Chapter 3. Installing applications in GNOME

This section describes various approaches that you can use to install a new application in GNOME 3.


  • Administrator priveleges.

3.1. The GNOME Software application

GNOME Software is an utility that enables you to install and update applications, software components, and GNOME Shell extensions in a graphical interface.

GNOME Software provides a catalog of graphical applications, which are the applications that include a *.desktop file. The available applications are grouped into multiple categories according to their purpose.

GNOME Software uses the PackageKit and Flatpak technologies as its back ends.

3.2. Installing an application using GNOME Software

This procedure installs a graphical application using the GNOME Software installer.


  1. Launch the GNOME Software application.
  2. Find the application to be installed in the available categories:

    • Audio & Video
    • Communication & News
    • Productivity
    • Graphics & Photography
    • Add-ons

      Add-ons include for example GNOME Shell extensions, codecs, or fonts.

    • Developer Tools
    • Utilities

    gnome software new

  3. Click the selected application.

    gnome software install photos1 new

  4. Click the Install button.

    gnome software install photos2 new

3.3. Installing an application to open a file type

This procedure installs an application that can open a given file type.


  • You can access a file of the required file type in your file system.


  1. Try opening a file that is associated with an application that is currently not installed on your system.
  2. GNOME automatically identifies the suitable application that can open the file, and offers to download the application.

3.4. Installing an RPM package in GNOME

This procedure installs an RPM software package that you manually downloaded as a file.


  1. Download the required RPM package.
  2. In the Files application, open the directory that stores the downloaded RPM package.


    By default, downloaded files are stored in the /home/user/Downloads/ directory.

  3. Double-click the icon of the RPM package to install it.

3.5. Installing an application from the application search in GNOME

This procedure installs a graphical application that you find in the GNOME application search.


  1. Open the Activities Overview screen.
  2. Start typing the name of the required application in the search entry.

    install gimp 1 new

    GNOME automatically finds the application in a repository, and displays the application’s icon.

  3. Click the application’s icon to open GNOME Software.

    install gimp 2

  4. Click the icon of the application again.

    install gimp 3

  5. Click Install to finish the installation in GNOME Software.

3.6. Additional resources