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    Tips 'n' Tricks: Saving package list for later
    Contributed by ariejan on Saturday, April 06 @ 09:56:18 BST

    Ask Debianplanet
    Is there a good way to save the packages installed? So if I install Debian, again, I can just point
    dselect to the list and all the software I had installed, is installed again?

    Rob: dpkg --get-selections > foo and dpkg --set-selections < foo

     
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  • "Tips 'n' Tricks: Saving package list for later" | Login/Create Account | 13 comments
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    Re: Saving package list for later (Score: 1)
    by rob on Saturday, April 06 @ 09:59:02 BST
    (User Info)

    Note, this is under the Tips & Tricks category, in future i will not be publishing such articles into the frontpage so i recommend you check out these categories at regular intervals. The numbers in backets next to the category names show the last new entry date in US style, i may change this to GB.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Saving package list for later (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Saturday, April 06 @ 11:16:00 BST

    It's a different way of doing it, but you can make
    meta-packages that pull in software.

    Basically you create a file custom-foo/DEBIAN/control
    and put the packages you want on the Depends
    line (don't worry about dependencies)

    Package: custom-foo
    Version: 1-1
    Architecture: all
    Depends: mutt, vim, tin
    Maintainer: Joe User
    Description: Joe User metapackage

    then use dpkg to build a deb.

    This is useful if you maintain a machine with different users. You can use it to track who requested what software, while using deborphan to clear out the cruft, without having to double-guess if you have emacs users on the system.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Saving package list for later (Score: 1)
    by zadok on Saturday, April 06 @ 11:16:22 BST
    (User Info) http://www.zadok.uklinux.net/

    To stop this type of post again on dp, which I think is the wrong palce for it, shouldn't there be a link to debianhelp.org on the submit news page, to inform people of the right site to post such a query.

    Coops

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Saving package list for later (Score: 1)
    by undefined (unlisted(at)pobox(dot)com) on Saturday, April 06 @ 20:51:22 BST
    (User Info)

    to add to what rob said...

    i would also recommend archiving the output of "COLUMNS=150 dpkg -l" because get-selections only tells you what the desired state of a package is, not it's current version. for example, if a package is on hold, get-selections will tell you that it is on hold, but not what version it is currently (which is the version you will probably want/need to reinstall). the COLUMNS bash variable (other shells?) tells dpkg to print its output using 150 char width. otherwise some of your name and version strings may be cut short.

    i have had gpm on hold because recent version would not function correctly with my ibm thinkpad's trackpoint. so, i've recorded (with the above command) what version of gpm i use so that if i should have to reinstall debian, i'll know what specific version to use.

    granted, your question asks for an automatic method (create list, point some app at list to reinstall everything), and this must be done manually (except using a script to parse this list looking for held packages and executing apt-get or dpkg with the package name and version), but it's necessary to get the complete picture.

    btw, i think i remember seeing an app in the debian archives that would do what a pervious poster suggested: it would create metapackages (of installed apps) to help facilitate installing groups of packages by having all those packages as "depends". can't remember the name and could find it just now searching packages.debian.org.

    [ Reply ]

    • jablicator by Anonymous on Monday, April 08 @ 21:57:06 BST

    Re: Saving package list for later (Score: 2, Insighful)
    by GehRehmee on Sunday, April 07 @ 02:29:41 BST
    (User Info) http://rifetech.com/~gehn/bg/

    That's all fine and good... but what I'd really like to do, and what would save me just as much time with my systems, would be to save debian configuration. Is it sufficient to simply copy /var/cache/debconf? Is it even safe?

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Saving package list for later (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Monday, April 08 @ 21:53:04 BST

    apt-get install jablicator

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Saving package list for later (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, April 25 @ 21:17:06 BST

    dpkg --get-selections '*' > install_state

    dpkg --set-selections < install_state Without the '*' get-selections will only tell you what is currently installed. By adding the '*' the set-selections will mark things to be uninstalled if they were not installed when get-selections was run. The downside is any new packages that didn't exist when get was run, will be left however they were before set is run. -Mike

    [ Reply ]


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