Installing Programs on Linux 🐧

November 30, 2019

Once I installed Linux Mint, I tried to install 2 programs just to learn how it's done in Linux. I know it's not as easy as running an executable, so this is what this post is about.

I learned how to install 2 programs 2 different ways:

  • with a debian file
  • through Snap

Installing Visual Studio Code

I installed this program using a debian file.

If you don't know what a debian file is (like me), here is this description from Wikipedia:

Debian packages are standard Unix ar archives that include two tar archives. One archive holds the control information and another contains the installable data.

Source

The Visual Studio Code website does have a Linux download option, but not for 32-bit. I had to search until I came to this forum question that inquired about the same thing. This is where I found this page for the 32-bit.

Once that downloaded, I had to look up how to use this file to install the program. I found this page on installing with a debian file and used the first command option to install VS Code.

sudo dpkg -i code_1.35.1-1560349847_i386.deb

When this command finished, I was able to find the program by searching in the start manager and running it from there.

VS Code in launcher VS Code in launcher

Installing Notepad++

I installed this program using Snap.

I went onto the website for Notepad++ to download it, but I wasn't sure which option was right for 32-bit Linux. So the next best thing was to just search for it. I came across this post on FOSS for installing Notepad++. The process was obviously different from the way I installed VS Code. Instead of a debian file, I had to install Snap before installing Notepad++.

So what is Snap? Of course, FOSS site has a description for it:

Snaps are basically an application compiled together with its dependencies and libraries – providing a sandboxed environment for the application to run. These are easier and faster to install, can receive latest updates and is confined from the OS and other apps.

Source

So Snap is a solution to installing a program on any Linux distribution without having to worry about compatibility. Cool!

So I first needed to install Snap.

sudo apt install snapd

Then install the program I want.

sudo snap install notepad-plus-plus

Once this was installed, I expected to see it in the start menu, but couldn't find it. Instead of restarting my computer, I just ran it from the terminal.

notepad-plus-plus

There was a minor issue showing in the terminal regarding not finding Wine installed. Notepad++ actually uses Wine (a program used for running Windows apps on Linux) to work on Linux. I didn't install Wine previously, but since running Notepad++ still uses Wine in itself, it continued loading up the application successfully.

Note:

In Linux Mint there is a software manager that I could've used to install these programs but I wanted to learn how to install through manual processes instead.

Software manager Software manager

So unlike a typical Windows installer, there are a few ways someone can install a program on Linux. For a beginner like myself, it takes a bit of searching to understand what works best. Luckily, there are many well written instructions out there to guide someone through this set-up.

Resources:

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