Aptoncd Tutorial:How to Backup Your Installed Software on Ubuntu Using Aptoncd

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Being a distro hopper, I keep changing my desktop Operating System frequently, and it is really irritating when I have to download and install same software every time (it take a lot of time on my slow Internet connection). Aptoncd save me from this trouble by backing up all the software I’ve installed using apt-get (or other apt-get front ends like aptitude, synaptic etc.), to a CD/DVD which I can install when I re-install  my Operating System. What aptoncd actually do is that it copies all the software present in apt archives and burn them into a .iso file. It can also make meta packages which binds software and their dependencies into one package simplifying their installation.
Aptoncd comes inbuilt with Linux Mint and can be installed on your Ubuntu machine using command:
  sudo apt-get install aptoncd
Once downloaded and installed, aptoncd can be accessed through its GUI interface (which is nice enough to get an admiration from command line geeks (including me)). So overall, what we have to do after its installation is this:

       Start Aptoncd:

  1. Open Aptoncd from main menu of your OS, or simply type aptoncd in terminal.
  2. Click on “Create” button when the aptoncd window appear.
  3. It will itself scan all the software present in your archives (that you’ve downloaded and installed using apt-get or something).
    Add extra software:
  4. You can also add software manually downloaded which you want to be the part of your apt backup disk by clicking on add button. This can add a single package (.deb file) or multiple
    packages present in a folder.
  5. Aptoncd allow you to include specific software of your choice and will automatically include their dependencies. This is a very handy and useful option.
  6. Aptoncd also check if two versions of same software are available and itself include only the latest one (you can change it though).

    Make iso image:
  7. Once everything is done make the iso file by clicking on “Burn” button. Make sure “Make meta packages” option is ticked (it is very useful option for binding software and dependencies into single package).
  8. At this stage you can chose to make one DVD or one or more CDs.
  9. Once iso image in made, Aptoncd prompts you to burn it to CD/DVD. You can click no if you want to manually burn it later and copy the iso image from your Home folder.

    Restoring to another machine:
  10. Once you have burnt the iso image on CD/DVD, it can be carried to another PC. 
  11. When disk in the disk drive, run AptonCD and chose “restore” option.

    Restoring from USB:
  12. In case you don’t want to burn the iso file to disk, it can also be restored from USB or other media. For this chose “Load” option after chosing restore option and point to the location where your file is located.(This option didn’t work for Ubuntu 11.04 and Mint 11 though, but it do work with previous versions).
  13. Restoring using Aptoncd do not install any software, it just save them in archives directory. You have to manually install them.

    Installing restored Software :
  14. We can install restored software with “apt-get install” command. Just type:
    sudo apt-get install "your package name"
    and as apt-get will look in its archives before downloading it, your software will get installed.
  15. In case you want to install all the software restored, this can be done with a single command;
    sudo dpkg -i /var/cache/apt/archives/*.deb
    Thanks to “make meta packages” option.

    In case Aptoncd is not installed on ‘Other machine’:
  16. In case you want to install software on other machine where Aptoncd is not installed, it can be done using Synaptic.
  17. Just extract all packages to your hard disk (or USB) and chose “Add downloaded software” from Synaptic menu. It will install them all. (See this for help)
This is a very simple tut of even simpler app. If you have any problem or I have written something wrong or missed something, please don’t hesitate to mention. After all, everyone loves comments (me too).

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