Can a software be installed twice?

Hi to all the Community,

I have a tiny little doubt...
When I get in the settings of the menu, I can see some softs appearing twice, one ticked, one not.
Does this mean a link to the program has been hidden but the program is actually installed twice somewhere on the disk.
I realize this is poky problem but I just wanna learn... and understand this.
Screenshot below :

If you right-click them and check their commands, you’ll see they may be slightly different. It’s a sad and stupid practice learned from our Windows overlords. Other software might install the exact same icon/command to different parts on your menu tree. Other software still just doesn’t behave nice and install itself to the menu like they own it. All of this is particularly common of multimedia software, where it seems the worse software developers go and from where we hope they never leave.

But no matter the sad practices, under no circumstance does a Ubuntu package install itself twice on your system. As long as you remain true to the official repositories, and make sure never to use two different PPAs for the same software, you don’t get duplicate installations of software.

Thanks for your very pertinent and fast answer.

But when you say :

“But no matter the sad practices, under no circumstance does a Ubuntu package install itself twice on your system. As long as you remain true to the official repositories, and make sure never to use two different PPAs for the same software, you don’t get duplicate installations of software.”

Then how come right after installing Ubuntu MATE yesterday, I installed Tor Browser from the Software Center with no system update beforehand, then I did the big system update, and there, in the Software Center, I was proposed to install Tor in the Internet category while I had it already installed and still appearing in the menu and all working fine ?

Thanks for teaching me these details that make the difference.


I take it that by “Software Center” you mean “Software Boutique”?

If that is the case, is it asking you to install, or to update Thor?
More helpful perhaps, could you post a screenshot of it?

You 're right I meant “Software Boutique” more precisely rather than “Software Center”.

I ended up purging Tor from Terminal to reinstall it from Software Boutique.
The Software Boutique wasn’t offering me the option to update Tor but only to newly install it, though I had it already installed, appearing in the menu and working fine…

May PPAs change after a system update ?

Even if they did (and they might in time), that should have never happened. I think @lah7 would like to take a look at that. If it can be replicated, it is a bug alright. What version of Ubuntu MATE did you install? I might want to try to replicate it on a VM if I have that iso at hand.

I’m partially understanding of the error you got, because you did install software before a full system upgrade. You should never install anything after installing an operating system, before doing an update. And that goes for all distros, and other operating systems like Windows too. But it still shouldn’t have happened. Ubuntu MATE should be hardened against those types of common mistakes.

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I totally understand your point.
Indeed, I invite you then to test last LTS Ubuntu MATE (ubuntu-mate-16.04.2-desktop-amd64.iso) so as to check that out.

  • Install ‘ubuntu-mate-16.04.2-desktop-amd64.iso’ in VM.
  • Install Tor from Software Boutique
  • Launch system update from Update Manager (taking a while)
  • You’ll notice Tor’s still appearing in the main menu on the top left corner, and still working
  • Open Software Boutique that will have a different icon (a coat-hanger)
  • Tor should appear, as it did to me, as a non-installed software…!

Please let me know what could be the cause of such a bug if you happen to spot it out.

OK, this is not an answer to the thread, but, darn, you made my day :smiley:

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I have that iso. I will try to reproduce that sometime today or tomorrow and if successful fill a bug report. I’ll let you know.

Meanwhile I suggest you manually remove that package with sudo apt-get purge package_name and then install from the Software Boutique, so it can manage it properly. If you don’t know the package(s) name, wait for me to install the iso on a vm and I’ll let you know.

Ok, @Jonathan64,

To delete the current Tor browser as it was installed by the Software Boutique prior to a full system update you issue the following command on the console:

sudo apt-get purge tor-browser

It is also a good idea to remove the PPA that the previous version of Boutique used for Tor installation. For that go to System -> Administration -> Software & Updates after which you should click the Other Software tab on the window that opens. In here you want to delete the following two PPAs: main main (Source Code)

But you should only delete them if you have kept the old Tor installation and didn’t try to install it again.

I’m currently running the full upgrade on the VM and will wait for its results to see if I can reproduce your bug.

I was able to reproduce the bug. This is the Software Boutique after a full upgrade:

The thing to note here is that this particular entry changed from being a PPA before the full upgrade, to a ubuntu repository package after the upgrade, which may be at the source of the bug. Before I did the upgrade I installed from the Boutique two other packages, ConvertAll and Synaptic, and both display correctly as installed after the upgrade. They did not display the same issue as Tor.

I'm filling a bug report.

@lah7, the Boutique is no longer part of the Welcome project. Where should I do this? Still on Launchpad, or the Bitbucket project home?

Ok, I got it now,
Thanks for the follow-up
I learned something again today !

Software should really adhere to the freedesktop standards:

If they don’t, users ought to give the developers a prod. :point_left:

It’s in limbo at the minute, but do continue to file it against ubuntu-mate-welcome on Launchpad until it becomes its own software-boutique package.

Arguably, this isn’t a bug, but a feature request – as it’s logic is correct in that the older version of Boutique is looking for xxx but the newer Boutique is looking for yyy (likely it’s under a different package name). What we’d want is some sort of check for an alternate package name (or different source) and then offer to re-install with Boutique’s suggested offerings.

Alternately, the packager could specify that it “replaces” package xxx, so when the yyy version is installed, it’ll take out the old package.