Best Way to Find and Install Prerequisites

Find and Install Software Prerequisites for Ubuntu

Sometimes, you get stuck having to manually compile and install software, as no package is available for your Ubuntu distribution or one of the package sources has become broken.  However, you should check the link below and search for the software you're looking for, as there MAY already be a pre-existing package for your version of Ubuntu.  Typically, you download a software package, read the ReadMe, and are left asking, why doesn't this prerequisite package exist for installation?  I've got the names right here!  Unfortunately, each version of Linux can name their packages differently.  As a result, there's a lot of confusion.  However, say the ReadMe prompts you to install nfnetlink development packages.  Great, so you try:

sudo apt-get install nfnetlink-dev

Only… the package doesn't exist.  What do you do now?  Rather than searching the internet, search ubuntu's packages by clicking on the below link:

Search Ubuntu Packages

Once you're on that page, scroll down to the "Search" section.  Type in the name of the package you were given.  In our example, it was nfnetlink and click on "Search".  The first package listed is libnfnetlink-dev.  This is exactly what we were looking for!  So install it doing this:

sudo apt-get install libnfnetlink-dev

Repeat the process to locate the remaining missing packages.

Once all of your prerequisites have been installed, you should be able to successfully compile and install whatever software package you're trying to install.

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