This howto describes the simple, common methods for installing packages in Ubuntu.
1. Add/Remove Programs Menu
This is obviously the first method you’ll learn, because it is the most beginner friendly way to install packages.
To access it, click Applications in the menu bar and select Add/Remove…
In the window that opens up, just select what you want to install, and then Ok.
2. Terminal: Apt-get Install
To use this, you have to know the name of the package as it is recognized by the Synaptic Package Manager.
Once you have the name of the package, type:
sudo apt-get install [Name of package]
in the terminal, and provide your password when it requests it.
If you have downloaded a file with tar.gz as the filetype, then this method is the way to go.
First, extract the package to your home folder.
Then, in the terminal, type:
cd /home/[username]/[Extracted tarball's folder]
sudo make install
Provide your password when it asks for it.
To install .deb packages, double click the file and click Install Package.
Installing RPMs will require you to convert them to .deb.
To do this, install Alien using:
sudo apt-get install alien
And convert using:
sudo alien -k name-of-rpm-file.rpm