Installing Software from the KDE System Settings Menu

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Think "installing software in distros like Debian and Ubuntu", and you think automatically of Synaptic, apt-get on the command line or the new kid on the block, Unbuntu Software Centre. Sometimes, you just overlook the obvious. Did you know that you can also install and remove software using the KDE System Settings Menu? Thought not. Me neither, until I accidentally stumbled upon it--and I wasn't even in the KDE desktop at the time. I was using the LXDE desktop when I spotted it in the Preferences section of the Start menu. Curious? Me too. Let's take a look.

Like the Systems Menu in Gnome, there are a lot of configuration options in the KDE version. The option we want is nestling in the System Administration section and, funnily enough, it's called Software Management.

Figure 1: It's not hard to findFigure 1: It's not hard to find

Select it and a fresh, clean and uncluttered interface opens up.

Figure 2: Clutter free and easy to navigateFigure 2: Clutter free and easy to navigate

It doesn't have the granularity of Synaptic or the visual appeal of USC or Deepin but it's fast and tolerably well specced. Click on the wrench icon (top right hand corner) and you can view the history of software installed and removed. Or, select Settings, click on Edit Origins and you will be prompted for your root password and you'll recognize the tabs for repository control from Gnome's Synaptic.

Figure 3: KDE's answer to Synaptic's tabs for controlling repositoriesFigure 3: KDE's answer to Synaptic's tabs for controlling repositories

Except for one tab clearly dedicated to Kubuntu software repositories. Select the Updates tab too and you'll see that it splits into specific Kubuntu and Automatic updates.

Figure 4: KDE biased as you might expectFigure 4: KDE biased as you might expect

One nice feature is that you can filter software to distinguish between installed, avaialable, free or non free, a good idea for the casual browser.

Figure 5: Filtering makes browsing easier and fasterFigure 5: Filtering makes browsing easier and faster

One final feature worth noting is the ability to browse and install updates from a dedicated icon on the default screen.

Figure 6: Access updates with one clickFigure 6: Access updates with one click

Once selected, all available updates will display with the choice to install individuals updates or do a batch install by checking the appropriate box. The Apply button will now ungrey. Click on it to run.

Figure 7: Check this box and applyFigure 7: Check this box and apply

Simple, fast and intuitive. A perfectly good shoe in for the usual package managers.


Author information

Gary Richmond's picture


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.