Install Synaptic Package Manager: Handle packages in Ubuntu

Synaptic is a graphical package management program for apt. It provides the same features as the apt-get command-line utility with a GUI based on Gtk+. If you are a strong supporter of using GUI to install apps in Debian and Debian-based systems such as Ubuntu, and Mint, etc, Synaptic will be nice to install and try out. Also if you wish to manage your Linux device using cockpit, please see the following guides “Installation and configuration of Cockpit on CentOS Linux, and on Ubuntu Linux post-installation of Network Properties, Guest Integration and Web Administration using Cockpit“. The Synaptic Package Manager can help determine software installed via PPA and also help remove them.

APT (Advanced Package Tool) is a command line tool that works with core libraries to handle the installation and removal of software on Debian, Ubuntu, and Debian-based Linux distributions. Debian Linux uses dpkg packaging system. A packaging system is a way to provide programs and applications for installation.

WineHQ – Install Windows Apps on Linux: If you would like to install Windows Application on Windows, see the following related articles “How to install and uninstall WineHQ on Linux: Run Windows applications, What is WineHQ: How to get and WineHQ, and how to run Windows applications on Linux.

Why use Synaptic Package Manager?

Synaptic simplifies the process of software management when you are not so chummy with the command-line. Some of the features Synaptic offers are:

  • Install, remove, and upgrade packages.
  • Upgrade your whole system.
  • Search and filter the list of available packages.
  • Perform smart system upgrades.
  • Fix broken package dependencies.
  • Edit the list of used repositories (sources.list).

Install Synaptic in Ubuntu

To install the Synaptic Package Manager on your Linux system, please use the following command below. When prompted to continue, please enter “Y” to proceed with the installation.

sudo apt-get install synaptic 

After hitting Yes, after a short while. You will have installed the Synaptic Package Manager.

Launch Synaptic on Ubuntu

Now you should launch the “Synaptic” as shown below.
– Click on the show application and search for the Synaptic Package Manager as shown below.

launch Synaptic Package Manager application

Double click on it. Authentication will be necessary for you to execute the Synaptic Package Manager. Without entering your password, you will not be able to authenticate and proceed.

Enter password

This will now open the Synaptic Package Manager main application window. In the quick introduction window, you can choose to skip this at Synaptic Package Manager startup if you want and click on close.
– You can just click on Close on the fly if you do not mind having this Quick Introduction Window pop up during startup.

Click on Close

Now you should have access to the full Synaptic Package Manager application as shown below.

Synaptic Package Manager application is fully accessible

Install Notepad

Let’s assume I want to install a Notepad package, you will have to find and install Notepad as shown below.
– Click on the Search button and enter the keyword in the search box.

Search for Notepad

Now that you have found the package you want to install, select the checkbox next to it and choose Mark for installation.
– Next, if the package requires the installation of other packages, choose Mark to install them as well as shown below. As you can see the package has been selected for installation.

Now, you will have to click on the Apply button to begin the installation process.

Click on Apply

On the summary page, please review the changes and click on Apply as shown below

As you can see below, the changes have been successfully applied. You can optionally check to have the this window closed whenever changes (application) are successfully applied.

You can optionally check to have the this window closed whenever changes (application) are successfully applied.

As you can see the Notepad has been installed on my system. Search for Notepad and launch it.

Remove Packages with Synaptic Package Manager

I will be removing GNS3 from my Ubuntu Linux system. This was also previously installed using Synaptic.
– To remove a the GNS3 package, search for GNS3 from the Synaptic Package Manager as shown below by click on search, enter the package name and then click on search.

search for GNS3 from the Synaptic Package Manager

This will open the package you wish to uninstall.
– Now right-click on the package and choose Mark for Removal or choose the Mark for Complete Removal option if you want to remove configuration files associated with the package. For me, I will go with the option, mark for removal as shown below.

choose Mark for Removal or choose the Mark for Complete Removal

Now as you can see below, the application has been marked for removed and the button beside the package is currently checked.
– Now, you will have to click on the Apply button to begin the uninstallation process.

Click on apply to begin uninstallation

On the summary window, click on Apply. This will begin the removal process as shown below.

View the properties of an Application

To display information about an installed package, such as its dependencies, version, and description etc., please search and select the package as shown below.

Search and select package to view its properties

Next you will have to click the Properties button to reveal the properties of the package as shown below.

Upgrade your Packages all at once: To keep your system up-to-date and upgrade all packages, you will have to click the Reload button to reload the package information.

Click on Reload

Packages will be download. This is done by having the Synaptic Package Manager check for new, removed or upgraded software packages.

Downloading package information

Now that the package download has completed (reload process) completed, click the Mark all Upgrades button as shown below.
– Note: All packages will automatically be selected.

click the Mark all Upgrades 

In the next window that appears, click on Mark to mark all additional required changes

click on Mark to mark all additional required changes

Click on Appy to ensure the upgrade changes are applied. In the summary window, click on Apply as well.

Packages will be download and installed.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session. I welcome you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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fra Man
fra Man
2 years ago

pity that, with the latest upgrade of ubuntu21, this superb tool does not work anymore

Michael E Pollock
Michael E Pollock
2 years ago

I prefer Kubuntu over Ubuntu and Lubuntu, because it allows me to take advantage of a typing speed in excess of 85 words per minute, but I found the computer I recently purchased with Lubuntu pre-installed did not have a Synaptic Package Manager included and I was unable to determine how to download it, so I purchased a disk with Kubuntu 15.0.4 which I installed over Lubuntu, only to discover it also does not have Synaptic and I am unable to determine how to download it. Must I begin with Ubuntu, download Synaptic, then convert to Kubuntu?

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