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I want to backup my application setup files.(source packages)

So can anybody please help me find the location where these setup files are stored in Ubuntu Natty Narwhal.

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@enzotib thanks for editing Q – CoolEulerProject Sep 24 '11 at 9:44
up vote 5 down vote accepted

From the comment to @DannyStaple I understand you look for different information.

If you want to know where apt-get download the (unpacked) packages you install, have a look in


This directory could become very big, so feel free to remove the content by hand, or preferably by issuing the command

sudo apt-get clean

Moreover, if you want to know were are the files unpacked from the package you installed, the following command give you the list

dpkg -L package-name

In particular, appending | grep /bin/ will show only the real program(s), and | grep /man/ or | grep /doc/ will show the manual pages or the documentation files.

As a last note, there is no need to backup installed packages, they could be simply reinstalled from repos.

If you do some modification to system configuration files (those residing in /etc), backup only them. User configuration files reside in hidden files and directories in your home, so a home backup is enough.

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Thanks a ton....more than my question intended Great answer.... – CoolEulerProject Sep 24 '11 at 20:13

Most apps will store personal settings in what are known "dotfiles". These are in your home directory, normally under ".appname" - that is the app name, preceeded by a dot. Sometimes this will be the name of a particular library the app uses instead. Some apps store them under gnome or kde configuration directories that are also dotfiles in your home directory.

The safest thing here is to back up your home directory, and if you know there are large files you don't want, such as media files, then you can exclude them.

Server apps (like apache, mysql, sshd) are quite different - but I will assume for now that you mean user apps.

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thanks but I needed location of the source packages downloaded by Ubuntu software center, and apt-get install command – CoolEulerProject Sep 24 '11 at 12:09
cool - looks like I didn't get the intent of the question. I think the answer above from enzotip looks good though. – Danny Staple Sep 24 '11 at 14:25

You can use an application called APTOnCD to create a backup of all the applications you have installed. It's in the Ubuntu repos and you should be able to find it in the Ubuntu Software Center.

enter image description here

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hey thanks, Its what I wanted,but do U know where these packages are located.... – CoolEulerProject Sep 24 '11 at 12:10

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