this is my first time using linux. I bought a used lenovo laptop, and since I only need it for my studies I figured Elementary OS would be faster and prettier. It is both of these things, but I did run in some problems a quick google search couldn't resolve, and I'd appreciate the help

First of, the appcenter. Yes I know there are already some solutions online but none worked for me. Things I tried:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt-get --purge remove appcenter
sudo apt install appcenter
sudo apt update -y

In the end I just searched the net for names of the apps I needed and installed the using apt install. however some did install but didn't show up in the Applications on the top left corner, even though the installation was succesfull, with a progress bar and everything.

After that I downloaded the files from the respective websites, but I have no clue how to install *.tar.xz and *.tar.bz files, I did download Gdebi and Synapse, yet no progress.

The programs I still can't install are tor browser, skype and FANcon. I don't really need the appcenter but I'd like to know how to install the last two programs

Regards, Wolf

EDIT: I installes the gnome-software appcenter, this one works fine. Would've been nice to get the native one working, oh well

2 Answers 2


Not all apps for Linux that exist out there are in Elementary's AppCenter. Only a subset of those hand-picked by the Elementary team.

That said most of the apps you see that are packaged for Ubuntu 14.04+ will work on Elementary. So you want to snatch the .deb file and then on the terminal do (example for skype alpha):

sudo dpkg --install path/to/skypeforlinux-64-alpha.deb
sudo apt install -f

In the future you might want to use ppa's instead, just so you always have the latest stable release installed. But that's a topic for another lesson, further down the road. ;)

  • Thanks, I'm getting the hang of it now, the default appcenter doesn't show my installed apps either, so it's broken and I replaced it with gnome appcenter. Idk what a ppa is but I have a feeling I'll find out soon enough :) cheers mate Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 12:56
  • Cool, keep a curious mind!
    – Fred Rocha
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 18:14
  • @FredRocha Sorry for a delayed prompt, but I feel like it's a bad idea to specify anything for Ubuntu 14.04+ when in reality, that's highly unlikely to be the case in just a few months time. Would recommend rewording it somehow to say that anything for the latest Ubuntu will work, since it looks like elementary will be updated accordingly.
    – XtrmJosh
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 1:01

There is no way to "install" a tar.gz file or tar.bz file - these files are simply compressed archives (the equivalent of a .zip file on Windows). What I normally do with these is run tar xvf file.tar.gz and a new directory exists with all the contents of the zip file. I'll then sudo mv folder /opt/ to move the contents to the /opt/ directory. Once it's there, I'll take a look inside and find either a shell script which launches the app such as start.sh or the main binary file (in the example of Skype, there is one named skype. It helps to look inside a bin folder, if one exists. Once you've done this, you can add a .desktop file which will add it to the application launcher by running sudo touch /usr/share/applications/program.desktop and using the instructions on the Ubuntu website.

Regarding other applications, you can use apt-cache search appname in the terminal to try find applications in the Ubuntu repositories.

This method can be a bit long and winded, sorry about that, but it works reliably and it offers a much wider array of software than the software center itself does.

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