[Aptitude-devel] Bug#357707: feature request: Mark packages as Download Only

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo manuel.montezelo at gmail.com
Thu Oct 1 17:09:32 UTC 2015

Control: tags -1 + moreinfo

Hi Micha,

2006-03-19 03:57 Micha:
>Package: aptitude
>Version: 0.4.1
>I use aptitude to control a cache that is a repository (or proxy cache).
>On a LAN of several laptops and PCs, i use aptitude with apt sources
>pointing to a dedicated 'apt-proxy' packages server, within the LAN,
>which delivers packages from a cache, requesting them from internet
>sources only if necessary.
>The proxy allows fine-tuning of the versions to keep available locally,
>and is speeding up download very much for any further than the first one.
>It is very confortable to update different laptops this way, at LAN speed.
>Especially if your download link is only ADSL1000, which is quite widepsread
>nowadays in Europe.
>Another cool thing is, i can install apt-proxy on a laptop, too, and use that to do
>updates or even installations on boxes which have no internet connection at
>all (or maybe only modem dialup per phoneline).
>I think it would be possible to do nearly the same with a simple /var/cache/apt
>only, configuring that as LAND repository for the other machines.
>Anyway. The problem is i have to provide all necessary packages on this laptop,
>which menas o have top keep lots of installed which i never there.
> i could mark packages in aptitude on the PC with the main packages server
>as 'Download Only' then i could mark anything i ever may need, on any laptop
> or machine to install, and then just copy the cache to a laptop (eventually running
>apt-proxy too) when i need it anywhere else, at places with no [fast] connection.
>Another benefit is, i could do the 'slow' regular update from the internet sources
>once at one computer, where updating laptops would always run at LAN speed.
>It also relieves much load from the WAN link, too (this is a WLAN behind a router,
>shaed by several parties).
>The 'download only' marker would imply that it is not installed, so it's a kind of
>special 'update' flag, with no dependency trigger: Of course, only a previously
>installed version would be relevant for depencency management.
>I don't know how that could be implemented in the aptitude package database.
>Best would be, not at all :) just add the flag and regard this when performaing
>any update actions.

Possibly I am missing something, but isn't it more practical to have a
simple list of packages that you want to download in a text file, and
"aptitude download"them on demand, to keep them fresh (or the same with

Additionally, if you use /var/cache/apt/archives as download area, the
auto-clean commands will clean older versions, and should you need to
install them in the machine where you download them, they will be
already there.

As I said, possibly I am missing something, but I don't see the need of
more special machinery in this case.

If you need more complex solutions there are also apt-cacher,
apt-cacher-ng, approx and probably many others to use as proxys/caches
-- I don't have experience with them, but many people use them for
similar use cases.

Manuel A. Fernandez Montecelo <manuel.montezelo at gmail.com>

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