Ubuntu – Ubuntu Software Center (“Software” program) and “Snap Store” missing on fresh Ubuntu 20.04 install (& can’t install *.deb files from GUI file manager)


On my fresh Ubuntu 20.04 install (installed just yesterday), clicking a *.deb file in the GUI file manager (nautilus, or nemo, for example) just opens the Archive Manager instead of asking to install it like it used to do on Ubuntu 18.04. Some sites, such as this, say to right-click the *.deb file and set "Software Install" as the default choice:

Troubleshoot: Double clicking deb file doesn’t open in software center in Ubuntu 20.04

Double clicking the deb file in Ubuntu 20.04 opens the file in archive manager instead of software center.

This is weird but can easily be fixed. All you have to do is to right click on the deb file and go for Open With option. In here, choose open with Software Install as the default choice.

However, I have no "Software Install" option. I did some digging and it turns out I have no Ubuntu Software Center or Snap Store either. How do I install these? And how do I fix the "Software Install" option for *.deb files, since it requires the Ubuntu Software Center to be installed?

These do not answer my question and are not duplicates:

  1. Ubuntu Software Center missing in 20.04
  2. Ubuntu Software doesn't open in Ubuntu 20.04
  3. [doesn't answer my question, although it does propose using gdebi, which may be useful and which I may use in the future] Problem installing .deb in Software Install Ubuntu 20.04
  4. https://itsfoss.com/cant-install-deb-file-ubuntu/

Best Answer

For some reason, both my Ubuntu Software Center (now simply called "Software") and the Snap Store weren't present on my Fresh Ubuntu 20.04 install. To install them, simply run the following two commands:

sudo apt install gnome-software  # "Software"
snap install snap-store          # Snap Store

Here's what their icons look like now when I press the Super key (Windows key on a PC keyboard, or Command key on a Mac running Linux), then search for them:

Ubuntu Software Center (now just called "Software"):

enter image description here

Ubuntu "Snap Store":

enter image description here

Now, to install a *.deb file using the GUI file manager, such as nautilus (default), or nemo (my preferred choice), simply right-click the *.deb file and go to --> Properties --> "Opens With" tab --> select "Software Install" (which is now available since you just installed gnome-software) --> and click "Set as default" --> Close.

enter image description here

Now you can just double-click the *.deb file in your GUI file manager to install it!

Note: you might also consider trying the gdebi package installer, as described here: Problem installing .deb in Software Install Ubuntu 20.04. Apparently, in some cases where the "Software Install" GUI option fails, and you would have to otherwise manually run sudo dpkg -i myfile.deb to install the *.deb file, the "GDebi Package Installer" GUI option works.

Other references:

  1. This answer helped me identify the existence of gnome-software and the snap-store: Ubuntu Software doesn't open in Ubuntu 20.04