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I'm looking for a system to update software WITHOUT using the Ubuntu repositories. In other words, for my own project, not in the Canonical repositories, is there software that will allow you to check the version and pull an update?

I know that I can build a custom repository, but I'm just curious if there are other solutions out there, because I am not sure what exactly repositories are made to handle. (In my case, it will be a very large, in quantity and size, set of binary files, so I'd like to see what options I have, or if the only feasible option is creating a custom repository.

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I don't know of a specific method, but I know a program which implements its own installation and update mechanism in a very user-friendly way. It is called Calibre. Perhaps you could ask the developer or take a look at the code. From the point of view of a user, I'd still strongly advise against using anything but apt. Apt gives me security and comfort, so the entry barrier for a non-apt app to land on my computer is much higher than for an apt-one. –  rumtscho Jul 22 '10 at 21:49

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