Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm still a newb, tried Ubuntu last year), but I made a fresh install of Natty. Is there an Ubuntu site where it has the *.deb files of restricted plugins? i.e. gstreamer, freepats, and the like for a specific Ubuntu distro. My net speed sucks most of the time, just for backups or something.
Basically most of the retricted packages are on ubuntu repository. Just search for your package on http://packages.ubuntu.com/. There are some additional media packages not found in main repository here: http://medibuntu.org/. As for backup, the installed packages that were installed with
apt stay on
/var/cache/apt/archives You may backup that on any external device or somewhere else so that you can reuse it later.
Yes, http://packages.ubuntu.com . Choose your Ubuntu version, search the package, then on the right choose your download.
Probably in the launchpad repository: http://launchpad.net/ubuntu/natty . Just search the package you would like to install and download it. If you would like to use gstreamer, I advice you to add this medibuntu repository, please see here : http://doc.ubuntu-fr.org/medibuntu . To easely install repository and application, install ubuntutweak : http://launchpad.net/ubuntu-tweak .
apt is not the only tool which store installed (actually downloaded) debs in
/var/cache/apt/archives, but also
synaptic and Software-Center. Just a clarification.
But if you want to install these packages later, you should setup a local-repository, so that you do not need to download these debs again.
You can get details about creating a personal repository here.
It is fine, if you do not stay connected to the Internet. But the problem with this method is - it is not trusted. So if you want to install a package which resides both on your untrusted 'personal repository' and also on a trusted repository on the Internet, the package manager(
synaptic) will try to download the packages from trusted one (from Internet). So you may want to setup a local trusted repository. You can create a trusted repository by following this guide.
If it seems to you a clumsy method, you can force to install from your untrusted local repository by using
--allow-unauthenticated switch to
apt-get or change the preference of
sudo apt-get --allow-unauthenticated install your_package_name
when you check some package to install and click on Apply button, synaptic will warn you that the packages are not authenticated and ask 'are you want to continue?'. just say OK to this answer.