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A while back I installed a TV server program called Tvheadend using a PPA. The installation instructions and the program were on the site tvheadend.org which now appears to be dead (as of about three days ago, it seems). One of my pet peeves about installing software using apt is that you don't get a compressed installation file that you can hang onto for future use, like you would in Windows or MacOS. But what I was wondering is, does Ubuntu actually store the packages it downloads somewhere on the system, in a format where you could take that package and save it to an external drive or network share and then at some later time install it on a different system running Ubuntu, or even on the same system after doing a Ubuntu major version upgrade? I'd really like to be able to back this program up so that if I ever want to build another server I can still install it, but if there's a way to do that I am just not aware of it.

If there is not a way then that is really bad. I wish that Ubuntu would let you download some kind of install package to disk and then run that to install, as is the norm in Windows and MacOS, ESPECIALLY when you have to use a PPA to get software from a non-Ubuntu related site. But if there is a way, could someone please explain where Ubuntu stores those packages, and how I save a package for future use?

EDIT: The site finally came back up late Friday afternoon (US time) but thanks to those who replied!

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    Ubuntu does have .deb packages; which can be saved & are downloaded when you apt-get to install, and this includes from PPAs. They remain on your system until removed by a user or runs a clean apt autoclean etc. Ubuntu has many tools to do what you want; which the user can perform if required. You didn't provide a release; as PPA/archives are usually only removed when a release goes EOL/unsupported.
    – guiverc
    Jan 14 at 21:29
  • "You didn't provide a release; as PPA/archives are usually only removed when a release goes EOL/unsupported." Sorry, I have no idea what you meant by that.
    – UbuntuUser
    Jan 14 at 22:18
  • I can't reproduce any problem. I have just followed tvheadend.org/projects/tvheadend/wiki/AptRepositories on 20.04 LTS and got tvheadend amd64 4.2.8-36~g5bdcfd8ac~cosmic downloaded from apt.tvheadend.org and installed. What do you currently have for apt-cache policy tvheadend ?
    – N0rbert
    Jan 15 at 8:15
  • The site came back up late yesterday afternoon.
    – UbuntuUser
    Jan 15 at 23:55
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does Ubuntu actually store the packages it downloads somewhere on the system,

Yes. See /var/cache/apt/archives. There are debs there you can use both software manager or dpkg to install it.

Tvheadend project sources can be found here though and was updated 2 days ago. If you want you can create your own account on github and clone the project.

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  • Thank you. For whatever reason, the original file is not in /var/cache/apt/archives in fact it looks like there is nothing there more than a couple months old, which is odd because the system has been in use much longer than that. But the link to the PPA that you gave works so I downloaded the code as a zip file, so at least I have that. I don't know if I would actually be successful in installing from that but at least it is better than nothing.
    – UbuntuUser
    Jan 14 at 22:08
  • ` I don't know if I would actually be successful in installing from that ` -- See github.com/tvheadend/tvheadend#how-to-build-for-linux Jan 15 at 13:40
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The packages you usually install are .deb files, those files reside on launchpad and could be downloaded as

apt-get download your_package_name

Fully described in this question

In addition to that the installed pachages can be found in

/var/cache/apt/archive

But it won't help you very much, since each package is compiled/build against the libraries of that particular version.

Therefore as maintainer of a package you have to create several "variations" of the same code - check my PPA as example. So taking these packages -made for Ubuntu 20.04 and installing them in 21.10 might succeed, if the libs haven't changed, but you can't count on that. So it is rather futile to "save packages for later use".

So this is where "snap" comes into place - a snap package delivers all the libs needed and is not really dependent on anything outside. The penalty is redundant code, slow performance and not to mention the different look and feel of the UI if you have selected your own theme.

Finally there is a possibility to create an LXC container (lighter than docker) with the correct Ubuntu version, install your app there and share your native X-Server and let that software run in this container.

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  • Problem is that this is the entry in the apt sources list: --- deb apt.tvheadend.org/stable focal main --- So as you can see it is going to tvheadend.org which is the site that is down, so doing "apt-get download" wouldn't work. And as I mentioned in my other comment, there's nothing older that a couple months in /var/cache/apt/archives.
    – UbuntuUser
    Jan 14 at 22:16
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You have to carefully follow TVHeadend official installation guide from https://tvheadend.org/projects/tvheadend/wiki/AptRepositories .

And then you can get the link to Lauchpad PPA which provides newer actual build of TVHeadend.
The newest package here for your Ubuntu 20.04 LTS was released at 2022-01-13 01:50:21 UTC with 4.3.0~pre+202201122318-0~built202201130132~gitc7b713edb~ubuntu20.04.1 version.

So it is installable by:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mamarley/tvheadend-git
sudo apt update
sudo apt install tvheadend

and its packages maybe downloaded directly from launchpad, found at /var/cache/apt/archives after installation or downloaded manually to any folder using apt-get download tvheadend .

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