The APT protocol, or apturl, is a very simple way to install a software package from a web browser.

On computers where apturl is enabled, clicking on a special type of link on a web page starts the installation of one or several packages available in the package repositories of this computer.

For example, from a web page, when a Ubuntu user clicks on the link apt:packageexample , the apturl protocol will launch the package manager to propose the installation of the package called "packageexample" from the repositories available on the computer.

Please note that apturl is not aimed at replacing the current system of repositories and package manager. It is a complementary method.


To use this package installation method:

  • you need to be on Ubuntu 7.10 or later
  • you need the package apturl to be installed (it is generally installed by default)

  • you need a compatible web browser (see list below).

Firefox-based browsers

  • apturl works by default with Firefox if it is installed from the Ubuntu repositories
  • if you use a version of Firefox that you didn't install from the repositories, you need to enable the apturl in your browser, using the procedure below.

This mechanism applies to all recent browsers based on Firefox, such as Seamonkey, Swiftfox, IceWeasel, etc.

Follow the instructions on the mozillazine wiki:

Click on this link apt://mplayer , and in the "Application launch" windows, click on the "Choose" button and :

Click on File system, and the /usr/bin directory then on the apturl file.

Don't forget to enable "Remember my choice" and validate.


  • Execute the Kate text editor in administrator mode: <code>kdesudo kate</code>

  • Create a new text file containing these data :

exec=apturl "%u"

Save this file under the name apt.protocol in the /usr/share/services folder.

  • Create a second text file containing these data :

exec=apturl "%u"

Save this file under the name apt+http.protocol in the /usr/share/services folder.


If you use Opera, you just need to go in the menu Tools then Preferences. Click on the tab Advanced then Programs, and choose Add. In Protocol, enter apt and in Open with another application, enter apturl. Click on the button OK and restart Opera.

Use of apturl

In the Ubuntu Documentation, you will sometimes find sentences like for example:

" To install this software in Ubuntu, install the following package: supertux. "

Click on the name of the package ("supertux" in the example): if the apturl protocol is enabled on your computer, you will be proposed to install the package called "supertux".

Multiple packages can be linked to in documentation, they need only be separated by a comma. The following code is an example, first the source then the result.

[[InstallingSoftware#installing-a-package|install the following packages]]: '''''[[apt:rsync,xinetd|rsync xinetd]]'''''. 

This would produce - install the following packages: rsync xinetd.

Create an apturl link

See also


AptURL (last edited 2012-08-28 16:01:06 by nanotube)