An Introduction to Synaptic

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. What does that mean? It’s a program that allows you to easily install other programs (and any software required to run them) in Linux. You can also use it to update and/or remove software.

Synaptic is included with a number of the popular versions of Linux, including: Debian, Fedora and Ubuntu.

  1. Launch Synaptic by selecting System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manger.
  2. Enter your administrative password when prompted…
  3. and the main Synaptic window will appear. From here you can view all of the available applications to install by using the left column. Use the Search button in the top menu to help find programs you’re interested in. You don’t need to know a programs name to locate it, you can use keywords (such as email, RSS, browser, games etc).

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  5. When you find something you want to install, select it by clicking the box next to it and then Mark for Installation. Note: if the box is already “filled in”, the program is already installed.
  6. If the program you’ve chosen to install requires additional software in order to work, it will be automatically detected and included in the list of things to install. Click the Mark button to continue.
  7. If you want to install more than one program, repeat the above two steps. When you’re ready, click the Apply button from the top menu.
  8. Now click Apply in the Summary window.
  9. All of the required files will now be downloaded.
  10. The installation will begin as soon as the files have finished downloading. If you want to watch the installation progress, click Details.

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  12. Once everything is finished, click Close.

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  14. You can find your newly installed programs in their respective locations.
{ 17 comments… add one }
  • nick bannan May 8, 2008, 9:45 am

    synaptic package manager will not launch since 8.04 upgrade, also updates will not download? can anyone advise.

  • JR June 1, 2008, 9:26 am

    What to do if an installation process fails and you find it is no longer possible to install or remove packages:

    Open a Terminal and type the following at the command line:

    apt-get install -f Then press Return.

    Browser works, Synaptic will not (note: probably inaccurate or outdated)
    Found this….

    If the router is set to auto discover DNS then Synaptic will fail. Resolve this by setting up a static ip address and manually set DNS ip in router. Now Ubuntu (system-administration-networking) config static ip and enter your ISP dns ip and delete router DNS ip which will look something like

  • Lawrence September 1, 2008, 9:34 am

    I live in Chile, in a rural area, and my problem is based in the fact that I still have not been able to get my Huawei E226 usb modem to work with Ubuntu. I have done a lot of searching for help regarding this subject, and found many pages and different methods, but, the problem is, I am just sooo novice, that I don´t know how to do anyting!! I scarecely worked out how to open a terminal recently. So all these explainations followed by lengthy codes and terms I don´t understand, are pretty useless to me.

    I think that this modem is missing a driver, which apparently comes in a software by Vodafone for this modem. I downloaded this software (using Windows obviously to connect), and opened the instructions to install this software, and cannot understand a single thing of the instructions of how to install.. Help, what can I do??

    It is nice to see that someone is speaking in simple terms and explaining things from scratch, but this still doesn’t give me the answer I need, as it is necesary to connect to internet to use Synaptic.

    Thanks a lot, hope someone can help. Lawrence.

  • Bill November 7, 2008, 3:25 pm

    programs that I install with synaptic package manager, such as espeak and youtube-dl, do not appear in my applications drop down menu
    any suggestions? please?

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