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I know that /etc/apt/sources.list is used to tell the apt ubuntu/debian package system about the packages it should use. This is quite clear already.

But I have seen that there is a file /etc/apt/sources.list.apt-clone and I was wondering what it is? Is this file only present on my system (which is 12.04 precise)?

It seems indeed to be a copy of the file /etc/apt/sources.list.

In case the file exists in all 12.04 versions, what purpose does it serve?

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This file was created by apt-clone:

apt-clone is the command-line tool for handling packages, and may be considered the user's "front-end" to the apt-get(8). It manages GRUB menu and ZFS 'syspool' filesystems. Two upgrade methods supported: 1) safe upgrades via cloning a currently active filesystem and later ch- rooting into it to perform actual upgrade operation; 2) in-place (live) upgrades by checkpointing a currently active filesystem prior to any upgrade modifications done by apt-get utility.

In one moment you used, or your OEM used apt-clone for cloning your current packages, and that file was left behind. If you don't use apt-clone anymore you can delete it without problems.

  • Great! how did you find out about that? man apt-clone did work? I thought via apt-file search sources.list it would tell me the package that does have sources.list.apt-clone. But since as you explained the file seems to be created dynamically and is not a part of the deb, it was not found. Anyhow thanks a lot! great answer – humanityANDpeace Sep 5 '13 at 17:34

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