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I copied "archives" folder (/var/cache/apt/archives) from another computer which was fully updated and had some packages that i want. Can someone guide me how to add my USB drive in repository list so that i can install those packages from it?


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Related: How to make my own local repository? - Ask Ubuntu – sdaau Feb 23 '14 at 16:21

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

You should build a repository in a local directory and point a file: URI entry to your APT sources (see URI SPECIFICATION in man sources.list):

deb file:/home/user/repository

To make apt work, you need to create a list of packages (Packages.gz) for APT to consume. This is explained in detail here. For your case, it should be quite easy. I refer you to the "Trivial Repositories" section of the manual. It should be as easy as changing to, say, /home/user/repository and running

dpkg-scanpackages binary /dev/null | gzip -9c > binary/Packages.gz

Then after a apt-get update, the packages should become available. Perhaps if you want to make this source take precedence over others, you need to assign it a higher priority; for that see the APT manual pages.

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n.b. the local directory in question can of course also be a USB drive, such as /media/usbdrive/repository – loevborg Sep 6 '10 at 11:25
I wrote a quick-and-dirty script that demonstrates a quick-and-dirty local repo: – Dave Oct 24 at 4:47

You have backup copies of the package files (that you have downloaded in another computer) in your USB drive. In this situation just create a folder in your home directory, say, ARCHbackUP. Copy all the files from USB to this folder and then follow the codes below:

cd ~
sudo chown -R username:username ARCHbackUP/.
genisoimage -o ARCHbackUP.iso -R -J ~/ARCHbackUP
mv -u ./ARCHbackUP.iso ~/
sudo apt-get clean #cleans the /var/cache/apt/archives directory.
sudo mkdir /mnt/load_iso
sudo mount -o loop ARCHbackUP.iso /mnt/load_iso #mounts the iso archive.
cd /mnt/load_iso #taking you in the mounted directory.
sudo cp -r -n ./. /var/cache/apt/archives
cd ~
sudo umount /mnt/load_iso #unmount the mounted iso archive.
sudo rmdir /mnt/load_iso #deletes the mount point load_iso.

Now all the package files and updates you've downloaded are in the apt-get install search path of your system. Now open your terminal and issue sudo apt-get install package_name to install new packages or sudo apt-get upgrade to update installed packages offline.

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I don't think there is a way to add this as a repository but you can use it to install the packages by copying the contents to your /var/cache/apt/archives. To do this, press alt-f2, enter gksudo nautilus and do the copy. Once you have done, make sure you close the file manager window because it is not a good idea to use the file manager as root except for the tasks that absolutely require it.

To view/install these packages, run System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager, click the 'Origin' button and choose 'Local' from the list.

In the future, you are better off using a program called aptoncd which can be installed from the repositories. It can be used to create a CD image that can be added as a software source. This image can be transported on a usb stick.

The easiest way to add the image as a software source is to burn it to a CD/DVD. You then need to go to System -> Administration -> Software Sources, click 'Other Software' and click 'Add CD-ROM...'.

If you want to use the ISO image as a software source without burning it, the process will be a bit more complicated. You will need to open a terminal Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal and run these commands:

sudo mkdir /aptoncd-mountpoint
sudo mount /media/USB/aptoncd.iso ~/aptoncd-mountpoint -oloop
sudo apt-cdrom -d=/aptoncd-mountpoint add


If you want to download packages on one computer (Linux, Mac or Windows) and install them on an Ubuntu system, you can use keryx.

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I don't think this is accurate. There is a file:// URI type. Making an iso image is really much too complicated for this simple task. – loevborg Sep 6 '10 at 8:39
It doesn't work. It still tries to mount /dev/sr0. – int_ua Dec 29 '11 at 15:15

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