Update and Add Packages To Your Offline Ubuntu Installation With Ease

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So you have Ubuntu Installed but do no have Internet Connection or have a very slow connection and cannot install new packages or update it. This one is for you.

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Background
Ubuntu is one of the most popular linux distributions around but does not include codecs for playing popular media formats such as mp3 and wmv (Why?). It has a good collection of software but does not include many applications and libraries that a user may require. So using Ubuntu without an internet connection is pretty worthless to a casual user.

Solutions
There are good solutions to overcome this problem. One is to use remastered Ubuntu which has a software collection of your choice. Linuxmint and Ubuntu Ultimate have tried to solve the problem partly by including support for propritary formats and extra or other set of softwares.

OfflineUbuntu
The above solutions may suffice many users. But this cannot satisfy all the users. That is why OfflineUbuntu exists. It aims to help the Ubuntu users who do not have access to the internet in their Ubuntu Box but can browse the internet and download fies from somewhere else.

You will need to follow the step by step guide in the  OfflineUbuntu website to be able to update and add packages to your offline Ubuntu Installation.

Where Does It Work
I have successfully tested it with Ubuntu Hardy Heron and Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex. However, it should work with any Ubuntu version. It should also work with Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu. It should work with Debian and other Debian derivatives too.

What’s New
The  OfflineUbuntu website has existed for more than 6 months. It had problems with the repositories that did not have Packages.bz2 as their package list. Now, it checks whether a repository has “Packages.bz2” and if it does not, it checks for “Packages.gz”. If there are none of these, it will let you download the file “Packages”. At least one should always exist in any repository.

Please report any problems using the website as comments to this blog post.

Other Projects with Similar Objectives
NoNetDebs (Probably dead)
Keryx (May be difficult to use because it requires software to be downloaded to do the job)

  • john

    Update and Add Packages To Your Offline Ubuntu :

    i cannot extract the contents of the downloaded files .bz2 for ubuntu jaunty9.04 i get an error while extracting the downloaded files
    i am running ubuntu jaunty 9.04
    thank you

  • admin

    can you please share your sources.list and what file you cud not exactly extract?

    most probably the download was corrupt. did you retry downloading?

  • David

    Very good. I used this to update my system (Ubuntu 9.04), but now Synaptic gives me a “13 Permission denied” error when it tries reading the package lists (under “/var/lib/apt/lists/”). I also get an error (“/etc/apt/sources.list” permissions problem) when I try to install downloaded .deb files. Any ideas? Because I’m really not sure what to do at this point. Should I “ls -l” the two places and send you the feedback?

  • David

    Nevermind. I figured it out. I had to change the “User group” and “Other” permissions to “Read only” for the package lists. After that, sources.list was fine and I can now install .deb files again. Thanks for the service.

  • With the current version of Keryx 1.0 in development and us looking at the future of Keryx, we were discussing ideas on how we could have Keryx Web. I mentioned that you had started http://www.offlineubuntu.co.cc and that provided a way to download the updates easily. I was wondering if you would like to discuss expanding your project and joining Keryx. We are hoping to have a fully web based client that would be able to get new packages as well as updates from repositories. Obviously this will need some form of limitations but we thought you might have some ideas on this and maybe would like to help out. 🙂

    Thanks for your time. Cheers!

  • admin

    @Chris Oliver
    Since you have done the backend for 1.0, there should be no problems building a web interface for it.

    I will certainly look into it if I have enough time.