Install Software in Linux

A guide to install stuff in linux, illustrated with Go


March 5, 2024

This is a generic guide for how to download and install something in Linux.

Using apt

The easiest way to install something is to use the apt package manager. The general workflow here is to do the following:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install package_name

The problem with this approach is that apt goesn’t always have the latest version of a piece of software.

Install manually

To install something manually through the shell, we use a combination of wget, tar and mv. These do the following:

  • wget downloads files;
  • tar provides utilities to work with tarballs
  • mv moves (and also renames) files

So imagine we want to install Go 1.22 (the current version at the time of writing). We could do the following:


cd $HOME
tar -xvf go$VERSION.$OS-$ARCH.tar.gz
sudo mv go /usr/local

This does the following:

  • The first few lines set variables that we’ll use later.
  • Change our current directory (cd) to whatever our home directory is
  • Downloads the tarball with Go 1.22 from the internet.
  • extracts (x) in verbose mode (v) the specified file (f go$VERSION.$OS-$ARCH.tar.gz)
  • moves (mv) the extracted file to the /usr/local directory

We probably then want to ensure that this is in our path, which we can do by fiddling with our ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc file (or whatever file is relevant for the shell you use). We want to look for (or add) something like this:

#some other stuff in your ~/.zshrc file
export GOROOT=/usr/local/go 
export PATH=$PATH:$GOROOT/bin

et voila, you now have go installed. And this logic applies to any other software, too.