I'm learning how to use Linux Mint, and I'm completely new to the whole environment.

The computer I'm using for a school project does not have an Internet connection, and it is not possible for it to have one. How can I install programs (I think they're called packages) onto Linux Mint without Internet? A lot of tutorials seem to update packages from the Internet, if I'm correct.

  • Just FYI, a program is still a program. Package is a way of distributing it (think installers on Windows). – gronostaj Nov 5 '13 at 9:02
  • Oh, ok. That makes sense. – Timtech Nov 5 '13 at 11:49

You could set up a package repository on a USB stick or a DVD. Using an USB stick would allow you to update that repository. For details, see this question and its answers on AskUbuntu. Especially using an USB drive as package repository or using AptOnCD seems to be a viable solution to me.

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While it is true that "sudo dpkg -i {filename}.deb" will attempt to install a package, you'll probably hit frustration rather quickly without an Internet connection. There are 2 problems:

  1. If you don't have Internet, you're going to have to get the packages via some other means, and get them onto the machine. That has its own hairs.

  2. Once you get the package you think you want, there's a good chance that it will have unresolved dependencies -- other packages that it needs, which are not already installed on your machine or present in the same directory as the package you're installing. So for each of these, you have to return to #1... which may lead to even more unresolved dependencies, and so forth.

Imagine this cycle continuing for a dozen or more packages, and you'll get an idea of why this can be frustrating.

If you want to learn to use Linux, you can install a virtual machine on your Windows PC and use its Internet connection. There are lots of free ways to do that, and not suffer through this "free but no network" situation.

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Many programs are supplied via a Debian package (.deb) which is a package type that you can use on Linux Mint. These are usually found at a program's website. To install a package named filename.deb, open up the terminal. Navigate to the directory the file is located in. Then type:

sudo dpkg -i filename.deb

This will get programs onto your offline PC, but I don't know how to update the system via this method.

Terminal navigation explained, just in case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cd_(command)

Edit: completed a half sentence i forgot about

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