I want to install a software on a USB stick, to be used on another Linux computer. The second Linux computer doesn't have internet access.

On Windows, I can simply install the software normally with the install wizard and when asked where to install it, install it on my usb stick and most of the time, the software would work on the second computer.

Is there a software or something built in Ubuntu that could allow me to do this?

Thank you for your help.

  • You can make a Full install to USB stick just like you can to internal drive: askubuntu.com/questions/1217832/… – C.S.Cameron Sep 27 '20 at 14:36
  • @C.S.Cameron He is asking to use a USB stick to install one program on to an installed Linux system with out internet, from another Linux system with internet. I just don't know the exact process, but think just a download to stick and having software centre open it. – crip659 Sep 27 '20 at 15:04
  • @Paul De l'eau I think you just have to copy or download to your USB stick and then when plugged into other computer find software using files and right click to have open with software centre. – crip659 Sep 27 '20 at 15:55
  • There is an old package manager that sounds just like what you want, named Camicri Cube, but is is quite old. I have not been able to get it running in 20.04. see launchpad.net/https://launchpad.net/camicricube for what it is worth. ostechnix.com/install-softwares-offline-ubuntu-16-04 might be of interest, I am trying that now. – C.S.Cameron Sep 28 '20 at 8:18

Install Software to Computer with no Internet

I believe I have found a way to install software to a computer that does not have Internet access.


Computer with no Internet access, (Target computer).

Access to computer with Internet access.

USB drive.


  • Create a Full install of Ubuntu on the USB drive with the same version of Ubuntu as the Target computer, See: How to Create a Full Install of Ubuntu 20.04 to USB Device Step by Step. a mkusb Persistent install will also work. See: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb

  • Install Synaptic on the USB. sudo apt install synaptic

  • Open Software and Updates/ Ubuntu Software confirm everything checked except Source code and Cdrom..., Close and Reload.

  • In Synaptic search for the program you want to install, select the main program and click Mark for Installation or Mark for Complete Installation.

  • Open Files in Synaptic and click Generate package download script. Save results in it's own folder as "newprogram.sh" where newprogram is the programs name. Do not press Apply.

  • In Terminal cd to the newprogram folder and run sudo chmod +x newprogram.sh then run the script ./newprogram.sh. (This may create a bunch of .deb files inside the folder)

  • Boot the Target drive and copy the newprogram package folder to the Downloads folder of the Target drive.

  • In Terminal cd to the newprogram folder and run sudo dpkg -i *.

The program and it's dependencies should now be installed.

Note: Above loosely based on https://ostechnix.com/install-softwares-offline-ubuntu-16-04/ without the need of installing Synaptic on the Target computer.


In Ubuntu, there are two ways to install software without using the package manager or a network connection:

.deb is most similar to something like a macOS .dmg or a Windows .exe with a wizard.

While increasing common, they are often not available for more sure software. Use this to install from a local file.

There are also what is known as tarballs. These end in .tar.gz, .tgz. or sometimes tar.bz2. Think of theses as zip files or archives like .7z or .zip. Except in Ubuntu and Linux in general these do not have an installer inside that you run after extraction.

Instead tarballs contain source code that must be compiled. This is an art in of itself and differs per software. This a whole other question. I recommend avoiding this method for now.

So to install software without the internet or a package manager, find and run a .deb installer on the target machine. Find .deb versions on the alternate download pages for the software in question. Load those on the target computer and run the installer. (this can be done using UI or running "sudo dpkg -I' [pathandfilename]" in terminal). Or learn to compile tarballs, and compile on the target machine.

Forgot to mention that these files must be should be moved from the thumb to the main drive for the default installer to work properly. There are others but this is simplest.


You can create a portable Ubuntu system in a USB pendrive or SSD in a USB box.

  • One alternative is a persistent live system. It is possible to install extra program packages, and it will survive shutdown/reboot. You can use mkusb to create a persistent live system. This is the easiest alternative.

  • Another alternative is an installed system, installed like into an internal drive, but into a USB drive. Such a system is also portable and can be updated & upgraded and you can install 'anything' like in an installed system with a few exceptions.

    • If you install or need a proprietary driver for the graphics chip or wifi chip, the portability will be reduced.
    • The drive space in a USB pendrive may be too small for everything that you want to install.
    • See this link and links from it. There is an easy alternative also here.

Either try:

  • Offline package installation as explained here.
  • or look for AppImage portable package
  • or Static & potable build achives.

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