How to Install Scribus on Ubuntu Linux

Scribus is a powerful, free desktop publishing and formatting tool for desktop operating systems. The following tutorial will demonstrate how to install Scribus on Ubuntu 22.10 Kinetic Kuduo, Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish, or Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa using an official dedicated LaunchPAD PPA dedicated to Scribus to install the latest version using the command line terminal.

Scribus offers professional-level capabilities to create high-quality documents ready for professional output, from brochures and books to posters and newspapers. An array of interactive functions facilitate preparing complex presentations and forms in the popular interactive PDF format. Through its user-friendly layout tools, Scribus users can craft dynamic layouts with a wide range of graphical elements, including images, font options, scaling capabilities, and plenty more — all without requiring any knowledge of graphic design or programming language.

Before you begin, run an update on your system to ensure all packages are up-to-date to avoid any conflicts during the installation.

sudo apt update

Optionally, you can list the updates for users who require review or are curious.

sudo apt --list upgradable

Proceed to upgrade any outdated packages using the following command.

sudo apt upgrade

The following tutorial was done with a Ubuntu 22.10 release, and example images were taken. Still, it was tested on Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 22.04. In the future, if Ubuntu makes any changes to break the tutorial for one of the distribution versions, please place a comment for me to investigate so I can update the tutorial.

The first task in installing Scribus is to import the Scribus LaunchPAD PPA maintained by the “Scribus” team. as explained at the start of the tutorial.

First, install the following packages that are required. These are most likely installed but run the command to be safe.

sudo apt install dirmngr lsb-release ca-certificates software-properties-common gnupg gnupg2 apt-transport-https -y

For users who have not previously imported a GPG key from the Ubuntu keyserver, the command line terminal will often have issues importing GPG keys from LaunchPAD PPAs because the directories are not created. This is an easy fix. Use the following command that will, in turn, generate the directories.

sudo gpg --list-keys

Example output:

gpg: directory '/root/.gnupg' created

gpg: keybox '/root/.gnupg/pubring.kbx' created

gpg: /root/.gnupg/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created

This can be skipped, but if you encounter an issue, just run the command and re-try.

The next task is to import the GPG key needed.

sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/scribus.gpg --keyserver --recv-keys DD9317F8768E710104B4846DB70D6F7664B6EE15 > /dev/null

Example output:

Haifa@www.Computing$ sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/scribus.gpg --keyserver --recv-keys DD9317F8768E710104B4846DB70D6F7664B6EE15 > /dev/null

gpg: key B70D6F7664B6EE15: public key "Launchpad PPA for Scribus friends" imported

gpg: Total number processed: 1

gpg: imported: 1

With the GPG key now imported, you can import the LaunchPAD PPA.

Please note at the time of this tutorial, only Ubuntu 22.10, 22.04, and 20.04 is supported by the PPA and tested. In the future, if I have not updated the tutorial, check the PPA and see if a newer version is supported or leave me a comment, as the command below will match any Ubuntu system, but again this does not mean it will be kept.

echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/scribus.gpg] $(lsb_release -cs) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/scribus.list

Before running the installation command, run an apt update to reflect the new imported PPA.

sudo apt-get update

With the PPA added, you can begin the installation using the following command.

sudo apt install scribus -y

Launching can be done in a few ways now that you have the software installed.

In your terminal, use the following command.


However, this is not practical for desktop users, and you would use the following path on your desktop, do not forget to right-click and add as a favorite if you will access this application a lot.

Activities > Show Applications > Scribus



Once opened, you will land at the default create a new document screen. From here, configure your options, and once done, you will use the publishing editor in a similar window below.



And that is it, and you have successfully installed the latest version of Scribus.

The software should update itself with your system packages for desktop users using the APT package manager. For users who want to check manually, use the following command in your terminal.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

This is fine and standard for users who prefer updating with the GUI. Still, I recommend using the cli commands to ensure your packages are updated and familiarize yourself with users porting from Windows.

Use the following command entirely for users who no longer wish to have Scribus on their system and want to remove the software.

sudo apt autoremove scribus --purge

The above command is a blanket command that will remove all associated unused dependencies along with Scribus and any saved data created by the software for complete removal.

Lastly, remove the repository but be mindful that if you have installed other applications, do not remove it. If you did it accidentally, re-import it at the tutorial’s start.

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/scribus.list

The tutorial taught you how to install Scribus from a LaunchPAD PPA for an alternative publishing editor that is open-source and free to use. The tutorial has also demonstrated how to fix importing a GPG key for the first time using cli commands with the command line terminal.



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