How To: Create A Mobile Ubuntu Repository With APTonCD
How many times have you installed Linux only to have something happen which required a re-install? Or you get a machine up and running the way you want it and then you want to re-create the system on another machine? In either of these situations, the last thing you want to do is to have to remember all of the applications you installed and then spend the time installing them all again.
Well, there’s a handy tool that will take care of all of that for you. The tool is called APTonCD. What this tool does is create a CD with all of the applications you have installed – basically a portable repository. And, with the same tool, you can restore all of the packages on the CD – all from one convenient GUI.
- Choose specific packages on your local machine (or choose all).
- Download entire repositories.
- Burn CD/DVD from within APTonCD.
- Create and restore from same GUI.
- Auto-selection of dependencies option.
- Easy to use.
- Open up your Add/Remove Software Application.
- Enter “aptoncd” in the search bar (without quotes).
- Mark APTonCD for installation.
- Click Apply.
Starting and using APTonCD
Once installed APTonCD is found in the Administration sub-menu of the System menu. From the main window you can either create a new CD or restore from an existing CD.
To create a new CD click the Create button to open another window. In this new window the packages will be collected and, eventually, listed for you. From this listing you can select the packages you want to include on your CD. By default all of the packages are selected. This window will include the total size of the completed installation.
If you want to add packages which are not already on your system you can click the Add drop down and select either Packages or Folder and then navigate to those files/folders. You can also open Nautilus and drag and drop packages into the APTonCD window.
Once you have selected all of your packages you might want to go to the Edit menu and select „Auto-select Dependencies“ to ensure all dependencies are met on your CD. When you’re ready to burn click the Burn button which will open a Disc Properties window. In this new window you select your medium, the destination for the image file, a file name, and whether or not you want to create a meta-package. The meta-package is one package that includes all packages on the CD as dependencies. This makes restoration very simple in that all APTonCD has to do is select one package to install.
When you click Apply APTonCD will begin to create the .iso image that you will then burn using your favorite CD burning software.
When the iso has been created a new window will open asking if you want to burn the CD/DVD. This window will allow you to select the application you want to burn with. If you chose you can click No and burn the CD/DVD later. I always burn by opening Brasero to burn the image.
What APTon CD does is create portable repositories. So you can use the APTonCD restore option to basically add your CD repository for installation. I have found, however, the best way to install all of the packages is with the command line. This allows you to quickly get all of your packages installed with a couple of easy commands. What you will want to do is this:
- Insert your CD/DVD created by APTonCD.
- Open a terminal.
- Change to the directory where your CD is located.
- Change into the packages directory with the command cd packages.
- Issue the command sudo dpkg -i *deb to install all packages on the CD.
- After the installation is complete you may need to use Synaptic in the event their are broken packages.
I hope that the developers of APTonCD will someday make it much easier to restore from the GUI. But even with the inconvenience of having to use the command line for quick restoration, APTonCD is a very handy tool.