I'm currently on debian wheezy and I want to install Ubuntu. I'm on a slow broadband connection and I do not want to download all the packages again that I installed on the debian installation. Is there any way around so that the new Ubuntu installation installs/clones the previous package files of the debian installation?

  • I believe that many packages are re-written to work with the newer versions of Ubuntu. – Charles Green Jul 5 '14 at 15:00
  • thats alright, but I'm unable to download all the packages again. It would be fine if I have to download a few packages, though. – syfluqs Jul 5 '14 at 15:06
  • K - let me rephrase that - many of the older packages will not work with the newer versions of Ubuntu... – Charles Green Jul 5 '14 at 15:07
  • OK, let me also rephrase- I can download the newer versions of the older packages, but what about the other ones which are up to date? For the time being, lets forget that I have old packages and the present packages will work fine with the new installation... – syfluqs Jul 5 '14 at 15:22
  • Probably you're better off downloading the Ubuntu iso file and install afresh, including the installation of all the packages that trying to convert a Debian install into an Ubuntu. There are many differences that would cause problems (and many hours of trying to solve them). – To Do Jul 5 '14 at 16:44

On the old installation run the following command:

sudo apt-get install dpkg-repack fakeroot && sudo mkdir ~/dpkg-repack; cd ~/dpkg-repack && sudo fakeroot -u dpkg-repack dpkg --get-selections | grep install | cut -f1

that will put all packages into a folder in your home folder called "dpkg-repack". Copy that to the home folder on your new installation and run

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

to install every one that is compatible, then just update the packages normally to resolve incompatibilities. Very few applications are actually recoded for the new releases, @syfluqs, so the two or three out of over 300 are just maybe a couple of drivers or one or two core applications that are installed anyway during normal installation, and are thus not downgraded to the old version

  • thats what I needed... I appreciate your help. – syfluqs Jul 6 '14 at 6:06
  • sudo apt-get install dpkg-repack fakeroot && sudo mkdir ~/dpkg-repack; cd ~/dpkg-repack && sudo fakeroot -u dpkg-repack $(sudo dpkg --get-selections | grep -w install | cut -f1) worked better – syfluqs Jul 6 '14 at 6:25

Copy .deb packages from cache to ubuntu's cache (/var/cache/apt/archives). Use dpkg-repack to make .deb from installed data. Either copy it to cache or make a package cd using aptoncd and add that to software sources.

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