In this chapter, we look at the options you have to manage your software in Ubuntu. If you are used to an environment where you are reliant on visiting different vendor websites to download updates, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Updating a full Ubuntu installation, including all the application software, is as simple as running the Update Manager program. You will discover just how easy it is to install and even remove various software packages.
Ubuntu provides a variety of tools for system resource management. The following sections introduce the graphical software management tools that you will use for most of your software management. This chapter also covers monitoring and managing memory and disk storage on your system.
Ubuntu Software Center
The Ubuntu Software Center is a graphical utility for package management in Ubuntu. You can find it in the Applications menu as Ubuntu Software Center; it is named software-center. The Ubuntu Software Center enables you to easily select and install a large array of applications by using the intuitive built-in search and easy one-click installation. When you open the program, you see the Package Browsing screen, as shown in Figure 9.1.
FIGURE 9.1 The initial Ubuntu Software Center screen enables you to browse through packages sorted by groups.
Along the left side of the screen, you have three menu options: Get Software, Installed Software, and History. At the top is a search bar that you can use to search for packages. When you click the Get Software link, you are presented with options to explore software Provided by Ubuntu or software For Purchase. Clicking the Installed Software link presents you with a list of all the installed applications on your Ubuntu desktop.
Installing new software via Ubuntu Software Center is as simple as finding it in the package list, double-clicking, and clicking the Install button. When you do so, you may be asked for your password; then the application is downloaded and installed. You can remove an application by finding it in Ubuntu Software Center and clicking the Remove button.
Use the Search box at the top to search for a specific application in the list. Note that this searches within the current category; so if you are in the Games category and search for “office,” you will get no results. The best place to search is within the Get Free Software category, to make sure you search all areas.