If you’re running a Debian-based Linux system, I suggest you keep gdebi in mind.
While Debian has a humungous collection of packages that runs into tens of thousands, there are occasions when a particular software you want might not be part of the default distribution.
Under such circumstances what do you do?
You either fuggedaboudit or you download the program to your computer and install it via dpkg -i, all the while praying for a miracle that you won’t run into dependency issues with your local.deb package.
$ sudo apt-get update $ sudo dpkg -i local.deb
But if you run into dependency issues with the program, you are back to square one because the dpkg command does not address dependency problems of your local.deb package.
A better option to install local.deb packages without worrying about dependency issues is to use gdebi.
An extremely useful tool, gdebi allows you to install local.deb packages without worrying about resolving and installing the necessary dependencies.
Since gdebi is not installed by default with most distributions including LinuxMint 17, you’ll have to install it on your own.
How to Install gdebi
Installing gdebi is child’s play if you know how to type. 😉
Look how simple it is:
$ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install gdebi
On distros like LinuxMint, you have the option to install gdebi via the Software Manager.
Once you have gdebi installed, it’s no sweat.
You need to be root in order to run the gdebi command to install a package.
$ sudo apt-get update $ sudo gdebi local.deb
Let me illustrate with an installation that uses gdebi.
Given all the security issues surrounding Flash, I wanted to install Google’s Chrome browser and I decided to do so via gdebi.
michael@linux-guru ~/Downloads $ sudo gdebi google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb [sudo] password for michael: Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done Building data structures... Done Building data structures... Done Requires the installation of the following packages: libcurl3 The web browser from Google Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier. Do you want to install the software package? [y/N]:y Get:1 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty-updates/main libcurl3 amd64 7.35.0-1ubuntu2.3 [172 kB] Fetched 172 kB in 0s (0 B/s) Selecting previously unselected package libcurl3:amd64. (Reading database ... 162871 files and directories currently installed.) Preparing to unpack .../libcurl3_7.35.0-1ubuntu2.3_amd64.deb ... Unpacking libcurl3:amd64 (7.35.0-1ubuntu2.3) ... Setting up libcurl3:amd64 (7.35.0-1ubuntu2.3) ... Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.19-0ubuntu6.5) ... Selecting previously unselected package google-chrome-stable. (Reading database ... 162874 files and directories currently installed.) Preparing to unpack google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb ... Unpacking google-chrome-stable (40.0.2214.111-1) ... Setting up google-chrome-stable (40.0.2214.111-1) ... update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/google-chrome-stable to provide /usr/bin/x-www-browser (x-www-browser) in auto mode update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/google-chrome-stable to provide /usr/bin/gnome-www-browser (gnome-www-browser) in auto mode update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/google-chrome-stable to provide /usr/bin/google-chrome (google-chrome) in auto mode Processing triggers for man-db (126.96.36.199-1ubuntu1) ... Processing triggers for mime-support (3.54ubuntu1.1) ... Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.10.1-0ubuntu2) ... Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.22-1ubuntu1) ... michael@linux-guru ~/Downloads $
By virtue of addressing the bugbear of dependency hell, gdebi has become a must have tool in the arsenal of Linux gurus.