Ubuntu and relating operating systems, kubunut, lubunut, xubuntu etc and other operating systems built on ubuntu Like Linux Mint, or puppy linux that uses the ubuntu repos. Have a handy way of Installing Packages. generally this is done via the command line in a terminal using apt-get (puppy linux works a bit different). but ubuntu have created a nice graphical interface (graphical user interface or gui). to make this even easier.
Ubuntu: The GUI is called Synaptic Package Manager, Synaptic, or Package Manager. Synaptic is handy as you can search for the exact package name, or the type of application you are looking for. e.g. for firefox you could look up firefox or Browser to find it. also Synaptic has a brief explanation of what each app is so you know what they are.
Linux Mint: Apart from having Synaptic they also have their own GUI for apt-get called Software Manager. This is similar to Synaptic but is divided into categories, or you can just search for applications.
Puppy Linux: This works differently, it is its own operating system that is built to use applications from other bigger distros as well as its own. Puppy Linux uses the Puppy Package Manager (PPM). In the ubuntu puppy versions it uses the same repositories as Ubuntu. Update the PPM regularly to make sure it is up to date.
The Ubuntu Repoisotries:
Ubuntu maintains the repositories. They test all applications before they are included to see how they run, or have any issues etc and resolve them if possible. After the testing and issues have been sorted and the apps are known to be stable they are included in the repos. The latest releases of applications have to go through this same testing before they are updated, so the repositories may be a bit behind the releases of the applications they include. It’s a good idea to install applications from the software centre or package manager, at least then you know the applications have been tested to work properly.
Debian & Linux Mint Debian:
I will mention that originally ubuntu was built on debian. So Synaptic originally came from debian. Debian also has its own repositories which it maintains in the same way as ubuntu. Linux Mint Debian Edition is built on debian so is comparable with the debian repositories.