First of all I'M using Ubuntu and I'M new to it, trying to make the switch. I'M reading a book on Ubuntu but it's a little out of date to the one I'M running. Anyway, the book instructs me to go to > System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager, and then > Settings > Repositories. At this point I'M told to click on the Installation Media Tap, the closes thing I see on my version is " Third-Party Software". So I click it. Where I am instructed to click the Add button the Repository dialog. But when I click it, I get this.

Enter the complete APT line of the repository that you want to add as source
The APT line includes the type, location and components of a repository, for example 'deb jaunty main'.

Can someone please give me a hand on this, thanks.

P.S. what's the difference between Add/Remove programs and the Synaptic Package Manager anyway. Can't you just go to the websites and download the programs directly?

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I too like you also new to Linux. If you are using 9.10. You can go to Application->Ubuntu Software Center and you can select any software from there. If you do not want to use the command line. I download most of the software I want from here.

I am a Red Hat / Fedora user for more than 10 years already. I'm not so familiar with Ubuntu, but the concepts are the same.

Can't you just go to the websites and download the programs directly?

Yes, you can. There are several options:

  • download binaries: in case of Ubuntu, you need to look for 'deb' (debian) packages. Also check the correct architecture... i586 for 32 bit systems, x86_64 for 64 bit systems.
  • download source code to compile yourself... but if you're new to Linux, I would suggest to first explore the system via pre-compiled software
  • installation via repository... the advantage is that you will always stay up to date with the most recent stable software... and that all dependencies between packages will be solved by the installer... and you only have to look in one place for software. The Ubuntu & Fedora repositories contain enough software for nearly every user...

So, to answer your question... as a first time user, stick with the repositories... learn your system... and dive deeper as soon as you feel confident... Linux is a wonderful world, but you have to take your time to get to know it... enjoy...

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