How to Install and Remove a Deb Package via the Command Line in Ubuntu

More often than not, I find it easier to install packages via the command line instead of heading through graphical downloaders/installer; also, if you wish to script the setup of your machine, it makes sense to grab and install deb files using the command line directly.

Here’s how you can install .deb packages with ease.

I’m going to show you how I installed Google Chrome onto my test Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) instance, from download to fully installed in 2 commands.

Installing a .deb Package using the Command Line

First, let’s download Google Chrome’s .deb package:

[email protected]:~$ wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb -P /tmp/
--2018-08-03 14:28:35--  https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
Resolving dl.google.com (dl.google.com)... 216.58.213.78, 2a00:1450:4009:80e::200e
Connecting to dl.google.com (dl.google.com)|216.58.213.78|:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 54076744 (52M) [application/x-debian-package]
Saving to: ‘/tmp/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb’

google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb                      100%[========================================================================================================================================>]  51.57M  13.2MB/s    in 4.0s

2018-08-03 14:28:39 (12.9 MB/s) - ‘/tmp/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb’ saved [54076744/54076744]

Now we’ve downloaded the Google Chrome .deb package and placed it under /tmp temporarily, let’s go ahead and use dpkg to install it:

[email protected]:~$ sudo dpkg -i /tmp/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
Selecting previously unselected package google-chrome-stable.
(Reading database ... 128894 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking google-chrome-stable (68.0.3440.84-1) ...
Setting up google-chrome-stable (68.0.3440.84-1) ...
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 (2.8.3-2) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.13.3-11ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.23-1ubuntu3) ...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.60ubuntu1) ...

And that’s it, we’re all done!

What if you change your mind though and decide you want to remove it?

Removing a .deb Package using the Command Line

First confirm the name of the package, as it won’t be the same as the .deb packages file name that we used to install it.

You can list all installed packages using the following:

[email protected]:~$ sudo dpkg -l
Desired=Unknown/Install/Remove/Purge/Hold
| Status=Not/Inst/Conf-files/Unpacked/halF-conf/Half-inst/trig-aWait/Trig-pend
|/ Err?=(none)/Reinst-required (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name                                                  Version                         Architecture                    Description
+++-=====================================================-===============================-===============================-===============================================================================================================
ii  accountsservice                                       0.6.45-1ubuntu1                 amd64                           query and manipulate user account information
ii  acl                                                   2.2.52-3build1                  amd64                           Access control list utilities
ii  acpi-support                                          0.142                           amd64                           scripts for handling many ACPI events
ii  acpid                                                 1:2.0.28-1ubuntu1               amd64                           Advanced Configuration and Power Interface event daemon
ii  adduser                                               3.116ubuntu1                    all                             add and remove users and groups
ii  adium-theme-ubuntu                                    0.3.4-0ubuntu4                  all                             Adium message style for Ubuntu
...
...
...
ii  google-chrome-stable                                  68.0.3440.84-1                  amd64                           The web browser from Google
...

Hint: Pipe command output into grep to save searching through a huge list!

Now we know the package name is “google-chrome-stable“, you can go ahead and remove it:

[email protected]:~$ sudo dpkg -r google-chrome-stable
(Reading database ... 129000 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing google-chrome-stable (68.0.3440.84-1) ...
update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/firefox to provide /usr/bin/x-www-browser (x-www-browser) in auto mode
update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/firefox to provide /usr/bin/gnome-www-browser (gnome-www-browser) in auto mode
Processing triggers for man-db (2.8.3-2) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.13.3-11ubuntu1) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.23-1ubuntu3) ...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.60ubuntu1) ...

That’s it, now you’re able to install, list, and remove .deb packages from your Ubuntu system!

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