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Re: Debian packages

Gabriel McCall <hellion_darklord@inbox.com> writes:

> Dear Debian Package Maintainers,
> Is there a definitive way to download packages for a machine that,
> due to it's remote location, does not have an internet connection?
> What I'm looking for is a complete file that would contain all the
> packages that a specific application is dependant upon whether or
> not a given operating system already included said packages in it's
> makeup.

This sounds like you want a partial mirror. There is apt-zip for
package management with sneakernet (you carry an USB stick/disk
around) but that will only list needed packages and skip already
installed ones.

If I had this problem I would use reprepro. Reprepro is an easy tool
to create or mirror a debian archive for use with apt. It also alows
filtering the package list to create partial mirrors. It is easy to
mirror just a list of packages. The hard part and the part that is
missing is to create the package list so that all
depends/recommends[/suggests] are satisfied. Maybe you can borrow code
from debian-cd for that.

> If something like that is not available, would there be a way to
> create files full of packages that would cover a large range of
> basic packages in an index such as a "pool"?  This would allow users
> to download and burn a CD full of the latest packages for specific
> uses such as Multimedia, games, development, or perhaps entire
> desktops that could be added to existing operating systems.
> For example, I cannot install a second desktop environment such as
> Xfce or Kde on a machine that has Gnome installed without using a
> package manager and an internet connection.  However, if I were able
> to download a set of package files which came with thier
> dependencies neatly bundled in an index that could be read by
> something like synaptic; I could then install the alternate desktop
> environment without the need for an internet connection.
> Simpler yet would be a multimedia bundle, or perhaps a networking
> bundle.  If I simply wanted a media player installed on my system
> and could download a package bundle which contained everything
> needed to install that specific media player it would be much easier
> than trying to download each individual package and install them all
> as individual binary packages.

There are way too many kinds of bundles people might want for debian
to provide them all and only providing a select few will always leave
most people wanting. So I think that would be a bad idea.

> Please help me understand why this is not something that is easliy found.
> Thank you for your time
> Gabriel  (hellion_darklord@inbox.com)


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