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Update Linux without Internet

By groenem ·
I have a Linux desktop that is not connected to the internet. How can I update it without using apt or an Auto Update feature?
I know I can download .deb files from certain websites that contains all the packages, but how do I know that an update is available for a file on my PC?
I am currently using the Kubuntu version from Ubuntu.

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Well . . .

by apotheon In reply to Update Linux without Inte ...

You could always just get the current CD ISO, burn to disk, and sneakernet it over to your offline computer, then install from there.

You can also determine if there's a new version of something by comparing installed version numbers against available version numbers.

I'm not entirely sure how it is you're talking about downloading .deb files if you can't use apt to check for new software downloads, though.

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Too time consuming

by groenem In reply to Well . . .

My internet costs will be very high if I have to download about 700MB of data every month. To wait 6 months for the next release won't help either. To compare all the files on my PC with available file, well that sounds like a big and time consuming job.
I don't think I am the only one with this problem. Lots of people have PCs with no internet connectivitym, but who knows someone who has. If there was a easy way to go to the distributor's website and have a page that lists all updated files since a release, that would be nice. Of course the files must be a .deb package.

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a couple things:

by apotheon In reply to Too time consuming

1. You could always just do periodic package cache updates, which doesn't take very long (especially if you choose your distribution and release version wisely). For instance, if you use Debian Stable, there will be no software updates between major releases that are not strictly necessary (bug fixes and security patches). You can then use the command apt-get update to update your local cache in seconds, get offline again, then type apt-get upgrade to see what packages you have installed need new versions. It will tell you what packages will get upgraded, then ask if you want to continue, and at that point you just hit the N key to tell it "no", since you're not online anyway. Voila, you have a list of what needs updating.

2. If you aren't on the Internet at all, you can (again) just use something like Debian Stable that doesn't get a bunch of new software versions, and never upgrade it. The Stable release of Debian is called "Stable" for a reason: the software that's in it has been so heavily tested by the time it gets into Stable that it typically doesn't need new versions for any reason at all if you aren't on a network, unless you just want the new version. Thus, you don't need to upgrade the software packages, period, for a Debian Stable system that isn't on the Internet and doesn't have network security concerns, except in the rare case you might decide you just want the new version of something.

I'm really not seeing a problem here, aside from the fact that you've chosen a flaky distro like Kubuntu -- but even that shouldn't be an issue, since you don't have the security issues that cause you to require software updates if you aren't networked.

Maybe I should have asked this, instead:
Why, exactly, do you need software updates? I just assumed, in my first response, that if you're not connected to the Internet you only want software updates because you want some whiz-bang new feature of KDE or some nonsense like that. If that's the case, you don't need to update the whole friggin' system, just the stuff you know you want upgraded. Thus, my original answer suffices perfectly. If that's not good enough, that must not be the reason you want software updates. So why do you want them?

Are you just interested in software updates because they're out there and you can't stand not keeping up with the Joneses?

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Reason for updates

by groenem In reply to a couple things:

I am a newby to Linux and am not so clued up with command line programming and shell scripting. Some stuff in Kubuntu do not work right, example:
It does not auto-mount my Flash drive. (Ubuntu does)
I cannot adjust my time , although I login with my root password when asked. The same for other configurations where it asks my root password.
I also have a problem with my onboard soundcard.

So obviously there is a bug somewhere and I want to know when it is fixed so that I can download the files from an internet-connected PC.

Kubuntu is Debian based - shouldn't it be as stable as Debian?

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not really

by apotheon In reply to Reason for updates

Ubuntu is only sort of Debian based. Cellphones are sort of microwave based, but you can't use them to cook food.

The Ubuntu project has been changing a lot of code, and they include software in their releases that haven't been tested as much as what goes into most Debian releases. Typically, a major Ubuntu release is somewhere between Debian's Unstable and Experimental releases, in terms of stability and how much the code has been tested. To give you an idea of how much Ubuntu has diverged from Debian, there's currently a major debate going on in some Python communities over the way Python is being packaged for Ubuntu. The new Ubuntu packaging for Python and related tools uses different package dependencies than the Debian packaging, and these differences break compatibility of Python installs between the two distributions. Now, you basically can't install Ubuntu .deb packages on Debian, or Debian .deb packages on Ubuntu, for Python.

Ubuntu has very much become its own distribution. Kubuntu is still pretty much just a derivative of Ubuntu, though -- even if it's made a derivative by having slightly different software available on it. The package repositories are still compatible between them, at least, as far as I'm aware. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Kubuntu just uses the standard Ubuntu repositories, plus one or two nonstandard repositories to get the different software it uses.

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Is Debian the best?

by groenem In reply to not really

Hi apotheon,

I've seen your name a lot in the TechRepublic discussions. I assume you have a lot of knowledge about Linux and all the distro flavours.
My first Linux experience started with RedHat, Then I tried Mandrake, and now I'm currently on Kubuntu (Ubuntu).
My experience with these 3 ia that Mandrake was the most user friendly, but Ubuntu is completely free (and I suppose the fact that I am a South African and Mark Shuttleworth, the 1st South African in space, initiated the Ubuntu project, is the reason why I am using Ubuntu at this stage).
Of all the comments and discussions I have read on the internet, it seems to me that Debian is the distro to have - am I correct?
It seems that there is more support and dcumentation about Debian than any other distro, with RedHat second.
I think that if I get Debian, I won't have problems with my Flash Drive auto mounting, my sound card not working correctly, etc.
Thank you for your participation in this discussion.

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yes and no

by apotheon In reply to Is Debian the best?

I tend to find Debian to be the best fit for my needs. The sheer volume of software available for it, the rigorous testing Debian packages must undergo before being added to the archives, the FHS-compliant organization of the virtual filesystem, and the excellent package management software are all positive characteristics of the distribution.

There are cases where other distributions shine in comparison with Debian. For instance, I have a friend who uses Gentoo because it is easy to compile for support of a lot of Japanese character sets and otherwise support the Japanese language stuff she does. MEPIS is very easy to use for people new to Linux (though I'm not sure it's the best for long-term use). Knoppix is an awesome portable tool for doing software support technician work. Ubuntu has its strengths as well, though it has some weaknesses that really rather bother me (such as the sudo-only security model that is its default, and the way the software archives and package dependencies are handled).

In the publication queue at TR is an article I wrote about using Knoppix (another Debian-inspired distribution, along with MEPIS and Ubuntu, though also somewhat incompatible with plain Debian archives) for partition management prior to installing Linux for dual-booting. I'm in the midst of writing an article about package management with Debian and, when I'm done with that, I'll edit and submit one that I wrote last week about installing Debian. If you decide to give Debian a shot, those articles may to some degree be useful to you. Once they're published, I intend to add them to this list:

http://sob.apotheon.org/?page_id=7

Watch that space for them, if you want to see them when they're published.

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RE: update with out internet

by sir_cheats_alot In reply to Update Linux without Inte ...

short of buying a WiFi card and "barrowing" someone else's wifi connection, of course thier ISP willnotice this but won't disconnect you before informing the costumer of unusual activity . So you Should ask first. I don't think you can update linux without internet access.

Since your ubuntu box isn't connected to the internet, I will assume your ISP requires you to install their software for access, which means they have you prety much trapped on windows for their service. if this is the case you can waste some time and make an effort at getting the software to work on Wine, though it'll likely do no good.
Or if you know someone with broadband, you could try to network your computer to theirs or maybe just unplug their modem for their PC and plug it into you linux PC. i believe all cable and DSL modems just plug into the USB port.

Before making said assumptions it occurs to me i should ask what version are you using? "breezy badger" v5.10, or Dapper Drake(LTS) v6.06?
also i should tell you to post in the ubuntu forums and not here; that is if you haven't already. http://www.ubuntuforums.org/

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General problem

by groenem In reply to RE: update with out inter ...

I am currently using Breezy Badger. But this is sort of a general problem I suppose, because I had the same thing with Mandrake and RedHat.
It would have been nice if Ubunto could have a special webpage where they dump all the files they have updated since a release and clean it up again when a new release is out.
I cannot use my Windows PC's modem, because it is a winmodem, but I would rather use my cellphone SP to connect to the internet using my Nokia cellphone as a modem.

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Update Kubuntu without Internet.

by michael_orton In reply to RE: update with out inter ...

1/ Get latest CD from Cheaplinux or linuxISO or do a google search for Cheap + "Linux CD"
2/ My ISP doesn't support Linux, but I still use it, I don't use their ADSL SAGEM modem either, I use my own with a hardware firewall. They probably don't know what I am using, I use Opera for both Linux and Windows.
There is a text file in Linux that you can easily alter
3/ If you are having trouble with USB devices try
SuSe 9.x or 10.x
The 5Cds will cost anything from ?5 to ?12 including postage and with SuSe (8.3 and later) its just a right click to mount the device but I find it automatic and KDE "My Computer" works just like Windoze.
YAST (System YAST rootpassword ) will set up nearly all software and hardware problems.
If you don't have Internet access, even 8.3 would work, though at ?5 to ?12, you might as well use the latest version.
It works fine on a P-III 550Mhz 256 Meg RAM with a
?5 per pair secondhand Ethernat card.
Actually the PC came from a Charity Shop. Someone had left it outside in the rain, It has a CTX monitor. They were afraid to toutch it, it was wet and electrical and were going to put it in the dustbin.
I slipped them a fiver and stuck in in the car, dried it out found it worked, it has 98se installed, so I stick in SuSe 9.1 and away it went, no problems, no drivers like Windoze.
I have tried UBUNTU, and I didn't like it, but probably missed KDE and YAST, it had GNOME, I think.

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