I have a deb package for installation.

Shall I install by dpkg -i my.deb, or by apt?

Will both handle the software dependency problem well?

If by apt, how can I install from the deb by apt?

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9 Answers9


When you use apt to install a package, under the hood it uses dpkg. When you install a package using apt, it first creates a list of all the dependencies and downloads it from the repository.

Once the download is finished it calls dpkg to install all those files, satisfying all the dependencies.

So if you have a .deb file, you can install it by:

  1. Using:

    sudo dpkg -i /path/to/deb/file
    sudo apt-get install -f
  2. Using:

    sudo apt install ./name.deb


    sudo apt install /path/to/package/name.deb

With old apt-get versions you must first move your deb file to /var/cache/apt/archives/ directory. For both, after executing this command, it will automatically download its dependencies.

  1. First installing gdebi and then opening your .deb file using it (Right-click -> Open with). It will install your .deb package with all its dependencies.

Note: APT maintains the package index which is a database (/var/cache/apt/*.bin) of available packages available in repo defined in /etc/apt/sources.list file and in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory. All these methods will fail to satisfy the software dependency if the dependencies required by the deb is not present in the package index.

Why use sudo apt-get install -f after sudo dpkg -i /path/to/deb/file (as mentioned in method 1)?

From man apt-get:

 -f, --fix-broken
           Fix; attempt to correct a system with broken dependencies in place.

When dpkg installs a package and a package dependency is not satisfied, it leaves the package in an "unconfigured" state and that package is considered broken.

The sudo apt-get install -f command tries to fix this broken package by installing the missing dependency.

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  • Thanks. How can I make "the .deb package present in the apt package list"? – Tim May 06 '15 at 13:26
  • Sorry @Tim, I didn't understand what you are asking. Pls add bit more detail in your comment. – g_p May 06 '15 at 15:17
  • http://askubuntu.com/questions/620056/install-a-package-moved-to-var-cache-apt-archives-manually/620059#comment876271_620059 – Tim May 06 '15 at 15:24
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    @Tim, apt-get is designed to install packages from repository. It maintains packages list as well as their respective repository address. So just moving a .dev file, which is not present in the apt package list, in /var/cache/apt/archives directory will not work. Because whenever you try to install this package using apt-get, it searches for its repository, which is not present. For this you have to create local repository which I think is useless. – g_p May 06 '15 at 15:41
  • Hello thank you for your answer - "You can install it using sudo dpkg -i /path/to/deb/file followed by sudo apt-get install -f" --> is this with two separate commands, or is it all on the same line? I was a litttle confused. – BenKoshy Jan 28 '16 at 22:04
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    @g_p thank you! im a little confused in your answer above. you write: "(it will work if the .deb package is present in the apt package list)" - I do not understand what is meant here. How can one ensure that the .deb package is present in the apt package list? – BenKoshy Jan 28 '16 at 22:16
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    @BKSpurgeon, I have added bit information in my answer. To find-out if a package is present in the index or not run `apt-cache search `. You can also use `apt-cache policy `, which will give some additional information as well. – g_p Jan 29 '16 at 15:10
  • Well, nowadays, you can right click and open the .deb file with Ubuntu Software Center too. That installs it for you. Dunno about the advantages and disadvantages of doing this though. – John Red Sep 21 '16 at 04:32
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    Will these methods still perform the signature checking usually performed by apt? Or is it possible for a tampered-with .deb file to be installed this way? – Boann Oct 11 '16 at 04:07
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    I'd like to point out as well for gamers in here that this is how you install discord. – Callat Apr 13 '17 at 22:39
  • Why `sudo dpkg -i /path/to/deb/file` is followed by `sudo apt-get install -f`? – Tim Apr 24 '17 at 03:19
  • @Tim,updated the answer. – g_p May 31 '17 at 17:20
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    Modern apt-get can be uset to install a package simply with `apt-get install /path/to/package/name.deb`. It would be neat if the author of this answer decided to integrate that. If not, I'll go add that answer sometime when I have enough rep here – Sam Hartman May 31 '17 at 19:10
  • Anyone able to get the /var/cache/apt/archives/ method to work. I like it however it doesn't work for me when I move the deb in update and then try to install the package. – eatingthenight Jun 20 '17 at 00:45
  • @mschuett please post your query as new question and give the relevant information. – g_p Jun 24 '17 at 09:00
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    Thanks for adding the comment about what `apt-get install -f` does. Thorough answer! – Mathias Sep 15 '17 at 17:44
  • I come to this answer once a month. For some reason I can not remember this ... :\ – Mathias Nov 09 '17 at 18:51
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    I came to this again because I got `Unable to locate package`. I used as in Windows just name of package after switching to `archive` folder. Forgot `./` for Unix... – Alexei Martianov May 28 '18 at 04:14
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    FYI, the ability to run `apt install foo.deb` was added in [apt 1.1](https://salsa.debian.org/apt-team/apt/blob/e02297b8e22dae04872fe6fab6dba966de65dbba/debian/changelog#L2410). – Sam Morris Sep 24 '18 at 13:30
  • Doesn't work for me: sudo dpkg -i libstdc++6_8-20180414-1ubuntu2_amd64.deb dpkg: warning: downgrading libstdc++6:amd64 from 8.2.0-1ubuntu2~18.04 to 8-20180414-1ubuntu2 dpkg: unrecoverable fatal error, aborting: files list file for package 'linux-modules-4.15.0-1027-aws' is missing final newline sudo apt install libstdc++6_8-20180414-1ubuntu2_amd64.deb apt: error while loading shared libraries: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6: invalid ELF header – mvladk Jan 31 '19 at 08:20
  • Everyone above is writing `/path/to/package/name.deb` . But what is that path? How to find it? – Agent Zebra Mar 11 '19 at 18:26
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    @AgentZebra if you download the `.deb` to your `~/Downloads` folder, just `cd ~/Downloads` then the path is just "." (here); e.g, `sudo apt install ./install-me.deb` , or if you prefer, `sudo apt install ~/Downloads/install-me.deb` – michael May 13 '19 at 03:19
  • `sudo apt-get install -f /path/to/.deb` worked for me – Tinkaal Gogoi Jul 05 '19 at 10:03
  • 1. worked for me to install teamviewer on Ubuntu 16.04. Appreciate it – Galapagos Jan 06 '20 at 05:51
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    You might need to use `sudo dpkg --force-depends -i /path/to/package.deb` – billyjmc Mar 05 '20 at 14:38
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    The `sudo apt install ./foo.deb ` way I always get _Note, selecting 'on_repo_foo' instead of './foo.deb'_. `dpkg -i` seems the only way to force the installation of the .deb. – Pablo A Jan 15 '21 at 07:27
  • "Note: APT maintains the package index which is a database of available packages" Where dir. is it ? –  Jul 06 '21 at 16:56
  • @cantiknonokmu `/var/cache/apt/*.bin` – g_p Jul 08 '21 at 06:42
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    On modern distros you can also use apt-get install ./package.rpm. The key thing is to use an absolute path, or start it with a ./ – Spacen Jasset Sep 20 '21 at 15:12

Install your foo.deb file with dpkg -i foo.deb. If there are some errors with unresolved dependencies, run apt-get install -f afterwards.

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  • I got `Unable to locate package` trying this way and got puzzled. I used as in Windows just name of package after switching to archive folder. Should be `./` for Unix if in current folder or full path. That is if `deb` is not in folder present in `PATH`. – Alexei Martianov May 28 '18 at 04:18
  • For scripting, use `apt update && dpkg -i foo.deb || apt install -f -y` to make sure that `foo.deb` is not removed by `apt install -y`. – jpsecher Oct 23 '19 at 13:38

You can install a local .deb package by:

sudo apt install ./foo.deb

Make sure to specify a local relative or absolute path (./ if in current dir), otherwise it will look for foo.deb in the remote repos and fail.

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Here's the best way to install a .deb file on Ubuntu on the command-line:

sudo gdebi skype.deb

If you don't have gdebi installed already, install it using sudo apt install gdebi-core.

Why gdebi?

gdebi will look for all the dependencies of the .deb file, and will install them before attempting to install the .deb file. I find this much preferable than sudo dpkg -i skype.deb && sudo apt install -f. The latter is much too eager to remove dependencies in certain situations. For instance, when I tried to install Skype, it attempted to remove 96 (!) packages, including packages like compiz and unity! gdebi gave a much clearer error message:

 $ sudo gdebi skype.deb
 Cannot install 'libqtgui:i386'

(Here is the solution to that particular issue, by the way.)

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  • worked great thx! btw, could be that the attempt to remove were about that transitional/temporary packages? or you think it would really break the system? – Aquarius Power Jul 02 '17 at 17:40
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    Dude I ran into an issue with your solution. I was trying to install Rstudio. It automatically found an old version of R for me. While using the solution by @g_p I was able to install Rstudio only. – Code42 Jan 19 '19 at 00:34

Check the dependencies with dpkg -I my.deb and apt-get install the dependencies before dpkg -i my.deb.

May be you can copy the my.deb in /var/cache/apt/archives and install it directly with apt-get but I never tried. Doesn't work, apt-get and dpkg are looking for packages listed in archives.

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  • Thanks. in your first sentenct, do you mean `apt-get install my.deb` by `apt-get install`? Is it to install from the deb file? Why do we need `dpkg -i my.deb` after that? – Tim Oct 03 '14 at 16:04
  • I always installed local `.deb`s with `dpkg -i`, my understanding is that `apt` doesn't have an option to install them, apart the directory in `/var/cache/...` where are downloaded (I may be wrong) – Alex Oct 03 '14 at 16:08
  • It seems that `apt-get install ./my.deb` will do something, because it outputs a lot of things. What does it do? – Tim Oct 03 '14 at 16:11
  • It does too much :-) doesn't work, see @Igor_Dvoretskyi answer is just perfect, I forgot about `-f` – Alex Oct 03 '14 at 16:20

The simplest answer would be to use dpkg by running dpkg -i packagename.deb. You could then uninstall it by running dpkg -r packagename.deb.
apt-get is a higher level installer based off of dpkg, and as such you could apt-get install packagename.deb.
It would be beneficial for add it to your apt-get archives directory (/var/cache/apt/archives) so you could reference it as a package with dependencies and not a standalone .deb archive.
Also, by adding it to your apt-get archives directory, you have the opportunity to use dependencies with apt-get install packagename. This would let you install it with any manually added dependencies instead of dpkg's standalone archive-based system.

  • Note: if you want to use `apt-get install` with a local package file, you must install it in `/var/cache/apt/archives`, otherwise `apt-get` may decide to download it anyway. – Anthony Williams Jan 15 '20 at 11:58

Modern apt-get can be used to install a package simply with apt-get install /path/to/package/name.deb.

(should be done as edit to the top answer but it was rejected - see https://unix.stackexchange.com/posts/159114/edit)


The shortest way to install a local package with all required dependencies that worked for me:

sudo apt --fix-broken install ./name.deb

It is --fix-broken option that makes dependencies to be installed.

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It is very simple if I want to install Chrome.

Install your Chrome file as:

dpkg -i googlechrome.deb.

Sometimes there is a chance of getting some dependency errors like the following:

dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of google-chrome-stable:
google-chrome-stable depends on libappindicator1; however:
Package libappindicator1 is not installed.

So to resolve above issues, you need to add dependencies; give the following command:

apt-get install -f

After giving the above command, dependencies will be added to your machine and your Debian package (.deb) file will be installed.

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