What is apt-clone?
apt-clone is a shell script that provides a convenient means of replicating package selections across multiple hosts.
What are the requirements?
I wrote apt-clone for use with Debian-derived systems, though it may work with others, provided you install dpkg and friends. It is known to work with Debian and Ubuntu, your mileage may vary elsewhere.
Who is apt-clone right for?
- Anyone who manages multiple workstations, and needs to make sure that a consistent software library is available across those systems.
- Home users who regularly wipe their systems, and has more than a few software packages they use that are not included in the default install.
- IT managers for public libraries and educational institutions, where each user does not have a designated workstation.
- Support Technicians for medium and large businesses, where uniform availability of software is critical to day-to-day operations.
Why would I want to do this?
If you have a medium or large network with many workstations with software set that differs from your distribution’s default, apt-clone can save you a significant amount of time with the first setup, or deployment of new software. Instead of managing each the software set on workstation individually, apt-clone allows you to install once on a single machine, and duplicate this package selection on any other system (with no communication between hosts required).
How does apt-clone manage configuration files?
It doesn’t, but if you want a homogeneous configuration for all workstations on a network, try creating directory with skeleton configurations in it, attaching symbolic links between /etc/ and those files, and mounting a read-only NFS with the real configurations on top of the skeleton directory. This would effectively push one unified configuration to all systems, while still allowing per-workstation overrides by removing the symbolic links.
Current version: apt-clone v1.0.0 (Download)