Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 09:55

Aside from the official way to install Zotero, which is manually done, there are alternative ways you may choose which are more automatic. They are DEB, Flatpak, and Snap, and I have tested them working on Ubuntu 20.04. In effects, with one of these, you do not need to configure things manually anymore. I suggest you to try any of these ways only if you found the official way unsuccessful. I also included the uninstallation procedures and also how to install the addons below. So let's go!

 (Software Center showing Zotero flatpak-version ready to install and Zotero Standalone snap-version window running beside it showing several Wikipedia pages stored)
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  • What's the differences?
  • Install DEB version
  • Install Flatpak version
  • Install Snap version
  • Install Zotero addons
  • Uninstallation

What's the differences?

  • DEB: standard application format for Ubuntu. If you install this version, Zotero will be installed systemwide and automatically updated following your Ubuntu updates.
  • Flatpak: alternative application format for Ubuntu. Flatpak support requires additional tools to work. It updates independently. Other operating systems which have Flatpak support can practice this tutorial as well.
  • Snap: also alternative but developed by Ubuntu. Snap support is already built-in on Ubuntu and updated automatically along with Ubuntu updates. Other operating systems with Snap support can practice this tutorial too.

Install DEB version

(Video | Two minutes installation of Zotero with Apt command lines)

Source of this software package is GitHub/zotero-deb.
$ wget -qO- | sudo bash
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install zotero
$ zotero

Install Flatpak version

Source of this software package is Flathub. If you want to install via Software Center instead, read tutorial.

$ sudo apt-get install flatpak
$ flatpak install zotero
$ flatpak run org.zotero.Zotero 

Install Snap version

Source of this software package is Snapcraft. If you want Software Center integration instead, also read tutorial.
$ snap install zotero-snap
$ snap run zotero-snap

Zotero Addons

As you know, Zotero has so many useful addons. How to install them on Zotero now?

For any of those three, run the Zotero program first and then go to menubar Tools > Add-ons > Gear button (top right corner) > Install Add-on from File > open file dialog appears > navigate to where you saved the addon's .oxt file (*) > select the addon file > Open > addon installed > you may be asked to restart Zotero to complete the installation > ready.


(*) For Snap version, you may not see your disk partitions and other folders outside of Snap's permitted folders like ~/Downloads due to Snap security system. So copy the addon file to that folder so you can see it on the open file dialog.


If you wish to remove the Zotero software you have installed, here's the command lines:

$ sudo apt-get remove zotero

$ flatpak remove org.zotero.Zotero

$ snap remove zotero-snap

About Zotero

Zotero is a free software desktop research assistant to collect references, data and information, to be processed as bibliography and citations in LibreOffice Writer or Microsoft Word documents. Zotero is available for GNU/Linux, Windows, and macOS. Zotero can be considered as an alternative to the proprietary Mendeley and such research assistant programs.

Happy researching!

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.