Copy upgrade packages to another machine.

Tim Frost timfrost at
Tue Jan 6 09:15:21 UTC 2009


On Sun, 2009-01-04 at 22:37 -0500, James Cummings wrote:
> Hiya,
> I'm upgrading my parent's desktop machine from hardy heron to intrepid
> ibex.  Their connectivity is so poor that it is going to take
> something like 15 hours.  They also have a laptop they want to
> upgrade.  I've already started the upgrade off on the first machine,
> and then will do the laptop. My question is whether it is possible to
> copy the *.deb files in /var/cache/apt/archives to the same place on
> the laptop, and so not have to download them a second time.

You can certainly copy /var/cache/apt/archives/*.deb from one machine to
the other to avoid the overhead of downloading them a second time.
There are index and control files in /var/cache/apt, which may be useful

You may also be able to save a little more time (especially if you are
off the network) by copying /var/lib/apt/lists/* and
/etc/apt/sources.list*. /var/lib/apt/lists/ contains the Packages and
Sources files for the various repositories (which are updated by 'sudo
apt-get update' or the check or reload functions of the GUI tools),
while /etc/apt/sources.list (and files in /etc/apt/sources.list.d)
provides the list of repositories, so the assumption is that the same
repositories are in use for both machines.

>   I looked
> briefly at apt-cacher but it seemed quite complicated to set up,
> especially for a version upgrade.  An alternative would be if I could
> burn a DVD of the packages and somehow indicate it was the preferred
> source rather than the net for the upgrade?

This is the concept behind aptoncd, but that depends on you being able
to install that package on both machines. (There may be other caveats as
> Any suggestions appreciated.
> -James


Tim Frost <timfrost at>

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