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How to install programs on the Raspberry Pi in all possible ways? Step by step guide

There are at least a score of essential applications for any user Raspberry, as long as you are an end user who will use the computer as a desktop computer. But nevertheless, if you are a developer and you will use this board for a specific project, then that figure is considerably reduced.

If you did not know it, Raspberry has several ways to allow you to install applications on your system, regardless of the operating system you have installed.

For this reason, we show you this list of all the ways that you have access to place applications on the new plate that you have in your hand, like this you can do anything that goes through your mind.

Learn step by step how to install any program on a Raspberry Pi from scratch and without errors

There are four different ways you can use to have preferred apps. You can choose any of them, but We recommend that you have 100% command of the installations using the command console, as it is the most frequent and effective.

Go for it:

With APT

Run the APT from the Raspberry command terminal

The meaning of this acronym is Advanced Packaging Tool and it is a powerful manager that adds, update and remove applications on Debian-based operating systems, the oldest distro it has Linux. What Raspberry PI OS is a system based on Debian, it also has an ATP that fulfills these functions.

So you can use this official tool from the manufacturer:

  • Go to the menu Debian and press the symbol “Commands”.
  • Will appear a command terminal in which you will write several lines of code, depending on the function you want to run.
  • To install, type: sudo apt-get install paquete. Instead of (package) you put the name of the application.
  • Every app It has a name that will define it in the command console.
  • Then he APT asks for confirmation. You must write: sudo apt-get -y install paquete.
  • Once the installation is complete, check the available space. To find out, write: df –h.
  • If you wish update an app, you must write in the terminal: sudo apt-get update.
  • Subsequently, writes: sudo apt-get upgrade.
  • Now if you wish remove an app, you just have to enter: sudo apt-get remove paquete.
  • Make sure that temporary files are deleted, you do this with: sudo apt-get purge paquete Y sudo apt-get remove --purge paquete.

With PiPackages

Python PIP packages on Raspberry

The PIPackages are the original packages created with Python and that can also be installed on a Raspberry. Even, there is a significant community of developers who prefer to use these programs.

Before starting to use them, it is important to have installed and updated a program that will allow compatibility with Raspberry Pi:

  • Run the terminal command.
  • sudo apt updateThis is how Raspberry PI OS is updated, in case this is the installed operating system.
  • sudo apt install python3-pip -y, this command allows the installation of PIP.
  • If you wish check version, you can write this command: pip3 –version.

Once finished, to install applications, you must follow the following steps, always from the Raspberry PI OS command terminal:

  • pip3 install opencv-python, Thus install the Python OpenCV package.

Whenever there is an installation in this way, you will be able to see the progress of the process by means of a percentage. Upon reaching 100, there will be an alert message with the result of the installation.

With the source code of the program

Raspberry source code

The compilations are simplified when there is a program who manages the dependencies.

For that, we are going to install the Docker program, which creates a virtual container:

  • docker run --rm hello-world, this is how the installation is done.

For this example, the source code for TensorFlow, which works as a form of machine learning and is open source, will be installed:

  • git clone
  • cd tensorflow

An update branch must be acquired, since by default the installation is done with the “master” branch, so you must write the following command:

  • git checkout branch_name # r1.9, r1.10, etc

To begin the compilation of the Docker container, the following set of commands must be written, this is how the process progresses:

  • tensorflow/tools/ci_build/ PI-PYTHON3
  • tensorflow/tools/ci_build/pi/

Next, you must run these commands to allow compilation compatibility with any Raspberry device:

  • tensorflow/tools/ci_build/ PI
  • tensorflow/tools/ci_build/pi/ PI_ONE

At the end of the complication, which on average lasts about 25 minutes, a new file is generated, this must be copied and installed on the Raspberry board:

  • pip install tensorflow-version-cp35-none-linux_armv7l.whl

Downloading them from the Internet

Browsers for Raspberry computers

This is a similar way to how we would do it in Windows, but to complete this task it is important to have the Raspberry as a desktop computer, with monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Then do the following:

  • Open the browser internet on your Raspberry.
  • Search the app you want to install.
  • Download.
  • Press twice about the package (must be .deb).
  • Surely, the installer will do other secondary downloads.

Once the file is downloaded, you can also do the installation from the command console.

That is why we have told you that you must handle this form of installation well:

  • Opens the terminal command.
  • sudo dpkg -i nombre_del_archivo.deb, this will do the installation.
  • Should have a message with the result of the procedure.

List of the best programs that you can install on a Raspberry Pi to get the most out of your miniature computer

As we mentioned at the beginning, there are a series of applications that are essential for anyone. Plus if it is an end user who wants to convert his motherboard into a desktop computer.

Let’s see some of them below:

VLC Player

VLC Player on Raspberry

This renowned multimedia player could not be missing in the list of the best applications. This is because almost all operating systems on the Pi are based on Linux. Hence, it is likely to use VLC as a player because it consumes less physical resources than the rest of the packages to fulfill its function.


Kodi for Raspberry PI

It is a powerful program that allows you to play videos and live broadcasts. Along with VLC Player, the plate has everything that is required for people to have a multimedia center in their hands, with 4K playback capability if it is a Raspberry Pi 4, which is the only one adapted for this purpose.


Synaptic for Raspberry Pi

No intention of offending Raspberry Pi OS, but it must be said that this program manages packages and solutions better than native APT of the plate. Compatibility issues are better solved and it also works from the Raspbian command terminal, as this operating system was known before.


Chromium on Raspberry Pi

This should be the first application that you should install on your Raspberry. It is one of the best browsers you have on this board, it does not consume a lot of RAM resources and it is easy to use.

It is usually within the Raspbian system, in its latest versions, but if not, then it must be installed from the terminal:

  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get upgrade


DosBox official website

Is a fantastic game emulator that allows people to make selection of various titles and run them for the enjoyment of people. It is as if RetroPie is installed with various arcade games. Given the low hardware capacity of a Pi, there will be no impressive graphics, but there will be entertaining titles.

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