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I am moving to a new laptop with Ubuntu Lucid from an old laptop that has Ubuntu Karmic.

I want to look at the list of all the packages and selectively install them all on the new laptop.

What is the best method to go about doing this?

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What an excellent question! – marcusw Apr 30 '10 at 19:47
up vote 2 down vote accepted


  dpkg --get-selections > package.list

to write the list of packages to the file package.list and edit it if you want

On the new machine use

  sudo dpkg --set-selections < package.list
  sudo apt-get dselect-upgrade

to install the packages

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You can also use dpkg -l to show all installed packages with their descriptions so you can decide which ones you want. Just edit package.list as you see fit. – stillinbeta Apr 30 '10 at 18:41

A better list is obtained from:

aptitude search '~i !~M'
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