How to install software / packages / applications, the correct way



The correct way to install any software / packages / applications in Elive is of course using the software manager included in the system, available from the bar or in:

Applications menu -> Administration -> Synaptic software manager

It is very important to not use different repositories that the default ones, if you do it, you will probably break entirely the system unless it is compatible, let me explain this:

  • If you add unofficial repositories, they must be compatible / made for the same branch of distro release, on the case of Elive 3.0, which uses Debian Wheezy as base, the repository should be for debian / wheezy then
  • Using a different branch of debian will lead in a 95% of probabilities to broken dependencies, unable to install the package or in worse cases: having removed other packages needed in your system, or leading to a future broken state due to using different versions of libraries that are not compatible with other packages
  • Using a repository for ubuntu is the same as the previous problem, but even worse since the versions are much different and even the dependencies are different, leading to a much bigger probability to break your system

Fortunately, the installer of Elive with the migration feature can easily reinstall your Elive savig your users and files, being a very nice reparation solution for broken systems


The best way to install a software that is not possible to install from packages is by compiling it yourself, that’s maybe not the easiest way for a novice user but is not so hard, we may should cover this in a special howto…, but basically you can try:

./ ; ./configure ; make && sudo make install && echo “INSTALLED CORRECTLY”

If it fails by a missing dependency (you should read the printed messages), something like:

configure: error: GTK 3 not found.

Then you know that you need to install the library to compile in gtk3, most of the times it starts with the chars lib and ends in dev, but to find it easier you can do it like this:

apse lib gtk 3 dev

You will have a good amount of results since these are very generic words on which other libraries are very related, but the one that we need is:

libgtk-3-dev - development files for the GTK+ library

So you can install it with:

api libgtk-3-dev

Note: api, apse, etc… they are aliases / shortcuts of common apt commands

These packages are most of them installed by default in /usr/local/ and this directory is recyclated among reinstalations of Elive (in migration mode), this means that by reinstalling Elive you will still have your compiled software if all of it is included correctly in the /usr/local/ directory

Tip: If you need a new GCC version you can run:

api gcc-4.9-backport

As explained in Sigil Software

Other methods

App Image / Flatpack / etc

Generically speaking, we do not recommend to use these ones since they comes from untrusted sources and the way they are installed can be really bad quality made (not following strict packaging rules, allowing everything in any way just leads to unprofessional work and a welcome to bugs)

Said that, if you can provide this howto with better, more specific and accurate information about these tools, please edit it

Sigil Software