Install Applications

From antiX Linux fan

antiX Linux, like most Linux based distributions, has access to a repository which stores the most basic form of a software, named "packages".

A repository is a collection of software packages for a Linux distribution. antiX is based in Debian, so it uses the Debian repositories and it’s own antiX repository.

A package is a type of archive containing computer programs and additional metadata which are read by a package manager. The package manager reads the instructions and information contained in the packages to perform different operation (like installing and removing). Most packages require other packages (named dependencies) for them to properly work.

In Debian, software is packaged in a .deb file format, and can be easily installed by using the package manager. Most of the software a user may need will be packaged and accessible from the repository but, depending on the user's needs, they may need to find other sources for the software the want on their system.

Some of the different ways to access and install software in antiX Linux are described in this article.

Package Installer[edit | edit source]

All gui flavors of antiX Linux come with a Package Installer already available. It is similar to a small “antiX app store”, where any user will find a list of over a hundred of the most installed software applications, divided into categories. It is fully searchable and is generally updated every few month to add new selections requested by the community.

The most used browsers (like Firefox, Google Chrome or Opera), office suites, the most used Video and Audio players (VLC, mplayer or Spotify), email clients (Mozilla Thunderbird), Window managers and software from other categories can be easily installed and uninstalled using the Package Installer. It allows the user to install the latest versions of some software, that are not available in the Repository like LibreOffice and Gimp.

It can be launched from the antiX Control Centre (System section), called using App Select or launched from the menu (Applications > System > Package Installer)

Synaptic package manager[edit | edit source]

Synaptic package manager is a very powerful application that allows you to install and manage any software application available from the Debian repositories. You can search for any package indexed by APT, from any of the sources added to the system.

Synaptic is included in the Full edition of antiX Linux, and if installed, can be launched from the Control Centre (System section, under the name "Package Manager"), or from the menu (Applications > System > Synaptic Package Manager).

cli-aptiX[edit | edit source]

Included in all of antiX Linux' editions, cli-aptiX is a command line wrapper around the basic "APT" commands.[1] It shares with the Package Installer the idea of easily presenting a selection of popular programs, both graphical and terminal based programs.

Its also present an easy way to search for antiX specially built Linux kernels, and install them (with their headers).

cli-aptiX can be launched from the Control Centre (when Synapticis not installed, from the System section, under the name "Package Manager"), from the menu (Applications > antiX > CLI APT-based Package Manager), or directly from terminal.

sudo cli-aptiX

Manual installation of .deb packages[edit | edit source]

Some packages are not available to download directly from the repos (or newer versions of a program has been packaged elsewhere), so there is also the posibility of downloading .deb packages and wanting to install them on the system.

GDebi[edit | edit source]

GDebi is an APT tool that can install a local .deb file the same way a dpkg command would, but with access to repositories to resolve dependencies.

With Gdebi, installing .deb packages in a graphical environment is easy. With your file manager, move to the directory that hosts the .deb package you want to install, right-click it and Open the .deb file with GDebi. Then click install and it will try to figure out what dependencies it needs to download for the package to work and do it for you.

dpkg command[edit | edit source]

Using dpkg command will only install the package to your system. You will then need to fix the dependencies needed for the package to work.

sudo dpkg -i /path/to/deb-file.deb

apt install local packages[edit | edit source]

This is the preferred way to install local packages in antiX, as it will update the Applications menu automatically and add the new program there (to the corresponding category). It will also automatically check for the needed dependencies and install them for you.

sudo apt install /path/to/debfile.deb

Universal Linux Software Deployment[edit | edit source]

In recent years, applications have been packaged in a new format that makes it possible to install on any linux platform, independend of the package manager that distribbution uses. This has eased the deployment of software, wich use to be released as sourcecode for other to compile and package for each platform and distribution, but that now can be distributed in the same package to any distribution on the same hardware platform.

Some run in a sandbox environment, like Snaps or Flatpak, and others, like Appimage, are built in a portable fasion, so they can be run on any distribution, which no longer require the necesery dependencies (those are included inside the portable package).

Appimages[edit | edit source]

The Appimage format is a “universal” application format". This means it’s meant to run in almost any Linux system.

Simply download the file, make it executable and run it (example: Open SpaceFm, navigate to where your Appimage is, right click it – Properties – Permissions – Make sure that the executable field is checked. You only have to do this once. Then every time you want to run the application simply right click it choose the option to run it). No installation needed!

There are on-line Appimages application stores – this makes it easy to search for what you want. they have descriptions of the applications and usually a screenshot.

Good places to find Appimage applications: (it has almost 1000 applications at this time) (it has almost 700 applications at this time)

Some software applications “vendors”, like the LibreOffice webpage, offer Appimage versions of their applications directly.

Flatpacks[edit | edit source]

It’s another universal application format.

First you need to install the flatpak application itself, then you can install applications packaged in flatpak format. If you download a flatpak file for the application you want, it’s a tiny file. You then can run flatpak to install it – it connects to the server and downloads the needed files.

There are some on-line flatpak “application stores” too.

Where to find flatpak applications:

Windows Applications[edit | edit source]

Windows software does not run in Linux but, you can try using a compatibly layer to try to run it – it’s called WINE, and it’s a handy application to always have installed. There are thousands of windows applications that run in Wine, some even faster than they run in Windows itself!

  1. install WINE ( Menu- Control Centre – system tab – Package installer – Misc- Wine )
  2. Configure WINE
  3. Open a file browser (SpaceFM, for example) navigate to where you have your Win program/installer is saved. Right click the .exe file you want to run, select the option to open it with WINE.

A more compatible, but slower option to legally run windows applications, is downloading a free MS Windows virtual machine and using it to run that particular option in antiX. This takes a lot of storage space and is slow. Low powered computers probably can’t even run a MS Windows virtual machine due to CPU and RAM constraints.

Compiling from source[edit | edit source]

Sometimes, the program you may be looking for is not available in any of the previous methods or formats. For these cases, you need to compile the program from source yourself.

Each program will require different steps and dependencies for them to be built and installed, so no general instruction can be provided.

Online applications[edit | edit source]

You can use any Google service, Youtube, LYBR, Microsoft Office 365 on-line, Netflix, etc. It’s one of the of the benefits of having Web standards (you may need to run the web application in a particular browser, like for example- the browser needs to support DRM to enable some video streaming, like Netflix and HBO)…

Running Video games and other non Linux apps[edit | edit source]

Play Windows Steam Games[edit | edit source]

Last time I checked there were nearly 12000 games available in STEAM that run in Linux (over 80% of the top 100% games run in Linux). Activate Proton in your Steam client and just install any compatible game!

Cons: If your computer is so low powered that you choose to install antiX to make it usable, there aren’t many Steam games that can run comfortably in your system. If you have a new(ish) computer, you’re probably ok.

Run old DOS applications[edit | edit source]

They run out of the box in antiX- DosBox has that covered- if you don’t know to use it, search on-line for help… It’s pretty intuitive... Basically, use your file manager to navigate to where you DOS application is. Right click the .exe file you want to run and select to launch it with Dosbox!

Emulators[edit | edit source]

On antiX you can play, for example PlayStation 2 disks using a emulator. There’s also a free Windows 95 emulator for Linux (with dubious legal status).

Applications that DO NOT RUN in antiX[edit | edit source]

  • Generally speaking Windows applications or applications made for other OS’s (like MacOS, android, etc). A different subject is applications that have cross platform versions (i.e. have different versions, available for Windows and Linux – like Google Chrome/Chromium, LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird and VLC )
  • Applications packaged in a package format other than “.deb” or any universal application file format (there are more than appimage and flatpak)
  • Snaps are unable to be installed in antiX because they depend on systemd, that is not present in antiX (you may run MX-Linux and choose to use systemd at the boot process for these applications).

Searching and finding Linux applications[edit | edit source]

There are many websites that you can use to search for Linux applications, for example:

It has many Appimages available, it offers a Appimage of the store web application, very handy to use.

Also App Outlet has a Appimage “Store” available, that shows Appimage and flatpak applications, that you can then download to your computer and use.

See also[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]