These instructions come from with slight modifications.

Overview of Steps

  1. Install dpkg-dev.
  2. Put the packages in a directory.
  3. Create a script that will scan the packages and create a file apt-get update can read.
  4. Add a line to your sources.list pointing at your repository.

Install dpkg-dev

Type in a terminal

sudo apt-get install dpkg-dev

The Directory

Create a directory where you will keep your packages. For this example, we'll use /home/gram/pkgs.

sudo mkdir -p /home/gram/pkgs

Now move your packages into the directory you've just created.

Previously downloaded Packages are generally stored on your system in the /var/cache/apt/archives directory. If you have installed apt-cacher you will have additional packages stored in its /packages directory.

The Script update-mydebs

It's a simple three liner:

#! /bin/bash
 cd /home/gram/pkgs
 dpkg-scanpackages . /dev/null | gzip -9c > Packages.gz

Cut and paste the above into gedit, and save it as update-mydebs in ~/bin. (the tilde '~' means your home directory. If ~/bin does not exist, create it: Ubuntu will put that directory in your PATH. It's a good place to put personal scripts). Next, make the script executable:

chmod u+x ~/bin/update-mydebs

How the script works:

dpkg-scanpackages looks at all the packages in mydebs, and the output is compressed and written to a file (Packages.gz) that apt-get update can read (see below for a reference that explains this in excruciating detail). /dev/null is an empty file; it is a substitute for an override file which holds some additional information about the packages, which in this case is not really needed. See deb-override(5) if you want to know about it.

Then you have to tar up the ./pkgs directory - tar cvzf gram_pkgs.tar.gz ./pkgs


add the line

deb file:/home/gram/pkgs ./

to your /etc/apt/sources.list, and you're done.

CD Option

You can burn the directory containing the debs to a CD and use that as a repository as well (good for sharing between computers). To use the CD as a repository, simply run

sudo apt-cdrom add

Using the Repository

Whenever you put a new deb in the mydebs directory, run

sudo update-mydebs sudo apt-get update

Now your local packages can be manipulated with Synaptic, aptitude and the apt commands: apt-get, apt-cache, etc. When you attempt to apt-get install, any dependencies will be resolved for you, as long as they can be met.

Badly made packages will probably fail, but you won't have endured dpkg hell.

Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on 10/14/14 11:05:01