Ubuntu App Center will finally allow you to install DEB packages from other sources

Ubuntu App Center installing a DEB

App Center, Application Center in Spanish, is the new Ubuntu app store based on Flutter. It is still a Snap Store with the same policies, but with a more careful interface and better performance. When it was introduced it could only install snap packages, but when it was officially released it also allowed installing native packages from official repositories. What it doesn't do yet is allow installing DEB packages from external sources, but this will change very soon.

What is the problem today? Suppose we want to install Visual Studio Code, for example. What App Center offers is a snap pack, but it is not the official one from Microsoft. If we go to code.visualstudio.com We will see that there they offer a .rpm package and another .deb. We have to download the second one, and to install it we will have to use the terminal or an installer other than App Center. The experience is fragmented. What is the solution? What has already been delivered in GitHub.

App Center will allow "sideloading"

The change was delivered about two weeks ago, and is detailed as "Adds a first skeleton for the local deb package UI. As we are in the process of refactoring the entire app to follow a more standardized riverpod based architecture, things in this PR could change a lot«.

What App Center will do when the new feature is implemented will be something similar to what we see in GNOME Software: by doing Double click In a .deb package, the official Ubuntu store will open and show us a window with some information and a button to install the software. As long as we select App Center as the program to open files with a .deb extension. If not, right clicking will bring up the option.

In this way, the software installation experience in Ubuntu will be more collected, with almost everything available in the same application. Now it only has to support flatpak packages, although I don't think we will ever see this.

Image: design created with Figma taken from GitHub.

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