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Old 06-18-2017, 12:03 AM   #1
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looking for a way to do what was done with Remastersys. list of programs installed so I can duplicate them on another install.

I once used remastersys to make a disro of my own installation with the hope of using that to make a new installation on another computer which would result with it having all the same programs installed after the linux os had been installed.
Not sure how to convey what I want here, but maybe some will understand my intent.
After several days or maybe weeks after I would install a new version of linux Mint on my computer I had most all of the software I needed. After many weeks or months my install would be fine-tuned with more programs I found I liked or thought I needed but I had no definitive list of them.
When that computer crashed or when I wanted to do a new install on a friends computer, I wanted to also install the extra programs I had on my computer at home and found it was difficult to duplicate what I had going on my own computer.
I tried Remastersys and it worked fairly well but it had not been supported and brought up to date.
Someone had told me there was a program which could make a list of my installed programs (ones in addition to the ones on the iso provided on a download from linux mint site) and I would be able to use that to duplicate my other installation.
Is there something like I an looking to find which has this property?
PS Just trying to find a way to dupicate what I added (to say my os such as linux mint 17.3) and be able to get all the same programs installed on another computer install of linux mint 17.3. I know remastersys had be making an iso of my current install but that seems more than is needed. I only want to have a way of going to the repository and installing the same list of items.

Last edited by electroken; 06-18-2017 at 12:08 AM. Reason: add to end and say what I want to accomplish
Old 06-18-2017, 09:55 AM   #2
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There are 2 different scenarios for duplicating your installed programs:
1) You are duplicating the same version and desktop (that is: Mint 17.3 Cinnamon to Mint 17.3 Cinnamon)
2) You are duplicating the programs to a different version or desktop (that is: Mint 17.3 Cinnamon to Mint 18.1 Cinnamon)

In both scenarios, you can copy all of the .deb files in /var/cache/apt/archives from the original OS to /var/cache/apt/archives in the new OS. That will save you some download time.

In both scenarios, you can copy all of the hidden configuration files for your installed programs from the original OS to the new one.
For example, I copy:

I configure any PPA's that I use. (Google Chrome, multisystem and ubuntuzilla)
sudo apt-get update
Then I install all of the programs I use with one command:
sudo apt-get -y --show-progress install  acetoneiso album apport-gtk asunder bluefish boot-info-script clipit converseen cthumb dconf-tools filezilla fsarchiver geany gimp gnome-brave-icon-theme gnome-color-chooser gnome-logs gnome-search-tool google-chrome-stable gparted gpick grml-rescueboot grsync gsmartcontrol gtkhash gwenrename hardinfo htop imagemagick-doc inkscape leafpad medit meld mint-meta-codecs multisystem nemo-image-converter openshot pinta pithos pmount preload puddletag roxterm seamonkey-mozilla-build shutter smartmontools smplayer smtube swapspace vlc xsane
In order to make that list you have to look through your Menu and note the programs you installed. (Noting that not every program you installed will appear in your menu.)
Also, you can get a nice list of the installed programs with short descriptions (for reference), with the command:
dpkg -l | grep ii >> installed-programs.list
My method works for both scenarios.

However, if you are just doing scenario #1 (same version and same desktop) you can use this:
In the original OS, run the command:
dpkg --get-selections > installed-software.list
Then move that text file ( installed-software.list) to the new installation, and run the command:
sudo apt-get -y install $(cat installed-software.list | awk '{print $1}')
Don't try that with different versions or different desktops. You will be installing obsolete kernels and libraries that can completely bork your installation. With the same version and desktop, it works fine.

Last edited by TxLonghorn; 06-18-2017 at 09:59 AM.
Old 06-18-2017, 10:32 AM   #3
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I'm more inclined to take this route, but the --get-selections route previously mentioned is probably the proper way.

# dpkg -l | awk '{ print $2; }' > temp_OLDINSTALL.txt

# nano temp_OLDINSTALL.txt
(remove headers --top 5 lines in my case--, remove unwanted packages, could use wc/head/tail and remove in the active distro before the previous too)

# cat temp_OLDINSTALL.txt | while read PACKAGE; do echo $PACKAGE; apt-get install $PACKAGE; done

Probably some --assume-yes and stuff to make it less "monitored" for apt-get, but should get it done. OFC this route includes everything, even the 85% of the packages installed by default on a fresh install. But generating the same list for the fresh install and removing the dupes might be more effort than it saves. Something that the --get-selections and --set-selections route probably already deals with.

In practice though I keep the dpkg -l list as a reference, and only do my minimum install. I install things as I use them. And use the list to remember the things I forgot. With the exception of the common things Like networking and system monitoring tools. Plus GPU, firmware, microcode, and other things needed to have a usable and perform-ant system by my standards. OFC this route fails a lot when upgrading to new releases as some package names have version numbers in them and do not have matching package names on the new release.


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