Backup Ubuntu Applications - Tutorial

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Backup Ubuntu Applications - Tutorial

APTonCDUbuntu, one of the best distributions available... but one problem still remains...

The standard installation of Ubuntu does not include the tools a user will first look for... media player, CD Burner etc. He will have to get an internet connection or get the full distro DVDs. Usually, he will just drop it and go back to windows...

I got Ubuntu... installed Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron). I went on installing the tools I need thru apt-get. Also upgraded online to Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex). Totally, around 1.5 GB downloaded. If some friend wants the packages I got, what do I do? What if I need to install a fresh Ubuntu?

APTonCD comes to the rescue...

Here is a step by step tutorial on how to backup all the applications and to restore into a fresh install or after a crash or whenever you feel like... lets start...

Install APTonCD

$ sudo apt-get install aptoncd

This will install APTonCD. It will be under System->Administration->APTonCD.

Create Backup

1. Launch APTonCD from Menu or by giving aptoncd.

2. Click "Create".
Create Backup

3. APTonCD searches the machine for packages downloaded through apt-get or directly. It will list all the packages it finds.
Select Packages
[ If you are using Intrepid, then there is chance that APTonCD crashes after scanning gets to some 50%. In that case, read this thread: APTonCD crashes or download this .deb package and install manually: ]

You can select / unselect the packages. You can also "Add" more packages manually. While adding / modifying the list, enable "Auto-select dependencies" under "Edit". After you are satisfied with the packages and size, click on "Burn".

4. APTonCD gives option to write as CD or DVD Image(s). Select an intermediate location where the ISO file is created before burning (in this case '/write'). Give a suitable name for the CD / DVD. Leave the option "Create a meta-package" unchanged. Click "Apply".

Create Image

5. APTonCD creates the ISO containing all the packages you have selected.
Creating ISO Image

6. Burn the image? You can burn it right away. Choose your favorite Burning tool (in my case K3B). Click "Yes" or "No" (if you does not want to burn it right away, the ISO file will be in the intermediate location, which you can use later).

The Backup CD / DVD / Image is ready!

Now, you can give it to all your friends who does not have an Internet connection.

Restore from Backup

1. Launch APTonCD from Menu or by giving aptoncd.

2. Click "Restore".
Start Restore

3. The packages window appears. You need to add packages to be installed. Click on "Load" to load a CD / DVD or an ISO image. Choose your CD / DVD drive or open the ISO image file. Click "OK". You can load multiple sources.
Loading SourcesSelecting Applications

4. The packages from the loaded source(s) will be listed. You can select which applications you want to be installed. Click on "Restore".

APTonCD does not install the applications. It just copies them into apt cache. You can use apt-get to install them... :)

Add: If you like doing things from command-line, then you may look at this post: HOWTO: Backup all installed programs/packages

What this tutorial useful? Share your experiences and thoughts ...

See also... » Ubuntu Crashed Twice

» Internet is up in Ubuntu

» Ubuntu is up and running

ATOzTOA : Latest Headlines


Anonymous said...

APTconcd is a great application to back up the deb files. But restore is a pain. You have look through all the deb files to find which dependencies you have to install first before you even think about install the application.

atoztoa said...


You can just insert the CD and synaptic will ask you to add it to the software sources.

Whenever you are installing an application, synaptic will ask for the CD if the deb is in CD and install from there...

Post a Comment