Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Download and Install Applications from GitHub on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 15

In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of downloading and installing applications from GitHub on Ubuntu. This process involves using the terminal, understanding basic command-line operations, and having a basic understanding of software dependencies.

Quick Answer

To download and install applications from GitHub on Ubuntu, you need to navigate to the GitHub repository, download the source code, extract the ZIP file, navigate to the extracted directory, install the necessary dependencies, build the application, and finally run it. It requires basic knowledge of the command line and understanding of software dependencies.

What is GitHub?

GitHub is a platform that allows developers to host and share their software projects. It uses Git, a distributed version control system that lets multiple people work on a project at the same time without overwriting each other’s changes.


Before we begin, make sure you have the following:

  • Ubuntu Operating System
  • Internet connection
  • Access to a terminal window
  • Basic knowledge of command-line operations

Step 1: Navigate to the GitHub Repository

Firstly, go to the GitHub repository page of the application you want to download. For this tutorial, we will use the Pesobit application as an example. The repository page can be found at

Step 2: Download the Source Code

On the repository page, click on the green “Code” button and select “Download ZIP”. This will download the source code of the application as a ZIP file.

Step 3: Extract the ZIP File

Once the ZIP file is downloaded, open the terminal and navigate to the directory where the file is located. You can do this using the cd command, which stands for “change directory”. For example:

cd ~/Downloads

Next, extract the contents of the ZIP file using the unzip command:


Replace with the actual name of the ZIP file you downloaded. The unzip command extracts the contents of ZIP archives.

Step 4: Navigate to the Extracted Directory

Navigate into the extracted directory using the cd command:

cd pesobit-source-master

Step 5: Install Dependencies

Before proceeding with the installation, make sure you have the necessary dependencies installed. Dependencies are libraries or modules that the software relies on to function correctly.

In this case, the installation instructions mention the required packages for Qt5 development. You can install them by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install qt5-default qt5-qmake qtbase5-dev-tools qttools5-dev-tools build-essential libboost-dev libboost-system-dev libboost-filesystem-dev libboost-program-options-dev libboost-thread-dev libssl-dev libdb++-dev

The sudo command allows you to run commands with administrative privileges, while apt-get install is used to install packages. The packages listed after install are the dependencies required for the Pesobit application.

Step 6: Build the Application

Once the dependencies are installed, you can build the application by executing the following commands:


The qmake command is a utility that automates the generation of Makefiles. Makefiles are used to organize code compilation. The make command reads the Makefile and executes the build instructions.

Step 7: Run the Application

After the build process completes successfully, an executable named pesobit-qt will be generated. You can run the application by executing the following command:


The ./ before the application name is used to execute the file in the current directory.

And that’s it! You have now downloaded and built the Pesobit application from GitHub.


Compiling software from source code requires some technical knowledge and familiarity with the command line. If you encounter any errors or difficulties during the installation process, it’s recommended to consult the project’s documentation or seek assistance from the developers or the community.

In this tutorial, we have covered how to download and install applications from GitHub on Ubuntu. We hope you found it helpful. Happy coding!

Can I download and install applications from GitHub on other operating systems besides Ubuntu?

Yes, you can download and install applications from GitHub on other operating systems as well. However, the commands and steps may vary depending on the operating system. It is recommended to refer to the specific documentation or instructions provided by the developers for your particular operating system.

Are there any alternative methods to download and install applications from GitHub?

Yes, besides downloading the source code as a ZIP file, you can also clone the repository using Git. To do this, you need to have Git installed on your system. You can then use the git clone command followed by the repository URL to clone the repository onto your local machine. Once cloned, you can navigate to the repository directory and follow the same steps mentioned in this tutorial to install the application.

How do I update the application if a new version is available on GitHub?

To update the application to a new version available on GitHub, you need to follow similar steps as the initial installation process. First, navigate to the repository page and download the latest source code either as a ZIP file or by cloning the repository. Then, extract the ZIP file or navigate to the cloned repository directory. Finally, follow the steps mentioned in this tutorial to install the updated version of the application.

Can I contribute to the development of applications on GitHub?

Yes, GitHub is a platform that encourages collaboration and contribution to open-source projects. If you have programming skills and knowledge, you can contribute to the development of applications on GitHub by forking the repository, making changes or adding new features, and then creating a pull request to submit your changes to the original project. The project maintainers will review your changes and decide whether to merge them into the main codebase.

Is it safe to download and install applications from GitHub?

While GitHub is a reputable platform used by many developers, it is always important to exercise caution when downloading and installing applications from any source, including GitHub. It is recommended to review the reputation and credibility of the repository and its developers before downloading and installing any application. Additionally, it is good practice to scan downloaded files for viruses or malware using an up-to-date antivirus software.

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