Chapter 1. Introduction

Table of Contents

1.1. Overview

Normally APT requires direct access to a Debian archive, either from a local media or through a network. Another common complaint is that a Debian machine is on a slow link, such as a modem and another machine has a very fast connection but they are physically distant.

The solution to this is to use large removable media such as a Zip disc or a SuperDisk disc. These discs are not large enough to store the entire Debian archive but can easily fit a subset large enough for most users. The idea is to use APT to generate a list of packages that are required and then fetch them onto the disc using another machine with good connectivity. It is even possible to use another Debian machine with APT or to use a completely different OS and a download tool like wget. Let remote host mean the machine downloading the packages, and target host the one with bad or no connection.

This is achieved by creatively manipulating the APT configuration file. The essential premise to tell APT to look on a disc for it's archive files. Note that the disc should be formatted with a filesystem that can handle long file names such as ext2, fat32 or vfat.