How to install Linux apps from the Linux App Stores

You too can install app on Linux with ease

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How do you install applications from a Linux app store? It's a lot easier than you might think, especially these days where you won't need to mess with the command line.

Like both macOS and Windows, most Linux distributions have their own versions of the App Store, and they have made installing applications incredibly easy. In fact, Linux distributions included a precursor to the app store before Apple launched theirs.

Let’s take a look at three of the most popular desktop environments (GNOME, KDE Plasma, and Cinnamon) to find out just how to install apps from the Linux app store.

Version Info

I’ll be demonstrating this process using Pop!_OS 18.10 for GNOME, KDE Neon for KDE Plasma, and Linux Mint 19.1 for Cinnamon.

GNOME

Pop!_OS takes the GNOME Software app store (the app store used by all GNOME-based distributions) and rebrands it as the Pop!_Shop. The only difference you’ll find is in the name and a few aesthetic changes. Otherwise Pop!_Shop is the same as GNOME Software.

To install applications with this tool, open Pop!_Shop (click Applications in the upper left corner and click the Pop!_Shop launcher.

Screenshot of pening Pop!_Shop.

Once opened, you’ll find this a very user-friendly tool for the installation of applications. Let’s assume you want to install the GnuCash personal and business finance manager.

To install a piece of software, do the following:

  1. Select the Home tab at the top of the Pop!_Shop window.

    Screenshot of the Pop!_Shop main window.
  2. In the search bar (at the top right corner), type GnuCash.

    Screenshot of searching for GnuCash in Pop!_Shop.
  3. Press Install.

    Screenshot of the Install button.
  4. When prompted, type your user password, and press Authenticate.

    Screenshot of the Pop!_OS password authentication screen.
  5. Allow the installation to complete.

Once the installation is complete, click the left-pointing arrow in the search field (to clear GnuCash) to return to the Pop!_Shop main window, where you can install even more software.

That’s all there is to installing software with Pop!_OS’s Pop!_Shop.

KDE Plasma

KDE Plasma has its own app store, called Discover. Click on the desktop menu (lower left corner of the desktop) and then click Software Center Discover.

Screenshot of Discover in the KDE Plasma menu.

Once opened, install GnuCash by following these steps:

  1. Type GnuCash in the search field and use the Enter key on your keyboard.

    Screenshot of the KDE Discover app.
  2. From the resulting entries, press Install associated with GnuCash.

    Screenshot of installing GnuCash with Discover.
  3. When prompted, type your user password, and press OK.

    Screenshot of the KDE Discover authentication window.
  4. Allow the installation to complete.

The new software is ready to use. You can either close Discover or search for new applications to install.

Cinnamon

Linux Mint uses its own app store, called Software Manager. To open the tool, click the Mint Menu (button left corner of the desktop) and click the second icon from the top.

Screenshot of the Cinnamon Software Manager in the desktop menu.

Once the Software Manager has opened, install GnuCash with the following steps:

  1. Type GnuCash in the search bar, and use the Enter key on your keyboard.

    Screenshot of the Mint Software Manager.
  2. Select the top GnuCash entry.

    Screenshot of GnuCash listed in the Mint Software Manager.
  3. Press Install.

    Screenshot of the GnuCash entry.
  4. When prompted, press Continue to install the necessary dependencies.

    Screenshot of instaling the necessary dependencies for GnuCash.
  5. In the Authentication window, type your user password, and press Authenticate.

    Screenshot of the Cinnamon authentication window.
  6. Allow the installation to complete.

GnuCash is installed and ready to use. Either close the Software Manager or return to the main window and search for more apps to install.

Installation as Easy as it Gets

Installing software on Linux is as simple as it is gets. If the idea of installing software on Linux has prevented you from giving the open source platform a try, your fears should now be assuaged.