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Old 08-23-2018, 06:46 PM   #1
Mulsimine
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Question Basic Question About Installing Software


I'm using Debian. There has been some software that I wanted to install that was not available in Synaptic Package Manager. Is there any downside to installing software outside of the package manager? Currently I'm using GDebi to install .deb files and it works fine. But I'm wondering if there are any drawbacks. My primary concern is that uninstalling software may not be as easy or as thorough as Synaptic's Complete Removal option, if I install software without using Synaptic.

Last edited by Mulsimine; 08-23-2018 at 07:09 PM. Reason: simplified question
 
Old 08-23-2018, 07:52 PM   #2
jefro
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Yes, software has two parts that may be lost in out of package manager install. One is version and other is dependencies.

I'd guess almost everyone has used an out of manager software and it may not be easy to fully remove to a novice. Some things just get left an nothing happens. Sometimes you try to update and the normal apt tool will complain about broken packages.


What is the program?
 
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:58 PM   #3
frankbell
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Quote:
My primary concern is that uninstalling software may not be as easy or as thorough as Synaptic's Complete Removal option, if I install software without using Synaptic.
If it's a *.deb package that the Debian repos do not contain (it there is any such package!) and which was installed with gdebi, managing it is quite straightforward. Indeed, though I haven't needed to test this, I think it will show for removal in Synaptic. (If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will correct me.) This link from Ubuntu may help: https://askubuntu.com/questions/2220...-a-deb-package

If you compile from sources and retain the sources, you can use the "make uninstall" command to remove the package. Compiling from sources is fairly straightforward, except that you will have to manually locate and install any dependencies, which can range from tedious to annoying.
 
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Old 08-24-2018, 02:12 AM   #4
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulsimine View Post
Currently I'm using GDebi to install .deb files and it works fine.
i think that's a good choice.
 
Old 08-24-2018, 03:51 AM   #5
hydrurga
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Just a wee note that when you say that a package is "not available in Synaptic Package Manager", it is probably better to think of it as being that a package is not available in the repositories, since that is a more accurate description of the situation.

The only drawback to manually installing a deb package rather than installing it from the repositories that I have found is that the manually installed package will not be updated when you run an update on your system. You therefore have to keep an eye out for any updates to that package through some other means (I have written a Python program to check all my non-repository software for updates, but it can be done simply by checking the software's website from time to time). In saying that, some manually-installed deb packages such as that provided by Google Chrome automatically add a repository to your software sources as part of the manual .deb installation.

Naturally, you also have to be more judicious and careful in installing debs from non-repository sources.
 
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Old 08-24-2018, 05:03 AM   #6
Mulsimine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
Sometimes you try to update and the normal apt tool will complain about broken packages.
The broken packages errors are possible to fix though, right? Not a reason to avoid non-repository packages outright?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
What is the program?
It is a closed source program for my VPN; ExpressVPN. They offer a .deb file on their website that does not appear in Synaptic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
If it's a *.deb package... which was installed with gdebi... I think it will show for removal in Synaptic.
Yes I can confirm this. I installed ExpressVPN earlier tonight from a deb package and it now shows up in Synaptic. But it did not prior to installing the .deb file manually. Awesome

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
If you compile from sources and retain the sources, you can use the "make uninstall" command to remove the package.
I have not compiled anything from source yet, but that is cool and very helpful information. Thank you frankbell .

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrurga View Post
The only drawback to manually installing a deb package rather than installing it from the repositories that I have found is that the manually installed package will not be updated when you run an update on your system.
What do you mean by a system update? Like when I update to the next major stable release of Debian? I'm using Debian 9.5 Stretch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrurga View Post
You therefore have to keep an eye out for any updates to that package through some other means... but it can be done simply by checking the software's website from time to time.
Good advice and just like most of my Windows programs .

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrurga View Post
Naturally, you also have to be more judicious and careful in installing debs from non-repository sources.
Is the fear here that I might install something malicious?
 
Old 08-24-2018, 05:13 AM   #7
hydrurga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulsimine View Post
What do you mean by a system update? Like when I update to the next major stable release of Debian? I'm using Debian 9.5 Stretch.
No, when you check your installed packages for updated versions in the repositories, either by using apt update followed by apt upgrade on the command line or through a GUI application (using the distro's Update Manager program, Synaptic etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulsimine View Post
Is the fear here that I might install something malicious?
Yes. It shouldn't be a fear though. You just have to use common sense.
 
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