Introduction to Ubuntu Software Center: Page 2

Find out where the Ubuntu Software Center came from, how it works and what alternatives are available.


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Troubleshoot Ubuntu Errors Using Software Center

One of the greatest advantages to using the Ubuntu Software Center is being able to narrow down your recent system updates by date in a GUI. For example, if I were experiencing kernel-related bugs and I didn't recall exactly when I updated my kernel last, the Software Center could help.

To see exactly which updates you installed recently, simply follow this guide:

  • With the Ubuntu Software Center open, click on "history" located at the top of the window.
  • Browse to the latest date indicated and continue working backwards until you notice something which stands out. In my example above, we'd be looking for kernel updates.
  • Once the update you're looking for has been located, you can make a note of it and decided whether or not you wish to use Synaptic or APT to downgrade the problem package update. Sadly, the software center isn't very useful for making package downgrades.

Ubuntu Software Center Alternatives

Finding alternatives that are as flexible as the Ubuntu Software Center and that work smoothly with Ubuntu is actually quite doable. The key is to remember that there are a multitude of ways to install software on today's modern Linux distributions.

Synaptic – Without question, this is my go-to alternative for package management on Ubuntu. Installable from the Ubuntu Software Center, you'll find that what Synaptic lacks in software discovery, it makes up for in control.

Linux Deepin's Software Center – This is a very attractive alternative to the Ubuntu Software Center. I'd even say it's more functional to use from a navigation point of view.

APT – Available anytime you like from your terminal window, APT allows you to search, install, uninstall or simply update the software packages you already have.

Final Thoughts

The Ubuntu Software Center has been a big hit with Ubuntu users across the globe, but to be honest, it's not really that exciting for those trying to sell their software. As this recent article points out, the sales numbers for applications available in the software center is pretty disappointing.

While it's difficult to point to a direct root cause, I think it's safe to say that the number of Ubuntu users out there isn't the issue for the lackluster sales numbers. After all, Valve's release of Steam and Openshot's funding success have shown both both the money and interested users are out there. I think the problem is that the Ubuntu Software Center is presenting unknown paid applications that aren't resonating with the users.

I recommend a serious outreach to established non-game software vendors. Yes, games are great, but the bulk of the paid non-gaming applications on Ubuntu are pretty unimpressive. Think I'm wrong? Okay then, how many Ubuntu applications have you purchased? Exactly, I haven't purchased any either. And considering the front-page featured applications offered in the Ubuntu Software Center include stuff like a basic DVD player, it seems to me that there is a painful lack of anything exciting being offered. That, or the Ubuntu developers need to rethink the titles they're featuring.

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Tags: open source, Linux, software, Ubuntu, applications, Canonical

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