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Home network low-tech trick for a very fast Ubuntu release upgrade October 31, 2008

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
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If you have many computers at the office or at home, it a good idea to set up a local mirror. apt-mirror doest the trick.

However, if you only have a few computers at home (we have 3 for 2 persons, and one of those is used as a music player), setting a local mirror is a little overkill. However, not downloading everything 3x should save us a lot of time (hours) and bandwidth (gigs).

So what’s the trick? If your machines have the same architecture (in my case they are all x86 machines), do this on all the machines before you upgrade:

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -u upgrade

$ sudo apt-get clean

Now open the Update Manager (System – Administration), upgrade the distribution normally (click on the upgrade to 8.10 button) on the machine with the most packages installed. You can find out like this:

$ dpkg -l |grep ^ii  | wc -l

A nice side-effect of the finished install is that you have cached the debs you downloaded for the install. You need root access on the other machines, so set a root password:

$ sudo passwd root

Then upload, the cached packages to the new machines:

$ sudo scp -rp /var/cache/apt/* machine1:/var/cache/apt/

$ sudo scp -rp /var/cache/apt/* machine2:/var/cache/apt/

(Replace machine1 and machine2 with your own machines.)

Do the upgrade normally on both machines with the Upgrade Manager.

If you need the space, you can get rid of the cache later with:

$ sudo apt-get clean

Have fun.

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