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Install GUI Package Manager on the Raspberry Pi

Posted on January 20th, 2016

If you’re new to Linux you may find the apt-get (Advance Package Tool) command for installing application through the net a little intimidating.

The command prompt is a very powerful tool, but it’s not to everyone’s taste or sometimes you just want to use a desktop environment. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

That’s where Synaptic comes in. A nice graphical interface to atp-get allowing you to manage your application installations through the desktop.

Install Synaptic on the Raspberry Pi

To install run the following from the Terminal:

sudo apt-get install synaptic

Hit ‘y’ to any prompts.

Running Synaptic Package Manager on the Raspberry Pi

Open a terminal window from within the desktop and run:

gksudo synaptic

Or from the following desktop menu:

Preferences > Synaptic Package Manger

Help! Synaptic Will Not Run When Launched From the Menu

If you find Synaptic launches when run from the Terminal but not from the menu; it’s probably a permissions issue.

When running from the Terminal you’re actively giving it the permission it needs with they keyword gksudo.

If you right click and hit properties on the menu item, you see it’s missing this keyword. It probably looks just like:


To fix this open up a Terminal window and enter:

sudo nano /usr/share/applications/synaptic.desktop

Change this line:



Exec=gksudo synaptic-pkexec

Ctrl X and save. You can now run Synaptic on your Raspberry Pi from the Terminal or menu.

Synaptic information popup

Synaptic GUI