Cannot locate Ububtu software/apps

Asked by Richard Carrington on 2021-04-12

As I recall earlier on the dash, at least for 18.04, there was a button for software/apps. I don't have this at present. I've looked at the help menu and don't seem to be able to locate any help there and I've looked in "settings" and see the basic software stuff but no library of general software/apps.
When I installed 20.04, it may have installed the apps I had set up for 18.04; I don't recall specifically installing anything new. Problem came about when I was using XSANE (scanning software/app). I was having trouble with the scanned image size and couldn't figure out how to correct it to full size (100%) when I accidentally pressed 'delete from launcher' or similar named button. I realize that I'm getting a bit rusty but I can't locate that extensive library of software/apps that comes with Ubuntu. My dash presently has the following buttons: Search your computer (that didn't help either); Files; Firefox; LibreOffice Write, Calc and Impress; System Settings; Thunderbird Mail; GIMP; 41MB Volume and OS. I have Ubuntu 20.04 installed along with Windows 7. I only use Windows for a couple of things that don't have Ubuntu/Linux software; I much prefer Ubuntu, having started at either 12.04 or 14.04.

Hope I'm not being too much of a pain. The fix will probably be simple operator error! Cheers, Richard

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Manfred Hampl
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Bernard Stafford (bernard010) said : #1

At the top left of the screen click on Activities -> Type: Ubuntu software click to open it,
On the dash with the new icon hover over it and right click and select add to favorites.
This puts the icon on the dash. To remove an icon just right click the icon and select remove from favorites.
XSane – featureful graphical frontend for SANE If you do not have it is available in Ubuntu Software Center.
You open the Preferences Tab to adjust the size. It will look like this: https://www.linuxlinks.com/XSane/
Thank You for posting the question.

Richard Carrington (rlcbec) said : #3

Hi Bernard:
Thanks for your answer. You say, at the top left of the screen click on Activities. I’m in front of the screen now. At the top left I have a narrow black/grey horizontal band with the words: Ubuntu Desktop on the left and the internet, language (En), Bluetooth, Mail, time and the info, log out, suspend, shutdown icon/button. Down the left hand side of the screen I have the dash, as described previously, with Trash at bottom. The rest of the screen is the purplish main screen with the tiger (or whatever) head. There is nothing that says “activities” or suggests activities to me to be found. Nothing to click at the top left that I can see. I can search Applications on the “Search your computer“ icon at top of dash but that only tells me ‘sorry, there is nothing that matches your search’. Forgive me, maybe I’m being totally dumb (that’s the way I feel right now) but I’m not getting anywhere.
Perhaps you could give me a screen shot of where this Activities word or icon is found.
If you want to come in and take a look yourself, I’m OK with that, just tell me how to get the ping numbers you would need to do that. At least that’s what IT would do at my work, if ever anything needed sorting out with any of our remote computers (a few years back).
Sorry, I couldn’t get to this yesterday; too much other stuff going on away from the computer.
Thanks in anticipation, best regards, Richard

Sent from my iPad

> On Apr 12, 2021, at 8:46 AM, Bernard Stafford <email address hidden> wrote:
>
> Your question #696522 on Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/696522
>
> Status: Open => Answered
>
> Bernard Stafford proposed the following answer:
> At the top left of the screen click on Activities -> Type: Ubuntu software click to open it,
> On the dash with the new icon hover over it and right click and select add to favorites.
> This puts the icon on the dash. To remove an icon just right click the icon and select remove from favorites.
> XSane – featureful graphical frontend for SANE If you do not have it is available in Ubuntu Software Center.
> You open the Preferences Tab to adjust the size. It will look like this: https://www.linuxlinks.com/XSane/
> Thank You for posting the question.
>
> --
> If this answers your question, please go to the following page to let us
> know that it is solved:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/696522/+confirm?answer_id=0
>
> If you still need help, you can reply to this email or go to the
> following page to enter your feedback:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/696522
>
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.

Manfred Hampl (m-hampl) said : #4

Click on the nine dots in the bottom left corner and search for gnome-software
Then proceed as written above

Richard Carrington (rlcbec) said : #5

This answer and the previous one have not enabled me to fix the original
problem - I am unable to locate the Ubuntu software library on this
20.04 installation.

I got another pair of eyes on these problems (my son-in-law) just to
make sure I wasn't missing something and just to be sure I wasn't going
batty!  We went over it all together.

I am unable to find any icon or prompt named "Activities" at the top
left of the screen.  There is the icon named "search your computer".
This provides search options for "Home, Applications, Files and Folders,
Videos, Music, and Photos.  Entering anything in the Search field
results every time, no matter which search option is selected in the
same message: "Sorry, there is nothing that matches your search", even
when I enter things that I know for a fact are on the computer.

Also, on my screen, there are no "nine dots" at the bottom left corner,
so no success there either.

Thinking back, I don't recall looking for any new software when I
installed 20.04 over 18.04.  The same dash icons appeared to come up
with the new installation.  Based on the lack of response from the top,
'search your computer' icon on the Dash (as explained above), I'm
wondering if the 20.04 installation over 18.04 was somehow faulty.  With
20.04 I have had messages several times and continue to have them fairly
frequently when Ubuntu boots up saying that there was an error and
giving me the option to send or don't send a report.  I have sent in
reports several times but mostly now don't bother because the
programming I'm using doesn't seem to have any issues.  Maybe these
error reports are flagging the particular issues I'm having!  I suppose,
from this, maybe I should be re-installing 20.04 from a completely fresh
start and a new download.  What are your thoughts overall?

Thanks for all your help.

On 4/14/21 1:05 AM, Manfred Hampl wrote:
> Your question #696522 on Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/696522
>
> Status: Open => Answered
>
> Manfred Hampl proposed the following answer:
> Click on the nine dots in the bottom left corner and search for gnome-software
> Then proceed as written above
>

Manfred Hampl (m-hampl) said : #6

What happens if you try the following:

Press Alt-F2 and in the small pop-up window that should show type the word
gnome-software
and then press the "enter" key

How did you "install 20.04 over 18.04"?
Did you run a release-upgrade or did you do a new installation overwriting the old one or ... ?

Richard Carrington (rlcbec) said : #7

I installed 20.04 from a release-upgrade (icon pops up on the dash every now and then with upgrades). I didn’t do this the first time it was offered, waiting until a later offering pop-up when I had time to to stand-by and let it run. I normally install all upgrades as soon as I get them.

Pressing Alt-F2 opens the ‘search’ window that is associated with the top icon on the dash (dash is shown up left side of screen). The computer has been searching for the last 15 minutes with no results showing. Alt-F2 appears to set the search going outside of the Home ... to ... Photos fields since none of these icons (at the bottom of the window) is highlighted. As it apparently searches, a small part circle is going round and round in front of the ‘gnome-software’ entry; the computer is running but there is no hard drive light flickering - so I guess it is not really searching. Unlike previous searches under any of the Home ... to ... Photos icons, this search did not immediately the first letter is typed come up with the answer: ‘sorry, nothing meeting your search can be found (or whatever the exact wording is). At this point, I’m just letting it run even though I’m sure nothing is going to come out of it. ......... That’s now 20 minutes it’s been searching, time to put it out of its misery!

 Hope this helps the diagnosis. Thanks, R

Sent from my iPad

> On Apr 18, 2021, at 1:11 PM, Manfred Hampl <email address hidden> wrote:
>
> Your question #696522 on Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/696522
>
> Status: Open => Needs information
>
> Manfred Hampl requested more information:
> What happens if you try the following:
>
> Press Alt-F2 and in the small pop-up window that should show type the word
> gnome-software
> and then press the "enter" key
>
> How did you "install 20.04 over 18.04"?
> Did you run a release-upgrade or did you do a new installation overwriting the old one or ... ?
>
> --
> To answer this request for more information, you can either reply to
> this email or enter your reply at the following page:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/696522
>
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.

Manfred Hampl (m-hampl) said : #8

Whatever we suggest, you tell us that your system behaves different from what we expect.

Can you please show us how your desktop looks like:

Make a screen shot, upload it to an image hosting service of your choice (e.g. https://postimages.org/ ) and provide the link to that page that we can see how your system looks like.

What happens when you press ctrl-alt-t, does this open a terminal window?
If yes, what output do you receive for the command

set | grep DESKTOP

Richard Carrington (rlcbec) said : #9

Hi, Thanks,

I have taken two screenshots, one showing the latest error report with
details and the other showing the output from terminal entry 'set|grep
DESKTOP'.  Both screenshots show the screen.  I hope these came through
OK, I thought I'd attach them to this email reply rather than uploading
them.  If this by any chance doesn't work for you, let me know and I'll
upload them.

On 4/18/21 11:11 PM, Manfred Hampl wrote:
> Your question #696522 on Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/696522
>
> Status: Open => Needs information
>
> Manfred Hampl requested more information:
> Whatever we suggest, you tell us that your system behaves different from
> what we expect.
>
> Can you please show us how your desktop looks like:
>
> Make a screen shot, upload it to an image hosting service of your choice
> (e.g. https://postimages.org/ ) and provide the link to that page that
> we can see how your system looks like.
>
> What happens when you press ctrl-alt-t, does this open a terminal window?
> If yes, what output do you receive for the command
>
> set | grep DESKTOP
>

Manfred Hampl (m-hampl) said : #10

Attaching files to an e-mail does not work, they are discarded by the launchpad e-mail interface.
This is why I asked for uploading them elsewhere.

The output of 'set|grep DESKTOP' is plain text. Please simply use copy/paste and put the output into the "Message:" box of https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/696522

Richard Carrington (rlcbec) said : #11

copy of output from set|grep DESKTOP:

richard@richard-Inspiron-3650:~$ set|grep DESKTOP
DESKTOP_SESSION=unity
GNOME_DESKTOP_SESSION_ID=this-is-deprecated
XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=Unity:Unity7:ubuntu
XDG_SESSION_DESKTOP=unity
richard@richard-Inspiron-3650:~$

Hope this link will provide the images:

https://postimg.cc/gallery/1VWkxhv

Best Manfred Hampl (m-hampl) said : #12

Well done! Everything what we need to see in in your data.

You are no using the gnome desktop environment (which is the default for new Ubuntu 20.04 installations and for which the instructions given earlier would apply), but the unity desktop.

Back to your initial question about locating the software/apps overview application.
I suggest that you install another one:

Open a terminal window as before (ctrl-alt-t) and issue the command
sudo apt install gnome-software
This will ask for your password to confirm an administrative action and will the install a handfull of additional packages.
Hopefully this will also add an icon in the launcher bar on the left side of the screen. If it doesn't, then start the program manually by issuing the command
gnome-software
in the terminal. When the program is running you should see an icon there, and with right mouse click on that icon you can select "keep in launcher"
You have to be aware, that at first starting of that program it has to download information about available software packages. This can take some time, so please do not wonder if some parts of the program look empty at the beginning.

Hope that helps.

Richard Carrington (rlcbec) said : #13

Thanks, gnome-software package installed but this did not automatically install the software icon on the dash/launcher bar. After software installed, I re-started the computer thinking that might be needed to bring up the icon - it didn't. I ran 'gnome-software' in the terminal and then locked the icon in the launcher bar.

When I re-started, I received a new software update in the launch bar and installed that right away. On re-starting following that update I looked to see if I had an 'Activities' icon top left of the screen or the 9 dots at the bottom left. I have neither of these. I assume therefore that I still have the Unity Desktop and that the desktop wasn't changed to the Gnome Desktop. Is this consistent with what you expected? Not sure this matters for the simple stuff I'm doing.

Thanks for all your help.

Manfred Hampl (m-hampl) said : #14

What you write is exactly what was to be expected.
You are still using the unity desktop.
Installing the Gnome desktop environment is a separate task.

Richard Carrington (rlcbec) said : #15

Thanks, again. I’ve taken a lot of your time and my basic problem is solved, thanks for that. However, I’m still a bit concerned overall because I tried the “search your computer” icon again (top of launcher bar) and search would not work for me, as previously - just to let you know. That said, I have worked with what I have ever since installing 20.04, maybe also with 18.04 as well for all I know, and I seem to have managed without it. There are probably other “find” options as part of the file/directory set up. On that basis it’s probably OK just to let the “search your computer” feature go. I’m happy with the whole Ubuntu package. R

Sent from my iPad

> On Apr 19, 2021, at 12:54 PM, Manfred Hampl <email address hidden> wrote:
>
> Your question #696522 on Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/696522
>
> Manfred Hampl posted a new comment:
> What you write is exactly what was to be expected.
> You are still using the unity desktop.
> Installing the Gnome desktop environment is a separate task.
>
> --
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.

Manfred Hampl (m-hampl) said : #16

If I remember correctly then the search function in unity searches only recently used files, and if there is nothing it will find nothing.
When you do not need this search function, then I suggest just leaving it as it is.
Another possibility would be a switch from the Unity desktop to the Gnome desktop environment.

Richard Carrington (rlcbec) said : #17

Thanks, Manfred, I’ll take your suggestion and leave it as it is, with Unity and look forward to the Gnome desktop in an upgrade in the future. Thanks for your patience, Richard

Sent from my iPad

> On Apr 19, 2021, at 11:50 PM, Manfred Hampl <email address hidden> wrote:
>
> Your question #696522 on Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/696522
>
> Manfred Hampl posted a new comment:
> If I remember correctly then the search function in unity searches only recently used files, and if there is nothing it will find nothing.
> When you do not need this search function, then I suggest just leaving it as it is.
> Another possibility would be a switch from the Unity desktop to the Gnome desktop environment.
>
> --
> You received this question notification because you asked the question.