How to Install .deb Packages

Use the Command Line Tool 'dpkg' in a Debian-Based Linux Distribution

Command line showing dpkg package manager for Debian

Every Linux distribution based on Debian uses Debian packages as a method for installing and uninstalling the software. Debian packages are identified by the file extension .deb. They can be installed and uninstalled using graphical tools and the command line.

Why Install a .deb File Manually

Most of the time you use a package manager such as the Ubuntu Software Center, Synaptic, or Muon to install the software in Debian-based distributions. If you prefer to use the command line, you are likely to use apt-get.

Some applications aren't available in the repositories and have to be downloaded from the vendors' websites. Be careful about downloading and installing Debian packages from sources that do not exist in the distribution's repositories.

Some of the biggest applications are delivered in this format, including Google's Chrome web browser.

Installing With Apt

The Apt package manager, the same one you use to update your system and install new packages from the Web, can also install packages locally on your system.

To use Apt, simply point it in the direction of whichever .deb package you want to install.

sudo apt install <package>

Removing .deb Packages

Remove a Debian package using the following command:

sudo apt remove <packagename>

On a Ubuntu-based distribution, double-click the .deb file to load it into the Software Center. Then, click install.