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I'm trying to figure out how I can install the GUI on my Ubuntu server without an actual internet connection to do the downloading of the software to the server. I have a portable hotspot for internet connections used with my laptop(which also runs ubuntu). I'm just running into a brick wall in trying to figure this out. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated

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Install the Synaptic package manager in your laptop which also run same Ubuntu version.

Open Synaptic and look for the packages you want to install.

Mark the packages you want to install for installation: Right-click --- Mark to install.

Once marked, go to: File --- Generate package download script.

You chose a path where you want to save the script. In that same route downloaded packages are stored.

Close Synaptic. Go to the path you chose in the previous step and run the script for downloading double click.

It will take a while until you download all the packages and dependencies.

Copy the files to the computer without Internet connection and install them.

sudo dpkg -i *.deb
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You have many choices to do that:

So what to do?

  1. create a VM or physical machine as you like contain the same version of your Ubuntu server
  2. This VM/physical must have Internet connection and must be virgin same as the offline version
  3. Clean the archives(not really needed but just to be sure)

    sudo apt-get clean
    
  4. Now Install the GUI on it

    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
    
  5. Now after the installation complete, go to the directory /var/cache/apt/archives

  6. Copy the *.deb from this directory and burn it to CD or just use some USB or any other storage device

  7. Now copy all *.deb to the offline machine

  8. Now install all these packages using the command:

    sudo dpkg -i /path-to-debs/*.deb
    

Note: you may face some errors in output, just run the same command again and everything will go smoothly

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