The Women in my Life

No, this is not a post about my girlfriends or my love life. Today is Ada Lovelace Day and planet should be filled with blog posts about it. After starting to contribute to Ubuntu, there are are couple of women whom I’d like to appreciate for their contributions to Ubuntu and for mentoring/helping me when I got stuck.

Elizabeth ‘lyz’ Krumbach

The first team that I was part of in Ubuntu was the Beginners Team and from there on I’ve worked with pleia2 (as we all know her) as part of the UCLP, Classroom Team, and User Days Team. Its wonderful how she gives critical input to help see all angles to an idea and make it rock solid. I also wonder how she managed to spend so much time in between work and real life with us online creatures 😉

Mackenzie ‘maco’ Morgan

I would have never known that quilt is something other than a type of bedding if it wasn’t for maco. I just popped by #ubuntu-motu and was looking for some pointers to start motu work. She guided me step by step through my first bug fix, understand the packaging process and quilt, and sponsored the package too. I still use the logs from that conversation way back in October or November when I’m working on quilt. Hugs to you pleia2 and maco for being part of Ubuntu and being there to help.

Backing up with APTonCD

In my previous post about Keryx, I had mentioned there are 3 different ways to bring .debs from another system to your own, but I skipped explaining APTonCD because

  • those packages need to be installed on another Ubuntu system,
  • that system must be running the same release of ubuntu as yours, and
  • it gives an output of an iso file or has to be written to CD.

This makes it non-ideal for bringing specific packages from one system to another system.

APTonCD though is the perfect tool. When you want to reinstall your OS for some reason (like playing with it too much that it does not work), APTonCD is the tool to use. It’s fairly straightforward. Once installed just run it from System > Administration > APTonCD. Click on create and all the applications installed will be listed out. Then click on Burn, and viola all the packages that you’ve installed gets backed up onto a CD, DVD, or ISO.

After reinstalling the OS, pop the CD or DVD that was burned earlier into the CD drive, run APTonCD (install it first), and click restore. Now all the .debs will be copied to apt cache. Now go to System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager and go to Edit > Add CD-ROM. Then click on Origin in the bottom left and all those packages will be listed and can be added.

All the applications installed will be restored. If like me, you have /home on a separate partition, not much configuration required either.

Installing packages without Internet Access

On the Ubuntu desktop, it is difficult for a user stuck without Internet because all packages are directly downloaded by the package manager. In India, unfortunately, Internet is not available for everyone. If you’re is lucky to have a laptop AND have a friendly local Internet Centre where you can connect your laptop, you’re among the few who can browse on Ubuntu (apart from those who have Internet ;)). I’ve been searching for a way to download the packages off-line and then install at home for people from my LoCo.

The latest Full Circle Magazine had an article giving a few workarounds for this, including a script generated by Synaptic Package Manager, APTonCD, and Keryx. The 2 most attractive options are to generate a script from Synaptic Package Manager and Keryx Project. They let you download on systems without Ubuntu and bring the .deb files to Ubuntu.

Generate a Script from Synaptic Package Manager

Start Synaptic Package Manager and mark all the applications that you want to install/upgrade. Instead of clicking the “Apply” button from the toolbar as you would normally do, go to the File menu and select “Generate Package Download Script” menu option to generate the download script. Save the generated script file. Give it a name like ‘ubuntu.sh’ and click the “Save” button. This script file can now be carried to a machine which has a fast Internet connection and it needs to be executed there.

To download the softwares on a Windows machine, use Linkification plugin to convert text links into genuine, clickable links. Then, use DownThemAll plug-in. When the plugin in installed, go to Tools

DownThemAll and include *.deb in fast filtering. If downloading from another Ubuntu machine, just type ubuntu.sh in terminal after changing directory to the folder containing the script.

Keryx Project

The Keryx Project only needs to be installed on the system with Internet connection and it downloads the debs. The best about Keryx is that its compatible with Ubuntu/Debian, Mac, and Windows. Download the Keryx Project from their download page. There is an excellent tutorial on using Keryx by crashsystems on his website.