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I installed Debian Etch "net-inst" on a computer
without any internet connection.
The "net-inst" is a minimal installation and do not have any GUI on it.
I would like to install GNOME on it, so I transferred the
GNOME packages on a "Disk On Key" from a second computer,
with an intention of creating a local trivial repository,
and install GNOME from it.
After trials, errors, and help from the people on this board
I learned it is not enough to just copy the packages and run
"apt-update", but there is also a need to run "dpkg-scanpackages".
Hang on, this is going to be long:
"dpkg-scanpackages" is contained in the "dpkg-dev" package,
but "dpkg-dev" is not installed with "net-inst",
so I transferred it on a "Disk On Key" to the "net-inst"
and tried to install it with "dpkg".
I got a dependency message about the missing package "binutils".
Again, I did the above with "binutils" and got a dependency message
about the package "libc6" from a version newer than the version
of the currently installed "libc6" package which is "libc6_2.3.6.ds1-13etch2_i386.deb".
Again, download ,transfer and install, but now I got an error message
about a conflict with an existing "libc6" package, so I used "aptitude"
to remove the currently installed "libc6" package and only then
tried to install the updated package "libc6_2.7-10_i386.deb".
To my disappointment I got a message about a conflict with a package
by the name of "tzdata". I would like emphasize that it is a message
about conflict and not about missing dependency.
The internet said that the "tzdata" package is used to configure
time zones and has nothing to do with "libc6", however,
I tried to remove "tzdata" with dpkg -r but it wont let me.
I know aptitude and apt-get will automate the dependency issue,
but they both require a local trivial repository which I can't create.
I need to solve this issue without internet connection.
One thing you can do is search for the files you need on the Debian CDs or DVDs. Then just download the CD you need and use apt-cdrom to add it as a repository. Once you get that setup, you could create your local repo. Or since you're talking about gnome, I'm pretty sure the first full CD will have gnome on it.