Camicri Cube – Installing Packages On Offline Ubuntu Systems
We already have given a workaround to Install Softwares offline in Ubuntu. As far as I tested, it was one of the easiest way for installing packages offline on Ubuntu systems. However, there is a limitation in that method. You can only download and install the software for the same Ubuntu version. For instance, If you download a package in Ubuntu 16.04, and try to install it on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, It will not work. So, the online and offline should be the same version and architecture. Also, that method is meant for the systems that have slow Internet connection. Your offline system still need Internet connection to install Synaptic package manager if it not installed already. So that is not a viable solution to install packages on an offline system. Don’t be disappointed! There is an another way to install packages in an offline Ubuntu system. Meet Camicri Cube, a portable package manager to download applications on any internet connected computers (Ubuntu Linux or Windows), and install them back on your offline computer. Sounds great? Yes!
What exactly Camicri Cube will do?
Camicri Cube is a package manager similar to Synaptic or Ubuntu software center, but it is a portable one. With Camicri Cube, we can download all packages along with required dependencies from any Internet connected systems and copy those downloaded packages in an external or USB hard drive, and install them back in an non-internet connected system. No installation required! All files in a single directory, so you can transfer them via an USB drive to any systems and install the packages with few mouse clicks. Camicri Cube is completely free, open source server-side application built in combination of Vala and Vue.
In this tutorial, I will explain how to install Camicri Cube and how to install packages in an offline Ubuntu system using it.
Installing Packages On Offline Ubuntu Systems Using Camicri Cube
You need two systems. One system must be connected to Internet to download the packages. The another system can be either completely offline or with slow internet speed system.
For the purpose this guide, I will be using the following systems.
- Online (Internet connected) system running with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS desktop.
- Offline system running with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS desktop.
- An External or USB drive with sufficient space.
This method consists of four steps.
- In first step, we download and copy Camicri Cube application to a external/usb drive from an Online system.
- In step two, we are going to download the package and repository lists (Note – package and repository lists, not actual packages) using Camicri Cube application in offline system and save them in external/usb drive.
- In step three, we download the actual packages and save them in external/drive from the online system.
- In forth and final step, we are going to install the downloaded packages in the offline system.
Clear? Good! Let us get started.
1. Steps to do in Online system (14.04 LTS desktop)
From the online system (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in our case), get the latest Camicri cube portable application from any one of the the below links.
Once downloaded, go to the location where you have downloaded the zip archive file and extract it. All contents of the zip file will extracted to a folder named “cube”.
Go to the cube folder. You will see the following inside this folder.
- cube-system – where Cube’s system files are stored.
- projects – where your project files will be stored.
- cube – Cube’s application executable.
Copy entire “cube” folder in your external/usb drive and go to your offline system.
2. Steps to do in offline system (16.04 LTS desktop)
Plug in the external/usb drive and copy cube folder to any location of your choice. Go to the cube folder and double click the cube executable file to launch it.
If it doesn’t start, do the following. Open Terminal and switch to the cube folder.
$ cd cube
Make the cube application file as executable:
$ chmod +x cube
Then, launch it using command:
$ ./cube --terminal
Cube application will be started in your default web browser.
Now we need to create a new project file. The project file will contain your offline Linux computer’s repository list and installed packages. This data will be used by Cube in determining packages compatible in your system to be downloaded and installed. All Projects created in cube will be saved in cube/projects directory.
Enter a name for your new project and click Create. If you have created only one project, it will be automatically selected in the Projects drop-down box, so just click Open to load your project. If you have more than projects, you will have to choose one from the drop down list.
Cube will read your Ubuntu system’s repositories to check for all available, installed packages and packages which are needs to be updated. Once done, you will see the cube’s main interface.
Since it is offline system, we can’t download or install anything at this moment. So exit Camicri cube application.
To do so, click on the cube icon on the top left and click Quit.
Plug in your external/usb drive. On the project’s folder cube/projects, copy the newly created project folder and transfer it to your removable device.
If both systems are accessible via LAN, you can transfer the files via SSH or any file transfer medium/application.
Now go back to the online system.
3. Steps to do in Online system (14.04 LTS desktop)
Transfer the newly created project (i.e ostechnix) inside cube/projects folder from your removable device.
Then, navigate to cube folder and launch cube application.
Now, you will see the project is listed there. Just click Open to load the project.
First, we need to download the repositories (In this case, we are downloading Ubuntu 16.04 system’s repositories, not Ubuntu 14.04 system).
To do so, go to Cube -> Repository -> Download Repositories to download new repositories.
Now Cube will start to download the repositories.
Once the download completed, you will be prompted to update the repositories in your original (i.e offline) system. We will do this later when we go back to our offline system. Click Close to close this dialog box.
Before downloading new or any specific packages, we must update the existing packages.
To do so, click on the Asterisk button on the left and choose Upgradable.
You will now see the list of packages that needs to be updated.
Then, click on Cube -> Download -> Mark All Updates for Download to mark all packages that needs to be updated.
Now you will see green color check mark on every packages that needs to be updated.
To unmark all selected packages, click Cube -> Download -> Unmark All for Download.
Now, we have marked the packages for download. You can click on the check mark to unmark a package if you don’t want to download it.
After you marked all updates, click on Cube -> Download -> Download All Marked Packages to start downloading.
You will see package selection summary. Click Continue to start downloading the packages that needs to be updated. It will take a while depending upon the Internet speed and number of available updates.
We have downloaded all available updates. It is time to download the new packages. If you don’t want to download, just close the Cube application, copy the project’s folder in your removable device and go to step 4. Just in case you want to install a new package on your offline system, read on.
Search individual packages to install
We can search for packages in two ways, either from the search box on the top or from the list of categories provided on the left pane.
To search for a package, just enter its name in the search box. You can either use the full or only the part of the name to search for a specific package. I am going to search for gimp package, so I typed gimp in the search box.
Click the Download button. You will see a brief description of the selected application. Click Download again to start downloading.
To mark multiple packages, hover the mouse over the Download button and click on the green color tick mark.
Then, click on Cube -> Download -> Download All Marked Packages to start downloading.
Similarly, you can select and download as many as applications you want. Once you have downloaded all packages, copy the project’s folder (ostechnix in our case) in your removable device and go back to your offline system. If the project’s folder is too big, compress and transfer it to your removable devices.
4. Steps to do in offline system (16.04 LTS desktop)
On cube/projects folder, delete the old project and replace it with the new project. Then launch cube application.
Remember we have downloaded new repositories? We need to update them now. To do so, Click Cube -> System -> Update Computer’s Repositories.
Now, it is time to install the downloaded updates and new packages.
To do so, click Cube -> Install -> Mark All Downloaded for Installation. And then click Cube -> Install -> Install All Marked Packages to install them.
You will now see the list of packages to be installed. Click Continue.
You will be asked to enter your sudo password.
The packages are being installed now.
Once installation completed, Cube application will automatically close.
Let us see if the newly downloaded package (gimp) is installed or not.
See? Gimp is installed!
Once you have installed all packages, delete the project to free up some space for future projects. To do so, click Cube -> Project -> Clean Project.
Camicri Cube is not just to install packages on non-internet connected systems but also to reduce bandwidth in greater number. If you have to install same packages in large number of computers, this application might be a great choice. Download the applications, keep them safely in an external drive and install them whenever required in the offline Ubuntu systems. You don’t have repeatedly download the same packages over and over. You can create different project to install different kind of packages.