I keep /home, /etc, and /usr/local backed up. My hard drive crashed and I reinstalled Ubuntu and copied over my backed-up directories. (Yay for backups!)

I assumed that something in /etc would tell the package manager what I want to have installed. Apparently it doesn't work that way. I would like to re-install all the packages that I had previously installed. Is there something in my backed-up files that would tell me what I had installed?

1 Answer 1


The list of packages that you had installed was kept in /var/lib/dpkg/status, with daily backups of the dpkg database to /var/backups. These directories unfortunately aren't in the list of directories that you backed up.

  • 2
    And if I DO have /var/lib/dpkg/status , and restore it - will it restore all the packages that I had? Jul 27, 2012 at 7:07
  • Please answer this.
    – BigSack
    Aug 15, 2012 at 6:15
  • 1
    in this answer is explained how to restore packages from /var/lib/pdkg/status unix.stackexchange.com/a/161940/8115
    – Paolo
    Feb 8, 2015 at 11:46

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