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Software Management

There are several ways to manage applications in Kubuntu. A convenient way to add or remove applications is with a package manager.

Graphical Clients

If you prefer the Ubuntu-style "Software Center", Kubuntu also has a user-friendly package manager called Muon Software Center with a clear user interface.

Both package managers might provide information about required dependencies, these are other packages(programs) that the piece of software that you want to install needs to run. Once this information is acknowledged, the required packages will begin downloading. When the installation process is complete, the software will be ready to use. It is rarely necessary to restart the system after software installation or updates. If it is, the system will warn you and give you a restart icon to do the restart at your convenience.

Muon also provides an easy method to remove software that is no longer needed.

How-to: Start Muon Software Center with Kickoff Application Launcher (K menu), click on 'Installed Software' and find the application you want to remove. Click 'Remove' and Muon Software Center will remove the application.

Muon is an advanced program with a graphical user interface (GUI) for installing and removing applications. Muon Package Manager can be started with Krunner or using Kickoff.

How-to: You can search for applications with the search box on the top and the filters on the left side of the window. The application information will be displayed in the large white space below the search area. Click on the application title to be installed. Click the 'Install' button to start the installation process.


Thousands of programs are freely available to install in Kubuntu. These programs are stored in software archives ("repositories") and are made available for installation over the Internet. Installing new programs in Kubuntu is quick, reliable, and secure because each program is built specifically for Kubuntu and is checked thoroughly before it is made available. Kubuntu repositories are categorized into four groups:

  • Main
  • Restricted
  • Universe
  • Multiverse

Two factors are used to determine categories:

  • The level of support provided for a program by its software development teams.
  • The level of compliance the program has to the Ubuntu Free Software Philosophy

More information about the Repositories is available on the Ubuntu Community Help Wiki on Repositories website.

The standard Kubuntu LiveDVD contains some software from the "Main" and "Restricted" categories. Once a system has information about the Internet-based locations for these repositories, more programs are available for installation. Using the software package management tools installed by default, it is possible to discover, install, and update any piece of software directly over the internet without the need for the LiveDVD.

For more information about managing repositories, click on Managing Repositories

PPAs (Personal Package Archive)

Personal Package Archives allow any person in the Ubuntu community who has committed to observe the Ubuntu Code of Conduct to upload Ubuntu source packages to be built and published as an apt repository by Launchpad. Software from Launchpad's Personal Package Archive (PPA) requires a GnuPG(GPG) key so your system can verify that it's getting the packages from the correct source and that the packages have not been interfered with since they were built. GnuPG is GNU's tool for secure communication and data storage.

The contents of Personal Package Archives are not checked or monitored. You install software from them at your own risk.

For more information about PPAs, see Managing Personal Package Archives.

Install/Uninstall .deb files

The package files associated with Kubuntu have the ".deb" suffix because of Kubuntu's close relationship with the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Individual ".deb" files can be downloaded and installed. Humble Bundles, for instance, distribute debs. Administrative privileges are required.

How-to: simply left-click on the ".deb" file to initiate the installation process. A prompt will appear for a password associated with the necessary administrative privilege.

Install from Source

Files with the ".tar.gz" or ".tar.bz2" suffix are package files known as "tarballs" or "source" packages. These are widely used in Linux. If there is no native Kubuntu package available in any of the repositories, it may be possible to compile and install the package from source. For tips on compiling software, look at the Compiling Software page on the Ubuntu Wiki.

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