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How to install Debian apps offline

Are you running Debian Linux and don’t have a reliable internet connection? Are you looking to find a way to install software on your Debian system offline, without a network connection? We can help. Here’s how to install Debian apps offline!

Note: for this guide to work, you’ll need a Debian PC with access to an internet connection. Additionally, you must be able to get temporary internet access to the offline computer, to install Apt-offline.

Install Apt-offline

For Debian, Apt-offline is a reliable tool that makes it possible to install programs offline. It’s very easy to use, and it’s why it’ll be the focus of this guide. To install the application on Debian Linux, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, follow the instructions to set up the app with the instructions below on both the Debian PC with an active internet connection, as well as

Debian 9

On Debian 9 Stretch, the Apt-offline software is available in the “Main” software repository. To install it, use the Apt command below in a terminal window.

Note: the Debian 9 release of Apt-offline does not come with the latest version of the app, and currently, there isn’t an easy way to install it. If you’d like to use the new version of Apt-offline, upgrade to Debian 10 and install it that way.

sudo apt install apt-offline apt-offline-gui

Debian 10

Unfortunately, the Apt-offline application isn’t yet available for Debian 10 Buster, and Debian developers have not communicated when it will be coming. Thankfully, since Debian 10 Buster is very new, users can easily install the Ubuntu 19.04 packages to get it going.

To start the installation, open up a terminal window. Then, use the wget downloader app to download the apt-offline command-line package.

wget http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/a/apt-offline/apt-offline_1.8.1_all.deb

Once you’ve downloaded the “apt-offline” package in the terminal window using wget, you must grab the GUI package.

wget http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/a/apt-offline/apt-offline-gui_1.8.1_all.deb

With both of the packages done downloading from the Ubuntu software repository, install the packages on the Debian PC that will do the downloading.

sudo dpkg -i apt-offline*.deb

Right after loading these two packages up, Debian will spit out some dependency errors. For information on how to solve that problem, follow this guide here. Or, for a quick fix, try the command below.

sudo apt install -f

After all of the dependencies are taken care of, Apt-offline is ready to use on Debian 10.

Set up Apt-offline

Assuming the Apt-offline is set up on both Debian Linux computers, the configuration can begin. On the offline computer, generate a signature file. To do this, follow the instructions below.

Step 1: It’s time to launch Apt-offline. Press Alt + F2 on the keyboard to open the app launcher on the desktop. Then, paste the command in it below, and press Enter to run to open the app as root.

pkexec apt-offline-gui

Step 2: Locate the “Generate Signature” button and select it to generate a signature file that will be used as the script that installs packages on the offline computer.

Step 3: locate the “Save Signature As” section of the “Generate Signature” window and click the “Browse” button to save the Apt-offline signature file on the Debian PC with the internet connection.

Step 4: Using the file browser that appears, navigate to “/tmp” and save it as “apt-offline.sig.”

Step 5: Select the box next to “Binary Packages” section of the window. Then, write out the names of the apps you’d like to package to install on the offline computer. Separating each of the packages with commas. For example:

program1,program2,program3,etc

Step 7: Click the “Create” button on the bottom right to generate the signature. Select “Finish” when done.

Step 8: Locate the “Download Packages or Updates” button and select it.

Step 9: In the Apt-offline GUI tool, find “Select the signature file,” and choose the “Browse” button. Then, use the open-file window to browse to the “/tmp” folder and open the apt-offline.sig file in the program.

Step 10: Find “Save data as” and save it to “/tmp” as “offline-apps.zip.”

Step 11: Select the “Download” button to begin the package downloading process.

Step 12: When the download process is complete, transfer the “offline-apps.zip” file in “/tmp” to the offline PC via a USB flash drive or USB hard drive.

Download apps offline

To install apps downloaded with Apt-offline on the offline Debian PC, press Alt + F2 to open up the quick-launcher box. Then, click on the quick-launch box with the mouse and write the command below to launch Apt-offline in root mode.

pkexec apt-offline-gui

Once the Apt-offline program is running in root mode, find the “Install Packages” button and click it. From there, browse for the “offline-apps.zip” archive file, and click the “Install” button to start the installation process on the machine.

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