Software Manager Configuration Export

Write suggestions and new ideas in here
More ideas here http://community.linuxmint.com/idea/welcome
Forum rules
  • Only post ideas here that are specifically about the Linux Mint distribution or its websites.
  • So that developers and users from any distribution can discuss ideas in one place, post ideas about improving software to the collaboration website for that software instead.
Post Reply
ytene
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:10 pm

Software Manager Configuration Export

Post by ytene » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:13 pm

Some time next week [hopefully!] I will be taking delivery of a new computer, on to which I will be installing Mint 18.3...

One of the things I'd like to do is set up this new build in a configuration that matches my current system as closely as possible. I've been carefully searching the net looking for advice on how to best do this and all of the advice I've seen so far covers the ubuntu distribution [but uses generic packages and commands, so I have pretty high confidence that it will work for Mint].

However, I do think that this would make a useful feature for "Software Manager" to have. I do appreciate that a proper configuration "image" needs to capture more than just the record of packages installed via the Software Manager, since to be complete it might also need to include other repositories and also repository keys; however, I think that this should not only be possible, but might even make for some really powerful customisation...

For example, suppose I download the latest 18.3 ISO image and then use it to create a USB key image for installation/boot purposes. But before booting a machine using that vanilla image, I merge in a copy of a "custom configuration" export from "Software Manager"... This could then be integrated with the installer so that it would be possible to install a basic Mint image, then download and install any additional packages that I would like to "pre-select" for use.

OK, there are dangers here: we would need to have a control mechanism that shows the user that the installation ISO had been modified [not difficult] and perhaps cater for 3rd party repositories which may no longer be available, or which contain software that could potentially induce conflicts with packages from a new Mint release. However, apt should be able to cope with conflicts - and basic error handling should be able to cope with missing files.

Hopefully this is worth consideration as a feature - it would enable me, for example, to churn out a collection of identical machines [assuming common hardware] which would be really good for training centres or schools, for example...

Thank you

deepakdeshp
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3858
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:00 am

Re: Software Manager Configuration Export

Post by deepakdeshp » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:03 pm

You need to install the system once only once . Tune it as per your liking .
Take an image using clonezilla download clonezilla from here. You can clone the image to as many machines as you want.
It will not only work with machines with similar configuration but most probably on machines with different configuration.
64 bit image will of course will not work on a 32 bit image
If I have helped you solve a problem, please add [SOLVED] to your first post title, it helps other users looking for help, and keeps the forum clean.
I am using Mint 19 Cinnamon 64 bit with AMD A8/7410 processor . Memory 8GB

ytene
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:10 pm

Re: Software Manager Configuration Export

Post by ytene » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:25 am

Thanks for responding and for the link. Unfortunately, that solution won't work for me...

I'm currently running Mint on platforms with some fundamentally different configurations and I don't think that Clonezilla would be a good fit...

For example, consider the 2 systems I use the most:

A small desktop system built around an Asus H170i Pro Gaming motherboard in a fanless Impactics case [which is perfect for basic WP/Browsing/Tinkering] and a much larger tower system that not only runs more of a server configuration, but has a completely different disk layout. For example, the fanless system has to dual-boot with Windows10 on a single SSD, whilst the tower system includes an Akasa drive bay

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00 ... UTF8&psc=1

that allows me to swap between OS builds by removing and replacing the boot drive... [ Which has proven essential given the total fsck-up that has been systemd... ]

What I'd like to do, then, is run through the "default build" on a Mint install, using the Mint Installer, but then be able to direct a "package script" at Software Manager, which basically says, "Please install these packages..."

Ideally, I'd like to be able to further customise this, and write and run several scripts... such as "ServerBuild", "Games", etc... And have groups or collections of software packages that I could import to a fresh build depending on what I'd like it to do...

I'm open-minded as to whether this would be version-specific [for the packages] or not... I know that apt would handle package changes for me and bring in later builds, but I'm not sure how robust this would be between say 17.* and 18.*...

Hopefully this shows why I think there's an argument for working this at the package level, and not at a partition level.

Thank you...

Cosmo.
Level 23
Level 23
Posts: 17829
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:34 am

Re: Software Manager Configuration Export

Post by Cosmo. » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:34 am

Take a look at Aptik, this should at least come close to what you want.

ytene
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:10 pm

Re: Software Manager Configuration Export

Post by ytene » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:19 pm

Cosmo, Deepak,

Thanks both for your consideration of this question. I've now had a chance to install 18.3 and I've discovered that it actually implemented a perfect solution to this challenge: in the newly updated "Backup Tool" I find that it is now possible to backup and/or restore either "Personal Data" or "Software Selection". The second of these options basically generates a simple text file that contains all of the packages that I've installed. I think this will do the trick...

Post Reply

Return to “Suggestions & New Ideas”