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Managing Debian Software with APT (apt-get etc)
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2.2 How to use APT locally

Sometimes you have lots of packages .deb that you would like to use APT to install so that the dependencies would be automatically solved.

To do that create a directory and put the .debs you want to index in it . For example:

     # mkdir /root/debs

You may modify the definitions set on the package's control file directly for your repository using an override file. Inside this file you may want to define some options to override the ones that come with the package. It looks like follows:

     package priority section

package is the name of the package, priority is low, medium or high and section is the section to which it belongs. The file name does not matter, you'll have to pass it as an argument for dpkg-scanpackages later. If you do not want to write an override file, just use /dev/null. when calling dpkg-scanpackages.

Still in the /root directory do:

     # dpkg-scanpackages debs file | gzip > debs/Packages.gz

In the above line, file is the override file, the command generates a file Packages.gz that contains various information about the packages, which are used by APT. To use the packages, finally, add:

     deb file:/root debs/

After that just use the APT commands as usual. You may also generate a sources repository. To do that use the same procedure, but remember that you need to have the files .orig.tar.gz, .dsc and .diff.gz in the directory and you have to use Sources.gz instead of Packages.gz. The program used is also different. It is dpkg-scansources. The command line will look like this:

     # dpkg-scansources debs | gzip > debs/Sources.gz

Notice that dpkg-scansources doesn't need an override file. The sources.list's line is:

     deb-src file:/root debs/

Managing Debian Software with APT (apt-get etc)
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