I've only played around with Linux on the odd occasion so know very little about it but one thing I noticed is that to open executable files, you have to right click them, go to properties and then check the box that says executable otherwise you just see the program's code when you open it.
In some cases what you want can be found with the synaptic package manager. it can be found in system/administration and entering your password. Once open go to settings/repositories and ticking all the boxes.
You can then search using the package manager which will handle the installation for you.
I was a linux noobie 2 months or so ago and i found searching on the ubuntu forums click here very informative