I would like to build my own local repository on my LAN, so that machines on the LAN can update and upgrade from it. I want to download the packages and store them on my local server so that I can update, upgrade, install, etc, from it without using the internet.


10 Answers 10


From the Ubuntu Help wiki:

There are 4 steps to setting up a simple repository for yourself

1.Install dpkg-dev
2.Put the packages in a directory
3.Create a script that will scan the packages and create a file apt-get update can read
4. Add a line to your sources.list pointing at your repository

Install dpkg-dev

Type in a terminal

sudo apt-get install dpkg-dev

The Directory

Create a directory where you will keep your packages. For this example, we'll use /usr/local/mydebs.

sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/mydebs

Now move your packages into the directory you've just created.

Previously downloaded Packages are generally stored on your system in the /var/cache/apt/archives directory. If you have installed apt-cacher you will have additional packages stored in its /packages directory.

The Script update-mydebs

It's a simple three liner:

#! /bin/bash
 cd /usr/local/mydebs
 dpkg-scanpackages . /dev/null | gzip -9c > Packages.gz

Cut and paste the above into gedit, and save it as update-mydebs in ~/bin. (the tilde '~' means your home directory. If ~/bin does not exist, create it: Ubuntu will put that directory in your PATH. It's a good place to put personal scripts). Next, make the script executable:

chmod u+x ~/bin/update-mydebs

How the script works:

dpkg-scanpackages looks at all the packages in mydebs, and the output is compressed and written to a file (Packages.gz) that apt-get update can read (see below for a reference that explains this in excruciating detail). /dev/null is an empty file; it is a substitute for an override file which holds some additional information about the packages, which in this case is not really needed. See deb-override(5) if you want to know about it.


add the line

deb file:/usr/local/mydebs ./

to your /etc/apt/sources.list, and you're done.

CD Option

You can burn the directory containing the debs to a CD and use that as a repository as well (good for sharing between computers). To use the CD as a repository, simply run

sudo apt-cdrom add

Using the Repository

Whenever you put a new deb in the mydebs directory, run

sudo update-mydebs
sudo apt-get update

Now your local packages can be manipulated with Synaptic, aptitude and the apt commands: apt-get, apt-cache, etc. When you attempt to apt-get install, any dependencies will be resolved for you, as long as they can be met.

Badly made packages will probably fail, but you won't have endured dpkg hell.

  • 4
    Could you explain the syntax on the line dpkg-scanpackages . /dev/null | gzip -9c > Packages.gz. What's /dev/null doing there. I read the man page too, but it wasn't quite clear. May 28, 2013 at 12:13
  • @blade19899 I need a small bit of clarification, please. I want a repository with just a few select packages in it, not every package I ever touched. Am I correct that this technique will give me that ability? The goal here is to have a repository that a software installation group can use on an isolated LAN, far away from the temptations to apt-get the unneeded.
    – Wes Miller
    Jun 28, 2013 at 19:24
  • @WesMiller I think u need I just edited his post!
    – blade19899
    Jun 28, 2013 at 21:53
  • @blade19899 I'm sorry, I don't understand your answer.
    – Wes Miller
    Jul 3, 2013 at 16:32
  • 10
    Note that if you use deb file:/usr/local/mydebs ./ in your /etc/apt/sources.list, you may face the problem E: The repository 'file:/home/path Release' does not have a Release file. N: Updating from such a repository can't be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default. To solve the problem use deb [trusted=yes] file:/usr/local/mydebs ./. Mar 19, 2019 at 14:26

*To make an offline Repository Over LAN *

Install a Local Apache Webserver

# apt-get install apache2

By default, Debian's Apache package will set up a website under /var/www on your system. For our purposes, that's fine, so there's no reason to do anything more. You can easily test it by pointing your favorite browser at http://localhost You should see the default post-installation web page which is actually stored in /var/www/index.html

Create a Debian Package Repository Directory

chose to create a directory /var/www/debs for this. Under it, you should create "architecture" directories, one for each architecture you need to support. If you're using just one computer (or type of computer), then you'll only need one -- typically "i386" for 32-bit systems or "amd64" for 64 bit. If you are using some other architecture, I'll assume you probably already know about this. Now just copy the ".deb" package files for a given architecture into the appropriate directories. If you now point your favorite web browser at http://localhost/debs/amd64 (for example) you'll see a listing of the packages for 64 bit systems.

Create a Packages.gz file

Now we need to create a catalog file for APT to use. This is done with a utility called "dpkg-scanpackages". Here's the commands I use to update the AMD64 packages on my LAN:

# cd /var/www/debs/

# dpkg-scanpackages amd64 | gzip -9c > amd64/Packages.gz

Make the repository known to APT

Now the only thing left to do is to let APT know about your repository. You do this by updating your /etc/apt/sources.list file. You'll need an entry like this one:

deb http://localhost/debs/ amd64/

I used the actual hostname of my system instead of localhost -- this way the code is the same for all of the computers on my LAN, but localhost will do just fine if you are running just one computer.
Now, update APT:

# apt-get update
  • 2
    Adding that line to /etc/apt/sources.list will break updates when not in the LAN, won't it?
    – Felix
    Dec 3, 2015 at 14:43
  • 2
    For Ubuntu 16.04, you might need to replace /var/www/debs in this answer with /var/www/html/debs. Or you will need extra steps to manually edit your apache configuration in /etc/apache2
    – Erik
    Feb 18, 2018 at 22:06

Creating an Authenticated Repository

I've had a look at the answers here and on other sites and most have the (IMHO big) disadvantage that you're setting up an unauthenticated repository. This means you need to run apt-get with --allow-unauthenticated to install packages from it. This can be a security risk, especially in scripts where the packages you're installing might not all be from your local repository.

Note that I haven't covered here how to make it available over the LAN, but that's fairly generic config using Apache or nginx (see the other answers here).

Setup the repo directory

mkdir /home/srv/packages/local-xenial
cd /home/srv/packages/local-xenial

Then add a line like this to sources.list:

deb file:/home/srv/packages/local-xenial/ ./

Adding and Removing Packages

remove packages

rm /home/srv/packages/local-xenial/some_package_idont_like

add packages

cp /some/dir/apackage.deb /home/srv/packages/local-xenial

now run the following script which generates the Packages, Release and InRelease files and signs them with your gpg private key:


if [ -z "$1" ]; then
       echo -e "usage: `basename $0` DISTRO
where DISTRO is the Ubuntu version codename (e.g. 14.04 is trusty)\n
The way to use this script is to do the changes to the repo first, i.e. delete or copy in the .deb file to /srv/packages/local-DISTRO, and then run this script\n
This script can be run as an unprivileged user - root is not needed so long as your user can write to the local repository directory"
    cd /srv/packages/local-"$1"

    # Generate the Packages file
    dpkg-scanpackages . /dev/null > Packages
    gzip --keep --force -9 Packages

    # Generate the Release file
    cat conf/distributions > Release
    # The Date: field has the same format as the Debian package changelog entries,
    # that is, RFC 2822 with time zone +0000
    echo -e "Date: `LANG=C date -Ru`" >> Release
    # Release must contain MD5 sums of all repository files (in a simple repo just the Packages and Packages.gz files)
    echo -e 'MD5Sum:' >> Release
    printf ' '$(md5sum Packages.gz | cut --delimiter=' ' --fields=1)' %16d Packages.gz' $(wc --bytes Packages.gz | cut --delimiter=' ' --fields=1) >> Release
    printf '\n '$(md5sum Packages | cut --delimiter=' ' --fields=1)' %16d Packages' $(wc --bytes Packages | cut --delimiter=' ' --fields=1) >> Release
    # Release must contain SHA256 sums of all repository files (in a simple repo just the Packages and Packages.gz files)
    echo -e '\nSHA256:' >> Release
    printf ' '$(sha256sum Packages.gz | cut --delimiter=' ' --fields=1)' %16d Packages.gz' $(wc --bytes Packages.gz | cut --delimiter=' ' --fields=1) >> Release
    printf '\n '$(sha256sum Packages | cut --delimiter=' ' --fields=1)' %16d Packages' $(wc --bytes Packages | cut --delimiter=' ' --fields=1) >> Release

    # Clearsign the Release file (that is, sign it without encrypting it)
    gpg --clearsign --digest-algo SHA512 --local-user $USER -o InRelease Release
    # Release.gpg only need for older apt versions
    # gpg -abs --digest-algo SHA512 --local-user $USER -o Release.gpg Release

    # Get apt to see the changes
    sudo apt-get update

Example Contents of conf/distributions file

Origin: My_Local_Repo Label: My_Local_Repo Codename: xenial Architectures: i386 amd64 Components: main Description: My local APT repository SignWith: 12345ABC





  • @Phillip your edit used date -Rc, I corrected it to date -Ru assuming that's what you meant from the edit description
    – muru
    Jan 30, 2017 at 11:42
  • Thanks, I only recently started getting warnings from apt about this due to the date generated being in the local TZ and not UTC. I fixed it in my own script but forget to edit it here Jan 30, 2017 at 22:14
  • 1
    @KevinJohnson I've updated the main answer now with an example of that file from my local apt repo Nov 4, 2017 at 2:36

You can also setup local source server by nginx and reprepro:

  1. Install debian packages

    sudo apt-get install reprepro nginx 
  2. make directories for reprepro and edit it

    sudo mkdir -p /srv/reprepro/ubuntu/{conf,dists,incoming,indices,logs,pool,project,tmp}
    $ cd /srv/reprepro/ubuntu/
    $ sudo chown -R `whoami` . # changes the repository owner to the current user


    Origin: Your Name
    Label: Your repository name
    Codename: karmic
    Architectures: i386 amd64 source
    Components: main
    Description: Description of repository you are creating
    SignWith: YOUR-KEY-ID


    basedir .
  3. Include it in reprepro, build it

    $ reprepro includedeb karmic /path/to/my-package_0.1-1.deb \
    # change /path/to/my-package_0.1-1.deb to the path to your package
  4. Config nginx:


    server {
      listen 80;
      server_name packages.internal;
      access_log /var/log/nginx/packages-access.log;
      error_log /var/log/nginx/packages-error.log;
      location / {
        root /srv/reprepro;
        index index.html;
      location ~ /(.*)/conf {
        deny all;
      location ~ /(.*)/db {
        deny all;
  5. Optimize bucket size:


    server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;

Reference to Install Guide Link

  • 4
    Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – gertvdijk
    Jul 3, 2013 at 9:35
  • @elprup: you must have forgotten to update that answer :) May 18, 2014 at 2:12
  • reprepor does not support multiple versions of the same package. It sounds strange, but this is the way reprepro works
    – maxadamo
    Jun 19, 2019 at 9:01

You might want to take a look at apt-mirror and apt-cacher .

Here is a guide on how to install and use it.

  • A 5-Year old answer of yours is being flagged as LQ. If it would be deleted, go to meta and ask for an undelete. I voted to keep open, but it needs an edit! ;-)
    – Fabby
    Jun 1, 2018 at 23:48

The instructions in @BigSack's answer and Ubuntu's official wiki post didn't work for me on Ubuntu 18.04, until I made these two changes:

  1. Generate a plain, uncompressed Packages file (when executing this, the working directory must be where all packages are located)

    cd /usr/local/mydebs
    dpkg-scanpackages -m . > Packages
  2. Add the following entry in /etc/apt/sources.list

    deb [trusted=yes] file:/usr/local/mydebs ./

There are several reasons you may want to create a local repository. The first is that you want to save on bandwidth if you have multiple Ubuntu machines to update. For example if you had 25 Ubuntu machines that all needed updating at least once a week, you would significantly save bandwidth because you could do all but the repository locally.

Most organizations have decent bandwidth for their network gateways but this bandwidth is a precious commodity that needs to be used wisely.

Many organizations still have routers with 10MB or 100MB limits at the gateway but 1 GB network connections internally so bandwidth could be better used internally. The second reason for creating your own repository is that you can control what applications are loaded on your internal Ubuntu machines.

You can remove any applications your organization does not want to use on the local network from the repository that updates the machines. Even better, you can create a test box and test applications and versions before you allow them to roll out into your network assuring security and stability.

You first have to setup a mirror, to do that you need to Just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command below.

apt-get install apt-mirror 

Once you have your set up apt-mirror you can start your download of the repository with this command.

apt-mirror /etc/apt/mirror.list1

Read on

1Source:Create an Ubuntu Repository

  • sorry, link is dead
    – xamiro
    Sep 25, 2016 at 14:41

To make an offline local Repository
1. make a dir accessible (atleast by root)

sudo mkdir /var/my-local-repo

  1. copy all the deb files to this directory.
  2. scan the directory

sudo dpkg-scanpackages /var/my-local-repo /dev/null > /var/my-local-repo/Packages

  1. add the local repository to sources

echo "deb file:/var/my-local-repo ./" > /tmp/my-local.list

sudo mv /tmp/my-local.list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/my-local.list

sudo apt-get update


I tried to use apt-rdepends like in the selected answer, but when I tried to install the package from my local repository, it complained about missing dependencies.

apt-rdepends wasn't listing some of the dependencies for my package. I suspect it has something to do with the fact, that apt-cache show shows multiple records for it.

Instead I used apt-cache depends, and that did the trick:

Getting a recursive list of dependencies

apt-cache depends <packagename> -i --recurse

-i: important dependencies only --recurse: recursive

Turn it into a digestible list

  • Removing symbols & spaces: | tr -d "|,<,>, "
  • Removing Depends: & PreDepends: | sed -e 's/^Depends://g' | sed -e 's/^PreDepends://g'
  • Sorting the list: | sort
  • Only unique values: | uniq > list.txt

Complete command:

apt-cache depends <packagename> -i --recurse | tr -d "|,<,>, " | sed -e \
's/^Depends://g' | sed -e 's/^PreDepends://g' | sort | uniq > list.txt

Download the packages

for i in $( cat list.txt ); do apt-get download $i; done;

Scan for the packages and turn it into Packages.gz

dpkg-scanpackages . /dev/null | gzip -9c > Packages.gz
  • 1
    Might be a good idea to reference which answer you're talking about...
    – anonymous2
    Jun 8, 2016 at 14:03

Check out OpenRepo (https://github.com/openkilt/openrepo)

This open source project runs as a web server. You can upload packages to it and it will host it on your LAN for other servers to upgrade from.

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