A while ago, we have shown you how to install software in an offline Ubuntu Linux system. Today, we will see how to fully update and upgrade offline Debian-based systems using Apt-offline utility. Unlike the previous method, we do not update/upgrade a single package, but the whole system. This method can be helpful in situations where you have slow Internet speed or don't have an active Internet connection at all.
Picture this scenario. You have a system (Windows or Linux) with high-speed Internet connection at work and a Debian or any Debian-based systems with no internet connection or very slow Internet connection at home.
You want to upgrade your offline home system. What would you do? Buy a high speed Internet connection? Not necessary! You still can update or upgrade your offline Debian-based system without Internet. This is where Apt-Offline comes in help.
What Is Apt-offline?
Apt-offline is an Offline APT Package Manager for APT based systems like Debian and Debian derived distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint.
Using Apt-offline, we can install, update, and upgrade packages along with the dependencies on a Debian-based system that has no Internet connection.
Apt-offline is cross-platform tool written in the Python Programming Language and has both CLI and graphical interfaces.
- An Internet-connected system (Windows or Linux). We call it "online system" for the sake of easy understanding throughout this guide.
- An "Offline system" (Debian and Debian-derived system).
- USB drive or External Hard drive with sufficient space to carry all updated packages.
Install Apt-offline In Debian, Ubuntu
Apt-Offline is available in the default repositories of Debian and derivatives. If your Online system is running with Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and other DEB based systems, you can install Apt-Offline using command:
$ sudo apt install apt-offline
If your Online system runs with a distro other than Debian, git clone Apt-Offline repository:
$ git clone https://github.com/rickysarraf/apt-offline.git
Go the directory and run it from there.
$ cd apt-offline/
$ sudo ./apt-offline
Install Apt-offline In Offline System
If your offline system has slow Internet speed, you can install Apt-offline using APT package manager as shown above. But, what if that system is not connected with Internet? No problem. In that case, go to any Internet-enabled system, and download apt-offline.deb file from the Official releases page or pkgs.org website. Copy the
.deb file to a USB drive, and then go back to the offline system and finally install it using command:
$ sudo dpkg -i apt-offline_1.8.5_all.deb
If it didn't work for any reason, you still can download the Apt-offline package along with all dependencies on any Internet-enabled system and install it on the Offline system as described in the following guide.
Well, we have now installed Apt-offline on both Online and Offline systems.
Update And Upgrade Offline Debian-based System With Apt-offline
Upgrading Offline Debian system consists of the following steps:
- Go to the Offline system, create a directory (E.g.
PkgUpdates) and generate the database of files that are required for an update.
- Copy the
PkgUpdatesdirectory to the Online system and download all the package updates based on the database files.
- Finally, transfer the downloaded updates via USB or copy them using any file transfer utilities to the Offline system and install the updates.
1. Generate Signature Of Packages In Offline system (Non-Internet connected system)
Go to your offline system and create a directory to generate and store the signature file for the packages to be upgraded.
$ mkdir ~/PkgUpdates
$ cd ~/PkgUpdates
You can use any directory of your choice. Then, run the following command to generate the signature file:
$ sudo apt-offline set apt-offline.sig
Gathering details needed for 'update' operation Gathering details needed for 'upgrade' operation
By default, apt-offline will generate database of files that are needed to be updated and upgraded. You can also use
--upgrade options to create database for either one of these.
Copy the entire
folder in an USB drive or external drive and go to your online system(i.e. Internet-enabled system).
Heads Up: If both online and offline systems are in the same local network, you can transfer the
PkgUpdates folder to the offline system using "
scp" or any other file transfer applications.
$ scp -r PkgUpdates/ user@ip:/path/to/desitnation
If both systems are in different places, copy the folder using an USB drive.
2. Download Package Updates Using Apt-offline In Online System
Plug in your USB drive and go to the
$ cd PkgUpdates/
Then, run the following command:
$ sudo apt-offline get apt-offline.sig --threads 5 --bundle apt-offline-bundle.zip
--threads 5" represents the number of APT repositories. You can increase the number if you want to download packages from more repositories. And, the "
--bundle apt-offline-bundle.zip" option represents all packages will be bundled in a single archive file called
apt-offline-bundle.zip. This archive file will be saved in your current working directory i.e.
The above command will download data based on the signature file generated earlier in the offline system.
This will take several minutes depending upon the Internet connection speed. Please note that apt-offline is cross platform, so you can use it to download packages on any OS.
Once package download process is completed, you will see an output like below:
[...] 349 / 349 items: [##############################] 100.0% of 344 MiB Downloaded data to /home/ostechnix/PkgUpdates/apt-offline-bundle.zip
The updates are bundled in a zip file called
apt-offline-bundle.zip and saved in the
PkgUpdates directory. You can verify it with
$ ls apt-offline-bundle.zip apt-offline.sig
Now, copy the whole
PkgUpdates directory to the USB drive, unplug the USB or external drive and go back to your offline system.
Make sure your USB device has enough free space to save the whole PkgUpdates directory, because all downloaded packages are saved in the that directory.
You can also copy the
PkgUpdates folder to the offline using
scp or any other file transfer utility to the offline if the online and offline systems are located in the same LAN.
3. Apply Package Updates Using Apt-offline In Offline System
Plug-in the USB device in your offline system and go to the
PkgUpdates directory where you have downloaded all packages earlier.
$ cd PkgUpdates
Then, run the following command to install all download packages.
$ sudo apt-offline install apt-offline-bundle.zip
This will update and populate the APT database with downloaded packages in your offline system, so APT will find all required packages in the APT cache.
[...] security.debian.org_debian-security_dists_bullseye-security_main_binary-amd64_Packages.xz synced. security.debian.org_debian-security_dists_bullseye-security_main_i18n_Translation-en.xz synced. security.debian.org_debian-security_dists_bullseye-security_non-free_binary-all_Packages.xz synced. security.debian.org_debian-security_dists_bullseye-security_non-free_binary-amd64_Packages.xz synced. security.debian.org_debian-security_dists_bullseye-security_non-free_i18n_Translation-en.xz synced.
This is how we fully update or upgrade an offline Debian or Debian-based systems with the help of Apt-offline application. This can be really useful in environments where you manage hundreds of offline Debian-based systems. You can simply download the updates from an Internet-connected system and apply the updates on the non-internet connected Debian-based systems.