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I am very new with Linux, but I can tell that I am happy with it.

But against its main rival, Windows, one can take an .exe or .msi put it on a USB/CD/DVD and take it everywhere, store it for future use etc.

I want to be able to save programs for future use, mainly to store them somewhere and then take them elsewhere (for example a machine that has no internet connectivity).

From what I see if you want to install something you have to have Firefox and/or apt protocols.

Is there a solution to my problem?

Example: can I download, burn and install from a CD or USB with VLC or Gimp and so on?

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See also AptGet/Offline on ubuntu.com. Of course you can. Example use cases: the package manager cache (/var/cache/apt/archives for apt-based distros) is often shared from an Internet-connected machine to local clients which are not connected to the Internet. A number of distros (for example Debian and openSUSE) do provide DVDs of packages for offline software installation. Mainstream distros have official repositories and sign packages, Windows has neither (which is also one of its main security flaws) –  ignis Dec 25 '13 at 9:55

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can use Cube. It is a offline package management system (offline apt-get equivalent) that downloads .deb and its dependency packages in any computer with internet connection (You can run it also in your USB Stick) and install it offline in later use. It is portable so no additional installation needed.

Searching and Downloading Applications "Frozen Bubble" (Microsoft Windows XP)

Searching Frozen Bubble

Downloading it and it's dependencies

Downloading Packages

Installing Application (Ubuntu 12.04)

Finding Frozen Bubble

Verifying dependencies

Dependencies

Installing it in the system

Installing

Using it

enter image description here

You can download it here : Cube Launchpad Page . A zip and tutorial is included in the download page. You can check the tutorial for instructions.

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Thank you this is very interesting approach I will give it a go! –  George Dec 25 '13 at 13:55
    
You're welcome sir :) –  Jake Dec 26 '13 at 9:57

In case of Ubuntu you can install a program from a .deb file. To install a package use in terminal,

sudo dpkg -i /path/to/<package>.deb

You can download, store, distribute the .deb files. But to install a program from a .deb file you need to have all its dependencies also. The dependencies are available in the form of .deb files.

How to get the .deb files

You can go to packages.ubuntu.com search for desired package and download them. Don't forget to choose correct distribution and architecture before you download. There you can find all the dependencies for a particular package. You need to download them if needed (if not installed already).

To check a package is installed on your system, type in terminal,

apt-cache policy <package_name>

When a package and its dependencies are in your hand you need to install the dependencies before you install the main package.

How to get .deb files from your own system source

When you install a program with apt or Software center the .deb files along with its dependencies automatically stored in /var/cache/apt/archives. You can have the deb files from there also.

Sometimes the files get deleted by user or somehow. You can download all the packages that are already installed again using this command below,

dpkg -l | grep "^ii"| awk ' {print $2} ' | xargs sudo apt-get -y install --reinstall --download-only

To re-download a particular package use,

sudo apt-get -y install --reinstall --download-only <package_name>
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Thank you! I see!! Now that is another question I have : /var/cache/apt/archives has virtually anything i need but how do i get to see which is the main package and which it's dependencies are? Let us say that I want to "extract" vlc? How do i get EVERYTHING I need with me? Actually come to think how do I distinguish the main package??? –  George Dec 25 '13 at 13:49
    
see this link for vlc main packages and its dependencies. Most of the dependencies are already there in default Ubuntu installation. –  souravc Dec 25 '13 at 17:53

This link will help you with ways to install applications: Alternative ways to install applications in Ubuntu

When you install applications, the packages and dependencies get downloaded in the directory /var/cache/apt/archives/. You can keep a managed backup of this or better use apt-on-cd to create a repository-CD/DVD .iso (CD/DVD image) file when you've enough packages. You can use the .iso image by mounting (will require some extra effort though) or burn a CD/DVD with the image (using brasero or other applications). This link should help more: Offline installation of packages in Ubuntu

If you're looking for Windows applications' alternative, you could possibly visit: What default Windows/MacOS Software Alternatives does Ubuntu have!

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In Ubuntu the equivalent to the .exe is .deb. All the packages from the repositories are downloaded as .deb files.

To install .exe files, you have to right click on the file and select Run. Here in Ubuntu, you need to Right click on .deb file and select Open with Software Centre.

You can install any .exe file from any sources. But in Ubuntu, Only the packages from trusted sources are allowed to be installed. So it is so secured.

Ubuntu is a Open Source. So all the advanced applications which freely available and secured to install are within Official Ubuntu Repository. Copy of this repository is within your Ubuntu System. So you don't need to search them anywhere. You can install them from the application Software Center. It downloads your request and install. That also can be done by sudo apt-get install [PACKAGENAME] command.

The .deb files that are downloaded by Software Center for installation are in /var/cache/apt/archives/. Any time you can copy such file and store in USB or CD. Or you can download those files from www.ubuntuupdates.org.

You can also manually download .deb files from secured sources and install.

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