Deepin Software Centre: GUI Software Frontend Done right

Deepin Software Centre: GUI Software Frontend Done right


Newcomers to Ubuntu will only really know about installing software via the Ubuntu Software Centre. Synaptic is no longer bundled by default (though still available) but all us, veterans and newbies alike, should also consider installing Deepin. It's similar to Ubuntu's tool but it has some really nifty and useful features.

Strictly speaking Deepin is a Chinese-based GNU/Linux distro but we only want the Software Centre feature. Download it from this link to the official site. (Right click the wget link and save.The direct link is broken). Right click the binary and install it with with tools like GDebi etc. Once installed, When you see it in action, how good it looks and the feature set you'll agree it's worth the small effort to install it. It's the Ubuntu Software Centre done right.

By default, Deepin opens in the Home section showing users a snapshot of available upgrades and recommendations (including by category).

Figure 1:Fast, sleek and bloody good lookingFigure 1:Fast, sleek and bloody good looking

Deepin also has a dedicated Upgrades section, indicating the actual number. When you open it, options are flexible: you can do a batch install of them all or choose Select none and then select specific packages by ticking the checkbox.

Figure 2: Bulk or individual package selection.Your choiceFigure 2: Bulk or individual package selection.Your choice

Selecting the Repository button and Deepin will present the user with available software sorted by category (but you can search for applications too).

Figure 3: Repositories never looked so goodFigure 3: Repositories never looked so good

The developers have added a useful feature here, the ability to start an installed application from within Deepin itself (and pretty fast too). As a final thoughtful flourish, Deepin offers the user the facility to view all installed programmes and uninstall any of them.

Figure 4: Uninstalling software gets a screen all of its ownFigure 4: Uninstalling software gets a screen all of its own

And if that wasn't enough, you can skin Deepin too. Just click on the four-square box (top right) and beautify it.

Figure 5: Theming is just two clicks awayFigure 5: Theming is just two clicks away

Beauty is skin Deep(in) after all. See what I did there?

Deepin can never replace the power and granularity of Synaptic or apt-get on the command line but as a showcase for newbies I don't think it can be beaten. After using it, no-one can ever say installing software on a distro like Debian/Ubuntu is difficult. No more excuses.

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Gary Richmond's picture

Biography

A retired but passionate user of free and open source for nearly ten years, novice Python programmer, Ubuntu user, musical wanabee when "playing" piano and guitar. When not torturing musical instruments, rumoured to be translating Vogon poetry into Swahili.