Template:K Quantal/Packages


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Package Installation and Updates

Apt and Package Basics

Most new users will use Muon Package Manager to install packages. The instructions below are for installing packages from the command-line terminal (Konsole).

  • Install packages:
sudo apt-get install packagename
  • Example:
sudo apt-get install mpd sbackup
  • Remove packages:
sudo apt-get remove packagename
  • To remove all dependencies:
sudo apt-get autoremove
  • Example:
sudo apt-get remove mpd sbackup
  • Search for packages:
sudo apt-cache search <keywords>
  • Examples:
sudo apt-cache search Music MP3
sudo apt-cache search "Text Editor"
sudo apt-get update
  • Upgrade packages:
sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Upgrade the entire distribution (e.g. from Lucid to Maverick):
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Installing .deb packages

Debian (.deb) packages are the packages that are used in Ubuntu/Kubuntu. You can install any .deb package in your system. .deb files can generally be installed from your file manager (Konqueror or Dolphin) merely by clicking on them, since file associations with the default installer is already set in Kubuntu. These instructions are for those who wish to install packages from the command-line terminal (Konsole).

  • Install a downloaded Debian (Ubuntu/Kubuntu) package (.deb):
sudo dpkg -i packagename.deb
  • Remove a Debian (Ubuntu/Kubuntu) package (.deb):
sudo dpkg -r packagename
  • Reconfigure/Repair an installed Debian (Ubuntu/Kubuntu) package (.deb):
sudo dpkg-reconfigure packagename
  • Example:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure mpd

Handling (Tar/GZip) and (Tar/Bzip2) archives

(Tar/GZip) archives end in ".tar.gz" and (Tar/Bzip2) archives end in ".tar.bz2". Bzip2 is the newer, more efficient compression method. These files can generally be automatically extracted by merely clicking on them from your file manager (Konqueror or Dolphin), since file associations with the appropriate archival utilities are set by default in Kubuntu. These instructions are for those who wish to use the command line terminal (Konsole).

  • To extract:
tar xvf packagename.tar.gz

Note: tar is an application which can extract files from an archive, decompressing if necessary.

-x means extract.
-v means verbose (list what it is extracting).
-f specifies the file to use.
  • Decompressing ".gz" files
gunzip file.gz
  • Decompressing ".bz2" files
bunzip2 file.bz2
Note: You can also decompress a package first by using the command gunzip (for .gz) or bunzip2 (for .bz2), leaving the .tar file. You would then use tar to extract it.
  • To create a .gz archive:
tar cvfz packagename.tar.gz folder
  • To create a .bz2 archive:
tar cvfj packagename.tar.bz2 folder

Installing a package from source

  • Make sure you have all the necessary development tools (i.e. libraries, compilers, headers):
sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)
Note: "uname -r" lists the current kernel you are using
  • Extract the archive that contains the source files:
tar xvf sourcefilesarchive.tar.gz
  • Build the package using the package's script (in this case the configure script), compile the package (make), and install the compiled package into your system (make install):
cd /path/to/extracted/sourcefiles
sudo make
sudo make install
Note: typing ./ before a filename in the current folder allows the Linux shell to try and execute the file as an application even if it is not in the path (the set of folders which it searches when you type a command name). If you get a "permission denied" error, the file is not marked as being executable. To fix this:
sudo chmod +x filename
Example: In the above instructions, configure is the shell script to build the package from source. To be sure the configure script is executable:
sudo chmod +x configure
Create a .deb package from source files

If your build from source is successful, you can make a Debian (Ubuntu/Kubuntu) package (.deb) for future use:

  • Install package tools:
sudo apt-get install checkinstall
  • Rebuild package using "checkinstall":
cd /path/to/extracted/package
sudo make
sudo checkinstall
  • Keep the resulting ".deb" file for future use. It can later be installed using:
sudo dpkg -i packagename.deb

Note: These are basic instructions that may not always work. Some packages require additional dependencies and optional parameters to be specified in order to build them successfully. More info about .deb package structure can be found here.

Muon Package Manager

The Muon Package Management Suite is a collection of several package management tools, based on the QApt package management library for Debian-based systems, that includes the Muon Package Manager, the Muon Software Center (compatible with the Ubuntu Software Center), and the Muon Updater is a system update GUI. This is now the default package management system in Kubuntu.

Usage of the Muon Package Manager is somewhat similar to Synaptic Package Manager.

While "apt-get" is a fast way of installing programs/packages, you can also use Muon Package Manager (K menu -> System -> Muon Package Manager) for installing programs/packages. Most (but not all) programs/packages available with apt-get install will also be available from Muon. This is the preferred method for most desktop users. In this guide, when you see

sudo apt-get install package

you can simply search for package in Muon and install it that way.

  • K menu -> System -> Muon Package Manager
  • Search for the name of the program/package. You can also search for a word in its description.
  • Right-click on the name of the package -> "Mark for Installation". (If the program is already installed, use "Mark for Removal" or "Mark for Purge" to remove it).
  • Click Apply Changes.
  • The selected program(s) will be automatically installed (or removed), along with its dependencies.

Synaptic Package Manager

Synaptic Package Manager is the GTK-based GUI package manager for Gnome/Ubuntu. It can be used in Kubuntu without difficulty. Usage is similar to the other package managers. Install:

sudo apt-get install synaptic

Manual Updates

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)
K menu -> System -> Muon Package Manager -> Check for Updates -> Edit -> Full Upgrade (or one of the other upgrade options)

Automatic Updates

K menu -> System -> Muon Package Manager -> Settings -> Configure Software Sources -> Updates -> Automatic Updates

Repair broken packages

If a package installation fails (which can cause a Package Manager to freeze or become locked), or if a package has unsatisfied dependencies causing a similar condition, then run one (or both) of the following commands from the command-line terminal:

sudo apt-get install -f
sudo dpkg --configure -a
  • If a problem occurs with MergeList (appearing as a missing "Package: header" error):
E: Encountered a section with no Package: header
E: Problem with MergeList...
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.
then repair by recreating the package lists:
sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/* -vf
sudo apt-get update
  • If a problem occurs with a lock on the apt cache, for example:
E: Could not get lock /var/cache/apt/archives/lock - open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
then run:
sudo fuser -cuk /var/lib/dpkg/lock; sudo rm -f /var/lib/dpkg/lock
sudo fuser -cuk /var/cache/apt/archives/lock; sudo rm -f /var/cache/apt/archives/lock

File Managers


K menu -> System -> Dolphin
  • Many folders and files, especially system folders and configuration files, have root permissions associated with them. It is necessary to start Dolphin with root privileges in order to access them:
kdesudo dolphin
A menu item can be created with this command.
  • When opening the Dolphin file manager in this way, the default folder will be /root/. User files will be found by clicking on the "Root" icon and then navigating to the /home/user/ folder(s).

Add services to the Dolphin file manager

Context-sensitive services can be added to Dolphin.

  • Ruby must be installed first:
sudo apt-get install ruby
  • Add new services.
Dolphin -> Settings -> Configure Dolphin... -> Services -> Download New Services...
  • For example, a very useful service is the "Root Actions Servicemenu", which allows many functions to be performed with root (superuser or "sudo") permissions. This is necessary, for example, for editing text files that have root permissions.
  • The "Scan with ClamAV" service allows the anti-virus scanner to be run from Dolphin.
  • Once the new services have been installed, the system must be rebooted for the newly added service menus to appear in Dolphin.
  • <Right-click> on an item within Dolphin to bring up the services menu. For example, once the Root Actions Servicemenu has been installed, I can edit a text file with root permissions by <right-clicking> on it and selecting
Root Actions -> Open as text

This will open the text editor (kate) as root.

  • Other popular service menus include audiokonvertor, Extract and Compress, servicemenu-pdf, image2pdf, and vlcappend.
  • Many service menus in development can be found here.

Preview video files with Dolphin file manager

  • FFMpegThumbs uses FFMPEG to create thumbnail frames from video files, which can be used by KDE from a file manager like Dolphin. Install:
sudo apt-get install ffmpegthumbs
Alternatively, install kFFMpegThumbnailer (sudo apt-get install kffmpegthumbnailer), which works in a similar manner. (Both require FFMPEG to be installed.)

After installation of either of these modules, log out and log back into (or restart) your system for changes to take effect.

  • MPlayerThumbs not only shows a video frame thumbnail in Dolphin, it also has the capacity to show the entire video in the Dolphin Information side panel (for previewing). Though more powerful, it is slower to load than either FFMpegThumbs or kFFMpegThumbnailer. (MPlayer must also be installed for this thumbnailer / previewer to function.) Install:
sudo apt-get install mplayerthumbs

After installation, log out and log back into (or restart) your system for changes to take effect.

  • Make sure the settings for Dolphin allow JPG and Video previews:
Dolphin -> Settings -> Configure Dolphin... -> General -> Previews -> JPEG Images (ticked) -> Video Files (ticked) -> OK
-> View -> Preview (ticked)

Close and re-open Dolphin for changes to take effect.

  • If you wish information about the file to be displayed while the cursor hovers over the filename, also make sure Dolphin "tooltips" is enabled:
Dolphin -> Settings -> Configure Dolphin... -> General -> Behavior -> Show tooltips (ticked)
-> View -> Panels -> Information (ticked)

MTP through USB

Many MP3 players, as well as the latest Android devices, use MTP (Media Transport Protocol) for transferring data to the device storage.

  • In KDE (Kubuntu), enable MTP capabilities by installing the kio-mtp package:
sudo apt-get install kio-mtp
After installation, the device should appear in the Dolphin (or Konqueror or Rekong) file manager when the USB cable is plugged in.
  • Troubleshooting Android device connectivity: As a security precaution the newest Android devices do not have USB transfer capabilities turned on by default. It is necessary to carefully consult your device's user manual to find the method for enabling USB transfers (also known as "USB debugging mode" on many devices). For example, on my device, it was necessary to tap the "Settings -> About phone -> Build #" button 7 times to merely enable the USB debugging option, and then enable "Settings -> Developer options -> USB debugging" as a separate step!

WebDAV folders with Dolphin

  • Dolphin uses the same network proxy settings as Konqueror (or Rekonq). If there is trouble connecting to any online resource or folder with Dolphin, so that this error appears:
Could not connect to host:
Connection to proxy refused.

then check the Network Settings (or the proxy settings of Konqueror/Rekonq) and then make sure that Konqueror/Rekonq connects to the Internet successfully.

Settings -> System Settings -> Network and Connectivity: Network Settings -> Proxy -> No proxy (ticked) -> Apply
Konqueror -> Settings -> Configure Konqueror... -> Web Browsing: Proxy -> No proxy (ticked) -> OK
Rekonq -> Settings wrench icon -> Configure rekonq... -> Network -> Proxy -> No proxy (ticked) -> OK

Of course, if you are using a proxy, make sure that the proxy settings are correctly specified and that the proxy is working. When Konqueror (or Rekonq) connects successfully to the Internet, so should Dolphin.


Konqueror is a KDE-integrated browser that can also be used as a file manager. In addition to having tabbed browsing capabilities, it can transparently access FTP and SFTP servers, zip files (and other archives), and smb (Windows) shares, and can even browse and rip audio CDs. It is extensible and customizable through a system of plugins.

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