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Offline updates - is it possible?


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Hello. I am using Funtoo on my laptop for about a couple of weeks now and I start thinking about installing it on a computer I use as a spare one at work. The issue is that the place I want to use it at has no Internet or any other network connection at all. So I would like to ask a couple of questions:

 

1) Is it possible to maintain a Funtoo distribusion with just a flash drive?

2) Is not it going to be too much pain in the butt to do?

3) Is it absolutely required to have a Portage system installed on a network connected machine from which the update files are going to come.

4) It would be nice to be able to install Funtoo at the machine without the need to transport it. Is it possible to install a system using previously downloaded files only?

 

If it is possible to do then it would be nice to have at least a brief explanation. Did anyone even tried anything like this?

 

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You can create a chroot on a computer that has internet, and configure it as if it were the ofline system, and use binary packages built in the chroot, only try to keep the cpu options generic at first(you can tweak as you go later), you can then build there and only install the binary packages on the offiline system.

You only need to set PKGDIR, PORTDIR, DISTDIR in make.conf, and use a flash drive mounted in  e.g. /media/funtoo/ containing a copy of your world file  and the the directories {packages,portage,distfiles,config}, set the  variables pointing to these, the same on the chroot as the offilne system, create a git repo of /etc/portage/ and commit every change you need to make to the files inside there, this is the 'config' directory inside /media/funtoo, and git push and pull  using that directory.
Alternatively, you can setup a simple lan with a network cable or via ad-hoc wifi, and use the guide for binary packages.
The key is to have a portage snapshot, a valid configuration (/etc/portage), and the set of packages built for that configuration, this way you can make portage resolve the same build in the chroot as the off-line system.

 

As the target system is off-line, you can upgrade it every 1~2 months, as it is an off-line system you don't have to worry much about security.
the manuals make.conf(5) and portage(5) have more info on the details.
 

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There was a similar question in Gentoo a while back, the fellow was going to be on board a ship with no network for 6 months.  I can't find it now, but not important, j-g- has good ideas.  Especially if you have a similar computer at home <whereever> that is on the network, you can just hand carry the flash drive back & forth with the package files.  I have a machine here with all of portage on flash drive, an ancient computer with a tiny HD.  Portage doesn't care where it's DIR's are.  But if you have to chroot and use qemu then: Door #2, yes it will be a pain because it will take so long to build packages in qemu emulation mode.  If that were the case I would update portage to reflect the latest packages and take the DISTFILES to the remote machine, let it find them in $DISTFILES and build them itself.  Assuming your _home machine had the same packages installed, else you'd have to manually d/l them.  It certainly won't be painless, but you can minimize the pain.

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