APTonCD is a GUI tool that can extract the .deb packages that you have manually installed on your machine and selectively copy them to an ISO image that can be burned to a CD or DVD. The tool can then be used, on another machine, to restore those packages. The main use is to create disc-based package collections that can be used to add packages to systems that don’t have an Internet connection, perhaps as part of a mass installation strategy.

Clicking on the create button causes the program to start collating a list of packages that you have added to your system. When the process is complete, it displays a list of packages that can be included or deselected. Optionally, all dependencies for the selected packages are included. You can also add extra packages at this point by manually directing the program to actual .deb files. Once this is complete, click on the burn icon and the program will very quickly create an ISO containing the .deb files. The program can even span a collection files over more than one disc.

Restoring is just as simple. However, it’s important to note that APT on CD doesn’t actually install any software to your system. Instead, it copies the .deb files to the APT cache of your target machine. This way, when you install the packages using your chosen APT tool such as the Synaptic package manager, the system wont attempt to retrieve the packages from the Internet. APTtoCD can load the .deb files from an actual CD that you have burned or from an ISO file located on another medium.

It’s worth noting that actually installing APTtoCD to a target machine is fairly simple as it is included in the collection of .deb files on the CD that you burn. Simply install it as you would any other .deb file.

The APTonCD website


UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.


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I discovered AptOnCD some

Ted Smith's picture

I discovered AptOnCD some years ago but note it does not appear to have been further developed since the RC release in 2007, nearly 4 years ago.

Is it something that doesn't need updating, or is it a stagnant project?


Rajiv Bajaj's picture

Since it does not really install the packages, I don't really get the point of this utility. I do the same thing by making a tar.gz of my /var/cache/apt folder.

Yes, I must agree with x33a,

Anonymous's picture

Yes, I must agree with x33a, calling it AptImage or AptToImage, AptToDisk, AptToGo or something alternate would make it clearer to people trying to move these images around. If you look on the ubuntu launchpad, you will often see people in places like India or Africa who do not have a network connection and could really benefit from a tool like this -- particularly if it is clear that you can save it to any removable media.


humberto.fuentealba's picture

Excellent, i've to manually set a cd repo for some linux installs. Now it's out of the box.

Keep GNU/Linux at the top.

Gr8 tool

Amol's picture

This is really great.
It will save a lot of time and internet bandwidth for me.
thanks for sharing. .


Since it creates iso, then i

x33a's picture

Since it creates iso, then i suppose one can burn/install that iso to a flash drive, instead of a CD. This would be more useful than to waste cds everytime we need install an updated set of packages.

actually you don't need to

guru-man's picture

actually you don't need to burn it

mount it on your home dir ( or anywhere ) and the pop up msg will tell you if you want to this cd as repo

Way Cool!

JShuford's picture

Thank you... I learned something new today!

...I'm not just a "troll", but also a subscriber!