How to install any software in Linux - UNFINISHED HOWTO

Please collaborate making this pretty needed, extremely useful howto with all the available options, good too as a reference on How to Install Software

Any OS will never have all the software available as you want, but Elive supports by default a good amount of possibilities made to be compatible by default, so let's list them. These are in the order of preference.

1 - Default repositories

  • 10 Easy
  • 10 Compatibility
  • 10 Security

By default you have more than 60k packages available in your system. These are typically the most polished versions of the packages, but they might be older than the latest release. You can install them directly from the included graphical applications to install software, or with similar commands as these ones:

~ ❯❯❯ apse font fira
fonts-firacode     Monospaced font with programming ligatures
~ ❯❯❯ api fonts-firacode/oldstable


  • Do not add incompatible repositories in your system, and do not mix them with other ones. This can lead to a broken system easily. One common mistake is adding Ubuntu PPAs - while Ubuntu is based on Debian, it is not directly compatible with the packages and it could cause issues. Note: Elive includes by default a feature which will alert you with a desktop notification if you do that.


(finish this howto)

  • downloading packages (gdebi should take care of correct deps I think? YES absolutely)
  • search extra repos? important info about the compatibility need. (as long as they're Debian and the correct version, no worry)
  • download software: give the example of zoom, go to website, which options to pick, "debian VERSION" needs to be selected and not ubuntu, etc
  • snaps (Don't....Ubuntu)
  • flatpaks (OK but require a lot of disk space, wont run if not compatible)
  • npm's, gem's ?
  • nix packages (Not as good as it looks to be at first sight. :frowning: )
  • compile manually software (this may require a new howto, and point to it) (Ouch!!! dependency hell)
  • apt-get source + rebuild package ? (should work, requires a few extra build packages)
  • what more options to install packages we have? :thinking: @triantares @TheTechRobo

Well there's those (like i.e tor-browser) that run from their own downloaded directory.....and of course java and python (pip) well there some programs that had their own installer (especially games) albeit that that was usually from their own directory in /opt/ (i.e bluegriffon, balenaEtcher, Signal, zoom)