Linux Mint – Importing a list of packages for reinstallation

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In Chapter 11, Advanced Administration Techniques, we covered Mint’s Backup Tool, which allows you to save a text file containing a list of all your installed programs. You’ll need that file for this section. To recap, you can create this file by opening the Backup Tool and clicking on Backup software selection. Preferably, save the text file somewhere in your home directory, as the tool defaults to saving the file in the root’s home directory.

Once our system is up and running, we can import the software selection list we created. This list will prompt the Backup Tool to install all the packages that may not be present on the system. To restore the file, open the Backup Tool and enter your password when prompted. Then, click on Restore software selection. The following screenshot shows Mint’s Backup Tool:

On the Restore software selection screen, click on (None) and then browse to where you saved the backup file containing your packages. The following screenshot shows the first screen of the Restore software selection process:

After importing your backup file, a smaller window with a list of all the packages you’ve installed will appear; basically, it includes any package (that normally isn’t a part of Mint) you had installed. Here, you can click on Apply to have the tool install the packages for you. If you prefer, you can also peruse the list and uncheck anything that you may not need anymore. The following screenshot shows the Restore software selection process, showing the applications we would want to reinstall:

After clicking on Apply, the Backup Tool will install your packages. The following screenshot shows that the selected software is restored:

Now that this process is complete, your installation should be as it was the last time, but with a new version of Mint. All your favorite applications should be present; your settings (such as browser favorites and e-mail accounts) should also be preserved, and your personal data should be stored in your home folder.

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