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Chief author, Open Source enthusiast, Web Programmer, and UI/UX Designer.
Friday, August 27, 2010 at 21:33

Ubuntu GNU/LINUX never stop making improvement to their system, in this article I want to give little explaination how could we install ubuntu application/package through a web browser and how it's work. We have known that many way to install application or psoftware package on Ubuntu GNU/Linux, we have Synaptics, Ubuntu Software Center, Tasksel, and also traditional way using apt-get/dpkg on the terminal.
The APT protocol, or apturl, is a very simple way to install a software package from a web browser, through apturl user can install software package by clicking the link just like web address. For example, from a web page, when a Ubuntu user clicks on the link apt:packageexample , the apturl protocol will launch the package manager to propose the installation of the package called "packageexample" from the repositories available on the computer. Apturl is having dependencies with repositories available on the computer, you can add/edit ropositories address in /etc/apt/source.list.

There is little setting before we can use in our browser, if you are using firefox (Tested in firefox version 3.0 above) you can add firefox setting by following instruction below :
  • Enter about:config in the URL bar, right click the add following syntax. in character chain with /usr/bin/apturl as value, in character chain with /usr/bin/apturl as value,
     network.protocol-handler.warn-external.apt in boolean value and put true as value,
     network.protocol-handler.warn-external.apt+http in boolean value and put true as value.
  • Close and restart Firefox.
How to create Apturl link ?
If you have understand how to use apturl as a client, now we start to learn how to make Apturl link so you can build a web based synaptic package manager or ubuntu software package provider. Making apturl link is not much different from url link or mailto link, to make apturl link the HTML url must be write like this :

Single package
The basic syntax for an apt link is the following:
Where package is the package you'd like the user to install.

Multiple packages
To bundle several packages into one link, the syntax is the following:
Where package1, package2 and package3 are the packages you'd like the user to install.
For example:
      apturl apt:pidgin,pidgin-plugin-pack
Installs Pidgin and Pidgin Plugin Pack (if the user confirms).

Using AptUrl right after adding a repository
After adding a repository line via the Software Sources tool, the user has an option to reload the package list now or close the window, without reloading. This can be an issue if the user wants to install a package via AptUrl right after - because the newly added repositories haven't been scanned, and thus the program will not be found. To avoid such a situation, a "refresh" flag is available - if it's present, apturl will do a refresh first and then look for the program.
Sample link: Get Pidgin