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Updating Ubuntu offline

Updated on February 1, 2010

Updating Ubuntu Offline Part 1

Why you say would one have to do this? Multitudes of reasons. No, slow or poor connections. In case of none it may be to have an isolated machine in a controlled environment. It could be dedicated for a particular usage such as just a reference machine in a classroom, or a task that needs to be isolated. Or one just has a computer and no connection to the net period. Whatever is the reason there are several means available to downloading or installing software for these machines.

Hardware requirements:

  1. USB portable device such as thumbdrive/stick or harddrives

  2. An internet with broadband access (downloading small files on slow connections is fine): public library, a friends place, university or business.

Software process: This is a step by step process for a beginner for more advance just refer to main headings.

1) Go to the Synaptic Package Manager

  1. System

  2. Pick Administration

  3. Pick Synaptic Package Manager and click

  4. Enter your Root Password at the prompt

  5. Find software you wish to load

Fig 1

The Synaptic Package Manager
The Synaptic Package Manager

Fig 2

Saving Script file
Saving Script file

3) Pick “Generate package download script”

  1. A Save script prompt will open as pictured in (see Fig 2)

  2. Hit arrow key “Browse for other folders” or pick your USB device from Scroll down bar in “Save in folder” (see Fig 3)

  3. Pick the device you want for storing the scrip. In my case it's a Kingston USB. Note paths of arrows reflect our directions.

  4. Pick the folder if need be (I had created a specific folder for this task), and give your script file a name

  5. Save

  6. It will go back to synaptic, just quit synaptic. It will warn you about exiting with downloading packages – just pick Quit

Fig 3

Saving Script alternative way
Saving Script alternative way

4) After finishing with Synaptic go for a visit.

Now go borrow, beg or use what computer that uses Linux and has access to the internet - it may be your laptop with a good wifi access point.

5) With a file manager go the Script file on the USB device

  1. Go to Places and pick your Computer

  2. Open the folder with your script file

Fig 4

Running Script file
Running Script file

Fig 5

What terminal is dong during Script run
What terminal is dong during Script run

6) Now Run in Terminal your Script file

  1. Double click or right click and pick open (see Fig 4)

  2. A prompt will open asking what you want to do.

  3. If right file pick “Run in Terminal”

  4. A terminal window will open and run the script (see Fig 5), it will download the file to your your USB device in the script folder location.

  5. Once done, close out the file manager, and right click on the desktop your USB icon is and “Unmount Volume”

  6. Your now set to upload the program to your offline computer 

8) Open The Offline Machine Synaptic Package Manager

  1. From the offline computer open your Synaptic package manager (this is best for installing multiple Deb files, with a single file – one could just double click and the installer will open) Follow steps 1-3 above.

Fig 6

Running the Deb files
Running the Deb files

10) Pick “Add downloaded packages”

  1. Go to your folder with the downloaded files and open it.(see Fig 6)

  2. Pick open (note files are grayed out)

  3. Synaptic will open a prompt box showing changes that will done. (Packages changes, removals, upgrades and installs).Pick “Apply”

  4. Once done and successful a final screen will appear. (see Fig 7) Click done.

Fig 7

The Final
The Final

11) Enjoy it your new installs.

However the drawback with this procedure is that the File lists of the repositories are not updated on the offline machine. So in reality you don't update and unless you can up date that list. However there is a way of updating those lists and I will address that in Part 2 of Updating Ubuntu offline.


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    • eaglegordon profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      hmm I don't know if it could do a dist update. I haven't tried that. I will have to look into that. There should be a way of doing that offline too. But that can entail over 1 gig of data being downloaded, so better make sure you have ample space on a USB stick if that can be done.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i meant to say dist-update

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      can this do dust-update too?

    • eaglegordon profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Looks like you've already done it twice. Glad it can help. I've had to do this process several times already with a couple of my offline machines.

    • Neil Ashworth profile image

      George Poe 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great info! I have bookmarked this hub for further reading..

    • eaglegordon profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Neil - thank you. Got a couple more in the fire but been busy working some long hours.

    • Neil Ashworth profile image

      George Poe 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great hub!!! Love it..


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