Ubuntu MATE maintainer creates nifty tool to help install third-party Deb packages

Responsible for Ubuntu MATE, Martin Wimpress, has another fun project for Linux users.

In case you didn’t know, Martin regularly develops something interesting. Last year we covered Quickemuwhich helps to create virtual machines in Linux through a GUI tool based on QEMU, which makes the process easier.

Now he’s back with an interesting “deb get“tool that aims to mimic the functionality of”apt get” for third-party .deb packages.

Let’s take a closer look.

Deb Get: Seamlessly install third-party Deb packages using the CLI

For software packages that are not available in official repositories (like Google Chrome, Vivaldi), you will need to add a PPA (unofficial/official) or download the .deb file and install it manually.

What if you could just install it using the terminal as if it were available in the official repositories?

This is where the deb-get tool comes in.

Typically, when installing a package through the terminal, you use one of the following commands:

sudo apt install packagename


sudo apt-get install packagename

You keep the same format and just replace apt-get with this tool, which should look like this:

sudo deb-get install packagename

For example, usually we needed to add the PPA or upload the deb file when install Vivaldi on Linux.

Now if you configure the deb-get tool on your system (configuration instructions at the end of this article), you can easily install Vivaldi using the following command:

sudo deb-get install vivaldi-stable

And, just like the apt-get upgrade process, you can upgrade packages using the following command:

sudo deb-get upgrade

To note: While this makes it easier to install third-party .deb packages, you’ll be limited to a verified list supported by the tool. You can expect the list of supported packages to grow soon, but it already supports many essential applications.

You can also view the list of available packages that you can install with deb-get using the following command:

sudo deb-get list

Configuring Deb-Get on Ubuntu-Based Distributions

The deb-get tool works with Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (I tested it) and should work with other Ubuntu-based distributions.

You can install it on your system using the command below:

sudo apt install curl && curl -sL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wimpysworld/deb-get/main/deb-get | sudo -E bash -s install deb-get

Or, you can manually download the corresponding deb package from its GitHub releases section.

To learn more about it and the commands/features available, you can head to its GitHub page.

What do you think of deb-get’s attempt to mimic apt-get functionality for third-party packages? Do you think it’s useful? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Steven L. Nielsen