the users take advantage of its features. By the time Version 3 rolls out, I certainly hope Ubuntu users are rating and reviewing the applications AND purchasing commercial software. The Ubuntu Software Center could really take Linux to another level, but it will require the users to make this so. Without user input and use, Ubuntu will wind up with wasted time and effort on their hands. And we all know what waisted time and effort means in the software industry - failure.

So to the users I would say: Give the Software Center a chance, let it grow on you. And to Canonical I would say: Listen to your users, make sure you can install more than one package at a time with the new tool.

What do you say? What is your opinion on the new Software Center? Are you so married to Synaptic that you can't marry yourself to a different tool? For better or worse?

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

67 comments
sonicsteve
sonicsteve

I'll like the changes. Linux needs corporate support. While I've never been one to spend a lot on software, I like to know what choices are available to me. If an open source software app has a pay version as well (like wine/ cedega) I might choose to buy the software if it presents me with a compelling reason to do so. I'm no longer a fan of proprietary software, and I only use it if I have no other choice.

sonicsteve
sonicsteve

Sorry I haven't read all the posts. You can install more than one app at a time you just have to click the apps button again, click install on the next app and it gets cued up.

mwildam
mwildam

It seems to me that the new software center seems to be more like Windows or Apple. But however - I use the Synaptic, so who cares.

cmatthews
cmatthews

My kids love it! (with one caveat..) I migrated my son's off XP on Saturday. But like programs made for Windows, installer refinement issues may need addressing so that everyone's happy with the Software Center - especially in the corporate world. Both my son's PC's are P4-2.4's with Nvidia GeForceMx2 cards, and being kids, they went straight to the Software Center games to install ExtremeTuxRacer. After 10 minutes, they had adjusted game resolution higher, crashed Gnome, and the video driver. Dad had to show them Ctrl-Alt-F2, reboot and de-install, re-install the game. It still is not working. As they say.. I haven't the foggiest. Can anyone provide a hint? (In the Windows world, I'd have sysinternals tools flying and be recording file-registry access to resolve this in a few minutes...) - C

cgbolton1
cgbolton1

Part of Canonical's goal is to bring Ubuntu to the masses and software installation is what does that. As Jack writes, the iPhone has been so enormously successful because of ease of installation and availability of apps. Ubuntu has increased the ease of access and installation of apps through the versions however things aren't yet where they need to be. When you still have to add a repository the old fashioned way or use apt-get to install something, it turns users away. I think of my mother who is over 60 and though she is proficient enough with Windows, she wouldn't have a clue how to do anything in Unbuntu. The direction being taken with the Software Center could be yet another game changer for Ubuntu. All of us geeks can make the OS work but in order to gain more universal acceptance there needs to be a simple way for "Joe consumer" to get what they want. I do agree with providing the knowledgable user with choices such as the ability to install Synaptics Package Manager in addition to having the Software Center and think that would be the best of both worlds. The one area I am still dissappointed in is in the area of game software support. It would be nice to see the Software Center in version 3 to start carrying commercial versions of games or distribution services such as Steam. If this comes to pass, you can bet on the house that I will completely convert to Ubuntu and say goodbye to MS for good!

saghaulor
saghaulor

Jack, I think you may have spoke too soon regarding selecting multiple packages for installation. You can only pick one package at a time, true, but while that is downloading and installing, you can queue up another package, or as many as you like. Honestly, this isn't that much different than the way Synaptic works. In Synaptic you queue all your to-be-installed packages, then click apply and then they all install at once. In Ubuntu Software Center you can begin installing one, then continue to queue up the rest and they will run in sequence of your selection. So as you're installing you can select more future installations. That is something that Synaptic will not let you do. With Synaptic, you can queue more packages for installation only after the installation process of the previously selected packages have finished. To me it doesn't seem like that big of a difference really. But my vote is for leaving Synaptic/apt-get as an option, because you can write scripts to simplify your life. For instance, I was working on building a netbook that was basically an internet kiosk. I actually had 8 to do such a task to. So I just wrote a script that "apt-get remove . . . " and installed whatever I wanted and presto, once one was configured, they all were configured. Synaptic/apt-get are just too powerful to wholly remove.

ddalley
ddalley

Linux Mint, the #3 Linux distro and based on Ubuntu, _already_ has a bunch of recommended apps on their own web site, like a store. They are sorted by categories and rated by users. The system works. If the support for commercial software becomes a reality, I'm all for it if excellent but unknown apps, such as AmiBroker (stock technical analysis) and PageStream (desktop publishing), get support.

mfillpot
mfillpot

The greatest issue that is stopping wide scale adoption is the lack of commercial software. With the proposed additions to the software center in place, adoption for commercial vendors will be enticing because vendors can distribute software to millions without having to worry about physical resources like servers and disks. The lack of physical resources will increase the profit for the vendors and simplify distribution, to a commercial entity anything that can increase profits with minimal resources is considered enticing. I have been waiting for something like this to appear for a long time and I can't wait to see how commercial vendors react to the new distribution channel. Hopefully the commercial vendors will build in a free upgrade timeline to their packages so they users can utilize the same type of upgrade/update functionality that they are accustomed to.

martah26
martah26

Better - did the upgrade from 8.04 to 9.04 to 9.10 and think its looking great, even on my old PC3200 64. I think your poll allows for no middle ground and I am adopting a 'wait & see' stance that so far hasn't let me down - and I've downloaded about 10 gig so far. I hope that synaptic stays as I have been using both and don't think that it will be too difficult for newbs to get the hang of it.

Ole Man
Ole Man

Trade the tried and true, familiar, proven method For a slim chance at the euphoric ecstasy of Shangri-la

jraz
jraz

I like the concept and I'm open minded enough to try it out. Until I read this I really didn't know much about it. Thanks for the enlightenment.

rngunter
rngunter

I think that by removing the Synaptic Manager Ubuntu looses customization and tweaking ability for the users who are just beginning to explore the flexibility of Linux. I understand that it's moving to a more user friendly interface, that's what Ubuntu is about, Linux for everyone. However, for those of us out there that aren't yet familiar (or don't like) the command line the Synaptic Manager offers an intermediate way to customize our installation, like installing KDE components. Unfortunately, you can't do that in the Software Center (at least not that I've found).

adelgado
adelgado

Well my upgrade was a major disaster. However, that was due to the fact that I want it to enable the restricted drivers for my NVIDIA GT 7600. As soon as I did it and rebooted my machine the screen went black with no video at all. So I had to spend hours researching in Google the proper way to install the nvidia drivers, but no dice. So I hand to do it my way which is was installing 9.04 and use the Synaptic distro upgrade feature to install 9.10. But the video problem remained so i had to trouble shout X11 with different config files until I finally got it. I guess Ubuntu still far away from been easy to use for a regular user. :(

CalTec
CalTec

If ,after you start installing the first package, you just click back on "Get Free Software" and search for the next package you want. That package will get queued (you won't be taken back to the "In Progress" screen) and then you can continue to search for other packages to put in the queue.

NCWeber
NCWeber

Having attempted to use the Software Center, I have to say, I'm not a fan of it. So far, most of the software listed in the Software Center, it wouldn't even allow me to install. I find that somewhat frustrating. I ended up going back to Synaptic and installing the desired software from there. Off topic, but my only other issues with Karmic Koala are the loss of Pidgin and Skype as default program. I tried Empathy and was entirely unimpressed. I removed it and reinstalled Pidgin. Skype is another matter. They don't even have an official Jaunty package much less a Karmic one. It's still stuck in Intrepid. But I installed it anyway because I use it. On the plus side, I love the new Files and Folders category. That was an awesome move.

gclarkso
gclarkso

I'm not sure. This idea was included as part of Lindows. I played with it for a while and it seemed to be more for commercial applications, everything had a price and there was very little GNU based software. The reason Apple is successful is because Apple mandates dollar value. Most apps I have looked at are under $10 and there are quite a few free apps.

vercan
vercan

The Software Center is not a new idea, Linspire (Lindows) introduced it about 5 or 6 years ago. It was called CNR or Click N Run. Their idea was almost the same as the Software Center: to provide free and commercial software through a subscription based service. At first it worked great, then they rolled out CNR 2.0 which was available for other distributions, but that implementation was and continue to be, terrible. CNR is now owned by Xandros, but I'm not sure they continued its development. You can have a look at www dot cnr dot com. I really like the idea, when CNR worked it was really good and easy to use. I bought a few commercial software packages. I am sure Ubuntu will provide an excellent solution, let's hope.

raychje
raychje

The problem with software center. I typed in "fonts"and saw "fontForge", clicked that and all it says is "not available in the current data". AND NOTHING ELSE.. .no "click here to get the data necessary", NOTHING!... not one hint on what to do now. Software center obviously know about the package but gives ZERO help in getting it. This is a monumental FAILURE!!! How damn hard would it have been to provide a link or a button to how to get the data to install this package.... total frustration on the users part... not mention of adding a new repository... NOTHING.... FAILURE on the developers of software center for not helping the user... they show the user a package .. then give ZERO help on getting the package... why even show the package if you can't load the software? Did not ANYONE actually TEST this thing with their NON-computer friends and notice this TOTAL FAILURE!!!!

TNT
TNT

Ok, not ALL change is good, but Apple proved the app store model works. (In reality, its based on the iTunes model which was also a huge success.) I'm hoping there will be many repositories like this for most platforms. Symbian, Linux, WebOS, WinMo, Windows CE... I could go on but a central application repository would help a lot. I think Ubuntu is making a sound business decision by developing such a system. One thing they should keep in mind, though. Apple is demonized by its application certification process. Linux users in particular are about freedom. So Ubuntu needs to keep choice as part of the equation. If the system they develop is worthy the market will move toward it on its own.

wyattbiker
wyattbiker

Anything to move users away from the evil empire. Please format your pages for iphones. thanks

Sepius
Sepius

Not used it yet, loading up 9.10 this weekend on both my Ubuntu machines, the server gets hit in 3 weeks. One reason I started using Ubuntu (amongst the many) was Synaptic. I know you can use it in Fedora and Mandriva, but their package systems are just plain crap. Add remove, even in its simplicity is better, and the real time filter feature (of both) is great. The new Software Centre for commercial apps sounds great, and I am all for it .... but I will always feel as though Synaptic will do it correctly, even apt-get makes me feel like the package is installed right, that feeling will take a lot to shift. Anyway, Ubuntu does not have Webmin in their repo's, but I still install it. I think when they drop Synaptic, many people will still install it.

timinphx1
timinphx1

For better or worse? That is yet to be seen. However it shouldn't surprise anyone that has used any of the *buntu's since early 2007 when Canonical purchased Linspire. With that came their software installation platform called CNR (Click 'n Run). CNR offered both Free and Open Source software as well as Proprietary software to purchase. I use Kubuntu and I tried it a couple of times it worked fine, but I liked the Adept or Apt-get systems better. Mark Shuttleworth blogged about taking this direction back then, CNR sort of dropped out of sight, and now it appears they're reviving the technologies (or similar ones) under a different name. I think the idea is fine, as long as they leave our existing tools available. So far when something is/has changed that people don't like, when we all start bitching enough they see the error of their wisdom and it usually gets corrected/changed back, etc.. Let's just hope that trend continues with the *buntu family.

martin.porter
martin.porter

Why is it so important to install more than one package at a time?

guising
guising

Okay, I'm still using an 8. version of Ubuntu, but am I missing something? There are programs I just can't find in the add/remove utility -- like Nedit, which is why I never use that for software installation. I would be sorely disappointed if I can't install my legacy apps.

pkobza
pkobza

"There will be those users (like myself) who will always want to go back to the command line and install using apt-get. That can, sometimes, cause packages to be installed with dependency issues." Care to elaborate on how exactly can apt-get cause dependency issues while it is designed to avoid just that? DPKG maybe, but apt-get?? No kidding. Btw if you don't like loosing Synaptic, you can still use aptitude, unless they got rid of it too.

undertuga
undertuga

well, not a big fan of Ubuntu Software Center. Maybe it's just me, but it didn't evolve much... Sometimes, we need to know when to stop, when developing or creating something, and while trying to improve it, you might end up messing up the previous good work. This applies to almost every work/creation/development or such that you might get across. Related to the part that Synaptic might get dropped, thats not a good move at all! The target audience/users of Synaptic and Add/Remove (now the Ubuntu Software Center) is totally different, and both of them should be able to use the tool they prefer. Just a thought, just a thought....

Sepius
Sepius

I tried an overnight list, But if anything needs clicking, i.e. keep the current conf file, it does not continue anything at all until you click, so like MS!. Synaptic will download all before it installs and this allows overnight downloads for a morning of installing. You may be able to select multiple, but it does each selection one at a time.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I'd suspect that tuxracer has a config file in each of your son's home directories now. Maybe .tuxracer/ or a .tuxracerc file. Your uninstalling the program files but not the user specific configuration file. When you reinstall, it picks up the settings again. ls -alh That'll list all files in long form and human readable sizes so you can see what hidden files are there and if one of the names relates to tuxracer.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The problem with games is that folk want the blockbusters which are still developed for DirectX excluding a few exceptions like ID Software. Once you get a Steam like delivery system in place, you still need to get game development houses to look beyond DX. It seems game developers believe Linux users won't pay for software while Linux users have yet to see a really honest effort for native port from those developers. The closest I've seen was Neverwinter 1 which provided a native game engine but you still had to jump through hoops to finish the install with the actual game content your intending to play through. Now, if Connonical can convince game devs the way they where able to provide codecs, there will be a lot more happy users.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I'm loving aptitude where apt-cache search or dpkg -i are not required. aptitude will keep a list of what was purely dependency versus requested install. if you remove or purge an app, the dependencies go away also unless required by some other requested app. If your using apt-get, I'd fully recommend aptitude as a command line (versus text graphic interface). Synaptic I can't speak for as I've never had need of a GUI package manager with Debian. apt-cache search or a visit to the Debian packages site keep me covered beyond aptitude search for package names.

bryantwalley
bryantwalley

Microsoft does not use a software depository for 3rd party apps. If not please elaborate on your statement.

NCWeber
NCWeber

I remember CNR. I loved that thing. I was so disappointed when Michael Roberts sold out to Xandros. All they are going to do is dump it in a closet and let it collect dust.

jlwallen
jlwallen

i just did a search for font, clicked on fontforge, and then clicked the install button. no problems whatsoever. was your 9.10 a fresh install? did it have all updated software? it wasn't a beta or RC release was it?

Pringles86
Pringles86

Why didn't you test it? The beta was out there for a few months.

vercan
vercan

I am sure it was Xandros who bought Linspire, not Canonical. Linspire finally disappeared, but CNR is still active. Back in the days when CNR was first introduced, it was slim and fast, and for the most part, it worked great. Then they rolled out CNR 2.0 which was terrible. I've lost track of them, but the last I saw was a bad implementation of a really good idea. I hope that Ubuntu can provide a better implementation of that same idea.

Sepius
Sepius

To answer your question, overnight downloads, or off peak downloads. I'll tag a new install with about a gig of downloads, set go then go to bed. Next morning, hit a few o.k.s and keep some config files, and I am good to go. That's why I use synaptic. If you cannot do this with the new tool, which you can with the old add remove, then I won't use it.

Pmack6287
Pmack6287

Thats an interesting thought... Give the user the choice of installing Synaptic or Software Center.. Much like one is give the choice of Gnome or Kde...

muench
muench

Till now I have always enjoyed the choice Linux gives its users: if you don't like this tool, take another, if you don't like this desktop theme, take another or create your own, if ... (you get it). So, I'm wondering why this kind of philosophy should be broken by Canonical by removing tools?! I love synaptics, I don't quite like the new Software Center for all the reasons that previous comments have already named. I'm totally ok with making the Software Center the default tool for installing software on future Ubuntu versions (if multiple package installations and removals are supported), but I want to have a choice!

cmatthews
cmatthews

My lads are in dreamland now, I'll check later. So this kind of hits on the topic: If, like Jack says, our friends at Canonical are making a sequel to the Apple-App-Store, then it would make sense for a working group to set real standards for what makes it to the list and what doesn't. I would have liked "Remove" to ask if I wanted user settings removed too. I might get flack here for saying this, but hasn't the issue of standards always been a problem in most distributions of Linux?

Sepius
Sepius

With games, I think protection against piracy will be the bigger issue, and releasing something into the open source world probably scares the pants off the big game developers. Canonical also needs to ensure that 2 years of game development by 100's of people does not get pirated. When they do that, I bet we will see more big name games come into the Linux world.

saghaulor
saghaulor

Thanks Neon Samurai. Actually, I use aptitude almost always. I much prefer it's functionality to apt-get, for instance,using the search command as you mentioned.

fevrin
fevrin

that Microsoft has a habit of changing things in sometimes extreme ways to try to please customers, while ending up with the opposite effect (i.e., Vista).

raychje
raychje

I do test pre-release software for other projects. I did not have the time to download pre-release versions of Ubuntu. I AM happy with Ubuntu 9.10 just VERY unhappy with "software center". It fails on the user interface. It presents a package for download, but when that package is selected it says that that package data can not be downloaded. Then it presents NO help in fixing the problem.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I like the push for more standards compliance distribution's directory layout versus the UNIX or Linux Standards Base (LSB). The nature of the development method allows for anyone to try something new though. A diversion from the standard can be tested or may even become the core goal behind a distribution or software fork. Now, there is much louder call for transferable standards. File format standards allow user's data to be opened under multiple applications; choice. At the driver level, industry standard hardware calls allow for better and faster hardware support development; gain, it's choice because the user gains a wider selection of hardware to buy for the system. If you remember back; we once had modems on the com port. Plug it in, send your AT command string and your golden. Winmodems came out with no jumpers so suddenly you had to have Windows drivers; broken hardware standard. Decisions where imposed on the user because of that one component. For removal, I think this has to do with being designed to support multi-user enviroments. The reason for the mount command is similar; with two users on a system, each has to have there own mount of the diskette so one doesn't unmount it on the other. With config file removal, that app could be on a system with one or a hundred users and yanking the config file out of each user's directory will cause grief for the user's who's settings are not causing an issue. As a result, users have to choose to remove related config files rather than discover that someone else has removed it for them. Outside of the user directory, I'm a fan of "aptitude purge something" as the purge will remove the program but then also make sure to remove any system wide config files and such that it dropped on the drive. Actually, now that I think of it, you may have done a "remove" that left a system wide config file behind in /etc or some such place. I'm not familiar with the graphic managers and if they purge or simply remove. With gaming in general, I tend to run my GUI desktop and games at the same resolution. I'm on an LCD so the natural resolution is optimal. Desktop and games are all 1280x1024 matching the hardware regardless of my booted platform. Anyhow, hopefully it's something as simple as a /home/boy1/.tuxrc left behind.

Sepius
Sepius

Had two issues now having gone console for gaming. 1. Some games I like, such as Ths Sims 3 and spore, only for PC, console versions are different. 2. Late releases, such as Dragon Age for PS3, I have to wait until the 19th, 2 weeks after XBox users. Outside those pretty big issues, and including your mention of mods with games like Oblivion, console is the way. As Neon Samurai mentioned earlier, FOSS people tend not to pirate (such as us), but the developers need to be convinced of that and their expenses will need to drop so they can support cross platform development, or until they see a drop in purchasing due to the world seeing the light.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The first time I checked pricing, it blew me away. All of what you see in the Mandriva repositories plus the polish and extra bits then included into Powerpack (codecs by default and such). It was around 87$ at that time. It's gone up some but it's still very reasonable if not outright under-priced.

saghaulor
saghaulor

+1 I use Ubuntu almost exclusively. I only use Windows for a few proprietary applications. When I game it's on a console, because I don't want to be bothered with system tweaking, I just want to game. But, I miss out on a lot of mod content. But if Fallout 3 or (when it finally arrives) Diablo 3 were released for Ubuntu(Linux), I would most certainly buy it still. For me price is relevant, but not nearly as relevant as the freedom to do what I like with my OS, or to have alternatives to the Redmond way of doing things (patch tuesday, antivirus economy, security through obscurity,etc). I would pay for Ubuntu if they asked for such compensation. I do not use Windows because I refuse to pay for a software that is so limited and restricting.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The already have the problem of piracy. Game companies wouldn't be required to deliver source code just because the proprietary binary is being run on a more open license platform. It's a specific type of software that is unlikely to generate profit from add-on services so expecting it to go with the free base and paid value added version is less rational. There is also the addition that FOSS enthusiasts tend to be much more respecting of software licenses. This should reduce the cases of piracy in relation to other platforms. Steam like game delivery would also help as it allows a game to be installed in one place at a time under a customer account. It has to be uninstalled before you can use your steam login to load it onto a second location. But, mostly I just don't see how the platform is going to inherently cause more piracy than they already suffer already. What would be the cause of the increase?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I rarely have any orphaned packages now after uninstalls due to aptitude's tracking primary package and dependencies. Other then that the features I make use of seem to all be about the same: apt-cache search something apt-get install something apt-get remove something now apt-cache search something (for description search) aptitude search something (for package name search only) aptitude install something aptitude purge something Remove pulls the requested package back off but leaves any config files in place. Purge yanks off any config files and extras the program created after package install (excluding user home directory files).

raychje
raychje

YOU should not have had to come up with a fix. The problem is Software Center offers to install software that it CAN'T install, it is "not available in the current data".

Pringles86
Pringles86

The think about not being available or whatever it was. I forgot what I did to fix it tho... This was a few weeks ago that I encountered it.

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