Keep your Linux system up to date with KPackageKit - gHacks Tech News

Keep your Linux system up to date with KPackageKit

As you have most likely seen on Ghacks, there are numerous ways to keep your Linux distributions up to date. There are new systems available such as the Ubuntu Software Center (see my article "The new Ubuntu Software Center") that make installing software a piece of cake. But even with applications such as the USC in place, there is still a need for other systems.

Take, for instance, the USCs inability to install more than one package at a time...this is a big issue within the Linux community. Add to that the fact that there are many Linux users who prefer to stick with older, more proven technologies, and you can see why other installation tools remain.

One of those tools is PackageKit. PackageKit is a background service charged with updating and installing software on your computer. But because PackageKit itself is just a background service, it requires a front end so that end users can take advantage of the system. One very powerful front end is KPackageKit. KPackageKit is the KDE front end for PackageKit, whereas Gnome PackageKit is the GNOME front end (see my article "Installing applications in Linux with GNOME PackageKIT.")

One of the things I like about KPackageKIT, over the Ubuntu Software Center, is that it can not only install applications, it can update your already installed applications. But unlike USC or Synaptic, you will have to know the name of the software package in order to find it. KPackageKIT does not show all software available. Instead you start up the tool with a blank slate and search for what you want to install. You can search by:

  • Description.
  • File name.

But you can also apply various filters to your search. Included search filters are:

  • Collections.
  • Installed.
  • Development.
  • Graphical.
  • Free.

Let's take a look and see how software is installed with KPackageKIT.

Starting KPackageKIT

Figure 1
Figure 1

You can start the application two ways: Command line or from the menu. To start from the command line hit <Alt>F2 to open the run dialog and enter the command kpackagekit. To start the tool from the KDE menu click on the menu, click on the Computer tab, and then click on the KPackageKIT entry (see Figure 1).

When KPackageKIT starts what you will see is a fairly simple interface (see Figure 2). From this window you are able to:

  • Install software.
  • Update your system.
  • Configure KPakcageKIT.
Figure 2
Figure 2

Let's install the Scribus DTP tool as an example. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Select Software Management.
  2. Open up KPackageKIT and enter "scribus" (no quotes) in the search area.
  3. Click the downward-pointing arrows of the software(s) you want to install.
  4. Click Apply.
  5. When the new window appears, click Install Now.
  6. If dependencies are necessary, OK them.
  7. Enter your sudo (or root - depending upon your distribution) password.
  8. Wait for the installation to complete.
  9. Click OK to dismiss the window.

Updating your system with KPackageKIT is just as simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Open up KPackageKIT.
  2. Click on the Software Update section.
  3. If there are updates available, either select the updates you want to run or click the Select All Updates button.
  4. Click Apply.
  5. Enter your password.
  6. Wait for the update to finish.
  7. Click OK to dismiss the window.

Configuration

From within the Configuration section there are a minimal number of options to configure. The primary configuration to take care of here is adding new software sources. To add a new repository follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Settings section.
  2. Click the Edit Software Sources button.
  3. Click on the Other Software tab.
  4. Click on the Add button.
  5. Enter the complete apt line for the source (not just the address).
  6. Click OK to dismiss the address window.
  7. Click Close to dismiss the Software Sources window.

If you manually edit your /etc/apt/sources.list (or your Yum repository file - depending upon your distribution) these changes will appear in KPackageKIT.

Final thoughts

Although not perfect, KPackageKIT is certainly a viable solution for Linux software installation. If you need a simple KDE-based means of installing software, and do not want to use the command line, this tool might be just what you need.

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Keep your Linux system up to date with KPackageKit
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Keep your Linux system up to date with KPackageKit
Description
PackageKit is a background service charged with updating and installing software on your computer. But because PackageKit itself is just a background service, it requires a front end so that end users can take advantage of the system. One very powerful front end is KPackageKit.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Ruggero said on November 18, 2009 at 10:46 am
    Reply

    Sorry to say folk, but it seems to me that yast is the perfect tool for
    a) installing (single/multiple
    b) upgrading
    c) searching

    and

    d) resolve dependencies too!

    The only problem is that it’s available only on SuSE/OpenSuSE.

    Anyway, when I was Slackwaring I usually find very easy to:

    search google
    download
    compile

    But it’s not for the newbie.

    Best regards.

  2. software to check grammar said on November 18, 2009 at 11:49 am
    Reply

    Hey, Keep your Linux system up to date with KPackageKit its a Helping People Learn to Read and used

    check out these software to check grammar

    Regards,

  3. lefty.crupps said on November 18, 2009 at 3:11 pm
    Reply

    KPackageKit isn’t available on Debian, which distro are you running?

    1. Jack Wallen said on November 18, 2009 at 5:29 pm
      Reply

      @lefty.crupps: I am running Ubuntu 9.10. I am assuming you are running KDE? if you want, you can install from source. download the file from here:

      http://www.kde-apps.org/CONTENT/content-files/84745-KPackageKit-0.5.1.1.7z

      you will need to have installed:

      PackageKit >= 0.5.4
      KdeLibs headers of Kde4
      KDE >= 4.3
      p7zip-full (to uncompress the package)

      Compiling:
      7z e FILENAME.7z
      cd KPackageKit-RELEASE_NUMBER
      mkdir build && cd build
      cmake .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr/
      make
      su
      make install

      that should do it for you.

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