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Old 02-07-2008, 01:29 PM
Bas Roufs
Default How to instruct a computer to download software packages from a list generated by another computer?

Dear everybody

As a careful computer user, I make of course regular back-ups of vital
files. From the same point of view, I am looking already several weeks
to 'back-up' somehow the software package configuration of my desktop:
in my case Kubuntu 7.10 in combination with software, of which at least
95% comes from the regular repositories that can be reached via package
managers like 'Synaptic'. If I would find a possibility to back-up at
least this repository software configuration, I would be very happy.
However, my attempts have been fruitless so far - that's why I would
really appreciate your feedback. My question is: do you know any
possibility to effectively: ....
*.... instruct computer 1 (by example a desktop) to generate a list of
software packages downloaded on it?
* .... instruct computer 2 (by example a laptop) to download and install
all the software packages from the list generated by computer 1?

In order to help you to feedback me, I try to explain clearly and
briefly which two strategies I have tried out so far.

A 10 years experience - Linux user in my surroundings found some
possibility that could at least in theory serve this purpose. When
carefully examining "Synaptic", a seemingly interesting option pops up
within the FILE menu: an alleged possibility to generate a list
('script') of 'downloaded packages' via the option "select downloaded
packages". When pointing the mouse cursor at that specific option within
Synaptic, another interesting explanation is being pointed at: to
generate that 'downloaded files script' with a view to downloading this
repository software on a different computer. Another option within the
same FILE menu is the complementary one: 'add downloaded packages'. In
this way, Synaptic ought to generate a list of downloaded software
packages with a view to instructing another computer to download and
install the software packages mentioned at that list. I instructed
Synaptic to only select the repository software packages installed at
the desktop. After doing so, I activated the option FILE >>> generate
downloaded package script. I gave a clear, logical name to the file
generated like this in order to easily find it back. Then, I copied the
script to a USB stick and from that stick to the home directory of
another (laptop) computer, where I already installed Kubuntu 7.10 and
Synaptic. I chose the main menu 'FILE' again and from there 'Add
downloaded packages': an option seemingly meant to instruct the computer
to download and install the software packages mentioned at a list
generated by the other computer. But at this point, my attempts have
been stagnating already a few weeks: I do vaguely see the name of the
downloaded packages script file generated at the desktop and copied to
the home directory of the laptop. I do also see names of some other
files within the same folder. But I can simply not access any file:
neither the download script, nor anything else: although it is
IMPOSSIBLE to work in Synaptic without establishing an administrative
mode before starting with it. In other words: because of some strange
reason, Synaptic in the laptop is not able to carry out the package
download and installation instructions generated by the exactly the
same software package within the same OS at the desktop.

Via a shell console I tried another option advised by the same long
time Linux user has been using in Debian:
sudo dpkg --get-selections > installierte-pakete
"Installierte Pakete" is German for 'installed software packages'. In
this way, I generated a text file containing instructions to install the
software packages installed at my desktop. I copied this file to my USB
stick and from there to the home directory of my laptop. At the laptop I
opened another shell console and gave in the following instruction:
sudo dpkg --set-selections < installierte-pakete
No error or mistake has been mentioned after this command. However, not
any single software package has been installed because of this instruction.

To finish this message, I ask you my question more precisely: can I
change anything in the software settings so that at least of the two
strategies worked out above, can effectively work? Or can you advise my
any other effective and efficient strategy to download at the laptop the
same software packages as on the desktop?

I would appreciate some sensible feedback from at least one or a few
amongst you. Thanks in advance.
Respectfully Yours,


Bas G. Roufs M.A.
Van 't Hoffstraat 1
NL-3514 VT Utrecht
E.: BasRoufs@gmail.com
M.: +31.6.446.835.10.
T.: +31.30.785.20.40.
Skype: BasRoufs
Google Talk: BasRoufs
Yahoo Messenger: Bas6Human

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