I have several computers running Ubuntu. I also have a slow Internet connection.

If I install programs using apt-get, does that put installation files somewhere which I can access, so that I can use those to also install the same programs on my other Ubuntu machine instead of having to download the same thing multiple times from the net?

What's the way to do this?


Yes it is possible.

Those file are stored in /var/apt/cache/archives.

  1. You can copy those files manually or use software like AptonCD.

    But this will require you to update the source file using apt-get which is also a pain in slow internet connections.

What I would recommend is to,

  1. Customize a live CD to include all necessary software and use that media to install it in other system.

    You use UCK for this purpose.

Another possible way is

  1. Install ubuntu in one computer. Update with necessary software.

    Use remastersys to create an image of your system and use it for installation in others.

  • remastersys looks dead? – monkut May 22 '13 at 3:09
  • For me, it's /var/cache/apt/archives (Ubuntu 19.10 on Windows 10 x86_64 / WSL2) – dan1st Dec 5 '19 at 6:14

You might want to take a look at apt-cacher or AptProxy which are designed exactly for your purpose.


Ubuntu have two releases every year 4 (April) and 10 (October) that's why programs largely depends on the version based dependencies of kernel or other libraries.

In case you got the right package for installation, you can use the following command to install from a binary .deb (debian package file).

sudo dpkg -i what_so_ever_is_the_package_name.deb

and for removing --

sudo dpkg -r what_so_ever_is_the_package_name

for repair or reconfigure --

sudo dpkg-reconfigure what_so_ever_is_the_package_name
  • When you do apt-get install, where can the .deb file be found? – z-buffer Jul 6 '12 at 6:57

Assuming that all Ubuntu installations are of Same Version and Architecture and also having same Package/ Application Installed state .

So the .deb you have downloaded on one of your machine are stored in


  1. You can install by selecting the Main Package .deb file opened through Ubuntu Software Center or through gdebi core.

  2. Another way , if you use sudo apt-get install <package name> to install in main Ubuntu Machine, then after installing , go to the above path of files and copy them exactly into other PC's and run

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

at the same location , you may need Root permissions for that. Then you can issue the same commands to install them there.[ I think it does works].

You can also follow different methods through the Link provided by Mitch .


I had the issue, that I had a machine completly without internet connection.

I solved it with this little Trick(s):

1st trick(good for you):

copy the whole apt-cache onto a empty usb-stick

$ sudo cp /var/cache/apt /media/your_username/name_of_usb_stick

then carry the usb stick to the other machine and mount the apt-cache on the usb stick to the apt-cache of your machine

$ sudo mount name_of_usb_stick /var/cache/apt

(you also can mount the apt-cache using nfs)

2nd trick:

(good if your machines are not similar)

First you install the same system on a usb stick(see here), after that you go to a machine with internet connection an boot from your usb system

Here you fetch the packages using

$ sudo apt-get install --download-only program-you-want-to-install

then shutdown your pc and carry the usb stick to the machine without internet connection, now link the apt-cache on the stick to your apt-cache

$ sudo ln -d /media/your_username/name_of_stick/var/cache/apt  /var/cache/apt

Then run

$ sudo apt-get install program_name

I hope this will help a few people

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.