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I do not have a very fast internet connection, so ideally I want to download Ubuntu with all of the packages I require so I can install them all from CD/DVD/USB without the need to use my internet connection for downloading additional packages.

Specifically, I need to ensure that I have all of the plugins required for video and audio playback, amongst others.

What is the best suitable version to achieve this?

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Use Debian instead. less frequent updates... – nightcrawler Nov 30 '13 at 17:20
All of them will work so whatever you want use ;) – Rinzwind Nov 30 '13 at 17:30
@nightcrawler actually if you use Debian Testing/Sid you get more frequent updats. – Braiam Nov 30 '13 at 17:33

I doubt there are any differences between Ubuntu versions, that make one more suitable than another for slow Internet connections.

I think Debian has some versions on several disks that include more packages.

Ubuntu comes on a ~700 MB ISO, which can only hold so many packages. Even like that, it is not trivial to install from the Ubuntu CD.

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There used to be quite a few distros which included "everything" you needed to have Ubuntu running out of the box. It appears they've all been deprecated now.

There are ways to download needed packages to flash drives or CDs and to use those devices to install the software. If you're coming from the scenario that you're downloading a CD and taking it home to your computer, I am truly sorry but you're going to have to put a little more work into it.

We have a more detailed question regarding installing packages on Ubuntu without internet access which details how to install packages that are included on the Ubuntu installation media. Also this question detailing how to install packages that aren't on the Ubuntu installation media.

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I guess what "This Guy" here is looking for is Ubuntu based Distro with pre installed packages for audio and video playback. Not talking much, IMHO, I would suggest Best Match for You is "Linux Mint". It has in-built VLC installed with the Distro Installation. So you don't need to worry about audio video playback as well, plus its Ubuntu backend, Hope that helps. If you find this good enough, be kind to accept my answer. Enjoy.

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Well Ubuntu installation can be performed from DVD or USB whatever you prefer, made by the downloaded .iso from official website itself and it contains most of the required things like -

  1. After installation you don’t need to worry about anti-viruses as you need them in windows, Virus's can't affect Linux easily.

  2. You don’t need to download any graphics drivers or any hardware drivers (in most of the cases excluding NVIDIA graphic card drivers etc).

  3. You don’t need to download any Office like stuffs as in windows there is a 1 GB's installation setup for Microsoft Office , because Ubuntu comes with Libre-Office that really works nicely .

  4. I have seen your profile ,you have mentioned that you are a C,C++ lang. developer so in Ubuntu you don't need to install any C compiler , just use gcc, and gcc+.

So completing your requirement there is only one package that you need to install that is Ubuntu-restricted-extras, that actually adds support for MP3 playback and decoding, support for various other audio formats (GStreamer plugins), Microsoft fonts, Java runtime environment, Flash plugin, LAME (to create compressed audio files), and DVD playback.

So basically, once you have installed Ubuntu you would need to get approximately 30MBs of data from the internet, which is probably small enough that you can download it with your mobile phone internet.

If you have fluctuating network then use terminal instead of Ubuntu-Software-Center because even after restart you can start downloading again with the same command:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

That should be it. Hope I have explained what you want. Enjoy Ubuntu!

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