This manpage should be up-to-date with version 0.17 of the
The apt-zip-list and
apt-zip-inst commands simplify the upgrade
process of a non-networked Debian host using
by using (preferably high-capacity) removable media, like a
apt-zip-list produces two files. One is a script that
used on another host (maybe not running a Debian system) to
fetch packages previously selected in
indicated in the command line, the other apt-zip.options
saves the options used by
apt-zip-list to indicate to
apt-zip-inst what action to perform and/or which
packages to install.
Various types of scripts can be generated, by specifying a fetch
method supported by the host that will fetch the packages. If
you prefer, the script may generate a tarball containing the
Note that apt-zip-list can be called as a non-root user.
The name of the script (as well as the name of the tarfile when using the
tar option) contains the name of the Debian
host for which the packages are to be fetched. Thus you can,
using the same medium, upgrade several hosts at the same time,
provided you have enough space on this disk. This should work with or
without the tar option.
The script is written to the removable medium, which is mounted
if necessary, and then restored to the original unmounted state
when applicable. It is the responsibility of the user then to
run the script on a host that will fetch the packages, and to
have them (or the generated archive) copied to the removable
When back on your Debian host, you just run apt-zip-inst,
which will take care of the script-produced files, and call
install the packages on your disk.
Show summary of options.
Show version of program.
Select a removable medium other than the site default.
See also --skip-mount.
Select the action done by apt-get. Possible actions are
If --packages is not set the default is
dselect-upgrade (See also
apt-zip.conf), if it is set none is selected.
Comma-separated list of extra packages to install.
Run apt-get with the
--fix-broken option. See
for more details.
Allow specifying a non-mountpoint directory to
the --medium option. This may help on
laptops only getting point-to-point networking without
being routed to. This is also useful while testing the
program, as it allows sending the script into
Introduces waiting times between downloaded files.
Allows the genearation of a fetch script that will wait
some time (configurable). The number parameter represents
the delay between consecutive dowloads.
Note that this option is safe: even if the connected
machine does not have a wait command,
the script will not fail.
--no-checksum, --no-md5, -5
This option will command to apt-zip-list to create a
script which does not make any sha256sum checks.
Note that if this option is not given at script generation
time, the sha256sum command will be called only after it has
been found in the system. (--no-md5 is maintained for
script compatibility, but there is only sha256)
OPTIONS FOR APT-ZIP-LIST
Select a method other than the default one. The
wget and wget-dos methods
are currently supported.
Specifies a set of options to be used while
generating the script. A warning is issued only if an
option is unkown to apt-zip-list, but
all known options may not be supported by all methods.
Options may be given a value, with the
Currently available options include:
causes the dowloaded files to be grouped
into a tarball. The name of a
tar program on the download
machine can be specified, if different from
When used in conjunction with the
restart option, a GNU
tar must be specified, so that 2
tarballs man be concatenated - this is only
needed on the 3rd and subsequent runs of the
causes the downloaded files to be grouped
into a tarball.
--accept , -A / --reject , -R
Comma-separated list of accepted/rejected protocols for
download. By default are only accepted http and ftp.
The /etc/apt/apt-zip.conf file can be used
to set defaults: method, removable medium, options,
apt-get action and accepted/rejected protocols. It is
a self-explainatory bourne-shell script snippet. It allows to
provide site defaults for command-line options.
A method is handled by an executable object (usually a script)
placed in the /usr/share/apt-zip/methods/ directory.
This executable is fed on standard input with the output of
It is communicated the state of requested options using for each
option an environment variables named
where OPTNAME is the uppercased name
of an option.
Additional environment variables are also set, such as
Only one disk can be used. If your packages do not fit on
one, you have to deselect some packages using
you have to select a suitable list of package.
The files on an Internet distribution site can change rather
frequently. It is up to the user to make sure the site was
not updated between the build of the fetch script by
apt-zip-list and the fetch itself,
otherwise some required files may not be possible to fetch.
The restart feature is really slow. The
tar command on Solaris(tm) has an option
to seek in the file instead of assuming a non-seekable
device, which greatly improves performance. GNU
tar does not seem to be able to do that.
Virtually no error-checking is done. Examples of such error
conditions include: - out-of-diskspace on both the removable
medium and in apt archive cache when using
Somewhat consequently, error-recovery also nears
non-existence. As examples, an interrupted fetch in tar
mode has to be restarted from zero; changes in
status file between runs of
apt-zip-inst are not detected and may
lead to failure.