I am trying to copy all of the packages I have installed on one Debian machine to another Debian machine without doing another apt-get install and downloading all of the package all over again.

4 Answers 4


They're stored in:


unless you've issued a:

apt-get clean
  • Thank you so much! So, let's say if I copied the files to another machines, what's the easiest way to install all of them?
    – superuser
    Jan 15, 2012 at 17:59
  • 2
    Assuming that all the dependencies are satisfied: dpkg -i *.deb.
    – cYrus
    Jan 15, 2012 at 18:04
  • This is just fine, manual way, well doable on dislocated systems, e.g. without network connection. If the machines are connected (mostly preferred on local network) there are more convenient automatic ways to achieve this, see my answer below about apt proxy.
    – SkyRaT
    Mar 30, 2015 at 10:24

Maybe you just need:

apt-get download mypackage1 mypackage2

it will download given *.deb files to the current directory. No need for root.


If you had already issued

apt-get clean

you can take a look at these pages to learn about replicating the same package configuration on the other machine

  • 1
    both links are now gone, any other source for the info?
    – Mark Ch
    Oct 21, 2015 at 8:57

You can also create a package proxy, we use approx

Then the real repository servers are specified in the approx.conf, like:

debian         http://ftp.debian.org/debian
security       http://security.debian.org/debian-security
volatile       http://volatile.debian.org/debian-volatile

In all machines you want to install just place the following to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://<hostname>:9999/debian/ squeeze main contrib non-free
deb http://<hostname>:9999/security/ squeeze/updates main contrib non-free

When first machine is downloading the packages, they go from the internet and are stored in the cache of approx. All other machines download the packages from the cache directly.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.