Is it necessary to have internet and be updated to use GNU / Linux?

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A recurring theme (especially in my country), is the fact that whether or not you need Internet to be able to use GNU / Linux, and along with this, having to load a Repository.

In places where the Internet connection is very slow or simply does not exist, an alternative is to have an external disk with a copy of the repository of the distribution that we use, in this way we would not have to connect to access the packages that we might need .

One of the many arguments used by users of Windows, is the fact of having more than 30GB busy with packages we won't even use. They see repositories as a problem, and they don't realize that it is actually a solution.

The dilemma is that not all of us have the possibility of having a large capacity removable device (although many do not believe it), as can also be the case, that we do not have a place to copy and update the repositories. But i wonder Do you really need to constantly update?

But we go in parts.

Do we really need to be updated day by day?

I think that the level of update depends on all things of the user, their tastes and needs. For example, I am the one who longs to see every day how even a new package enters the repositories of Debian, and if it is one of what I use, even better.

But that does not mean that I am aware that I do not need to be 100% in terms of updates for my System to work, in fact, I myself have been weeks or months without updating and nothing has changed on my computer. In general, many of the updates that packages undergo are patches and bug fixes or security problems, but we must see to what extent they affect us or not.

One of these users, who do not have Internet and complain that they are not updated, why do you need a patch on Firefox to prevent a malicious attack if you don't have any kind of connection? It's a bit of a shabby example, but I think I can convey my point of view.

The same does not happen when we are working with servers or machines in production, but I repeat, that depends on to what extent it affects us or not.

But what are Windows users talking about?

I really don't understand users of Windows that require the Internet to use GNU / Linux. Do the programs they use, the antivirus updates and so on, come to them through the shower from the bathtub? Don't you need the Internet to update and even install some of your programs?

As piracy is the order of the day, anyone can provide us with the complete office suite, or the suite of Adobe with crack, patch or serial number as necessary, but still, you need to be connected to update the Service Pack of Windows or the bases of Kaspersky.

But also, those same users who "need" the Internet to use GNU / Linux, they are the same ones that use Windows XP since 2001 and even in 2012 they continue to use it ... And as far as I know, they don't update that much.

Solution to the problem.

It is true that the first time we install, if we do not use a DVD, we must have a repository at hand. More than anything, to be able to install all the applications that we will need at once.

As the user of Windows looks for who copies the updated programs, a user of GNU / Linux you can find who copies the updated packages for you, and not 30Gb Repository, but the ones you need.

To do this we have more than one way, and we have already talked about these alternatives on our blog. The solution is to create our custom repositories, and really all we need is someone with a good Internet connection.

There are no excuses, at least for Debian / Ubuntu we have some possible methods that can be used:

1.- You do not have Internet? Learn how to take your repositories home

2.- PSC (Portable Software Center) take your repositories home

In short, the Internet is necessary for both users of GNU / Linux, as for users of Windows or Mac. There is no need to constantly update when what we have works. But that's just my opinion.


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  1.   elendilnarsil said

    I think that as you claim, it is not mandatory to be permanently connected to the network for our favorite distro to work. In my case, at the school where I work there is no internet available, so I have to wait to get home. And even there, I don't always stay connected. I carry my laptop everywhere and so far, I have had no problems and the applications run fine. Until a couple of months ago, I believed that I needed to constantly update, but as time goes by, I have observed that Chakra no longer does it at the rate it did before, but it is more stable than ever.

  2.   Anibal said

    very good, I add something ... there are distros ... I think that opensuse is one ... that you can download a lot of dvds and that it is full of soft.

    1.    Adoniz (@ NinjaUrbano1) said

      Open suse has a dvd in which you have access not only to the distro but also to all the software in its repositories including the desktop system that can be from openbox to kde, the dvd is full to the top but in this case no internet would be needed except for patches or security updates.

    2.    elendilnarsil said

      True, the versions that come on DVD come with a lot of extra software, which at first avoids the need to connect.

  3.   anti said

    It occurs to me, as a very basic solution, to copy the packages you need from a ready-made Arch installation. They are located in the / var / cache / pacman / pkg folder and you just have to install them with pacman -U package-path.
    I suppose that you can also have your local copy of a repository, but the truth has not occurred to me to do so.

    1.    vicky said

      Arch packages can be downloaded from their website.
      I also think there was a script that analyzed which packages you had installed on your drive and which version and if you wanted a new package it would compare it and download all the necessary dependencies.

      1.    Rots87 said

        I think you mean something about pkg ... but still you need the internet to check the repos or the dependencies, that is to say, you would always need the internet to install that new package without taking into account the possible failures and queries that you would have to perform

  4.   Rots87 said

    You are half right since I am one of the Linux / Windows users that I can tell you that (assuming I did not have internet) it would be a martyrdom to have Linux due to new programs that I think I need and that I do not comply with the dependencies Maybe I already have it but out of date or to check some problems etc etc

    Now I do not doubt that distros like Debian (I think it is the only one) allows you to download 5 DVDs with packages that maybe you will never use but just in case they will be there and that it assures you (I think) that all packages are compatible with your distro that you got down

    Now regardless of the case Linux in general is a great OS (better than MAC which is very closed and more secure than Windows) however without an internet connection the learning curve is very difficult or very long ...

    For the record, I speak it with total impartiality since I am a faithful Arch user (although in my work I continue with win xp ... I still do not take them from the dark side ahahaj) so I know both sides of the coin

  5.   croto said

    In reference to connecting to the Internet to update the system, I believe that any user with Debian v 6.06 or the OpenSUSE 11.2 DVD would be able to use the equipment without any problem without the need to connect and have a fully functional system. Now, between us, the first thing I do when I open the browser is visit the Distrowatch news and see the new packages and the changelogs of the new distro.

  6.   croto said

    Ah I forgot, taking out the connection side for the update. If you didn't have internet access, would you use Linux? I do not. I mean education and HOW-TOs. If you didn't have access to DesdeLinux, the Crunchbang forums, the Arch wiki, and thousands of Blogs in Spanish, would you have been able to install Firefox (not iceweasel)? Troubleshoot Grub? Add a repository? Unless they force you to use Free Software or they teach you at school (which I don't know today which OS is taught), access to GNU / Linux would be for very few. Besides, a Windows with Office WITHOUT INTERNET is a great tool, the connectivity that in Linux teaches and updates our equipment in the Microsoft system makes it vulnerable and in the long run unusable.

    1.    Rots87 said

      I agree with your opinion

    2.    erick said

      Friend, what you say is not entirely true, when I started with Linux, I remember that in the free software community where I heard about this OS I had the possibility of obtaining copies of Debian, Fedora, Knoppix systems and a long etcetera, and as in my house I did not have internet, what I did was visit the linux tutorial websites, and I downloaded complete web pages with WGET with information on Gnu / Linux, programming in python, c, c ++ and a long etc. a multisession cd in the labs of my university, and I remember that with this method I obtained information about linux that I had not finished reading in months. As wget has the well-known option of converting web links into local links, I practically read my linux pages at home as if I had internet. And above all, when I put the google desktop search program (local search engine) on my machine, I could do local searches on my own computer.
      I still lovingly keep some websites downloaded with wget that by the way now no longer exist on the internet.
      I remember that I had a lot of fun learning about gnu / linux and programming in those years and having or not having internet was never an excuse. A greeting.

  7.   husband said

    I started in Linux when home ADSL was still expensive… I used a knoppix dvd (kde3 + codecs ready to use) but when I started with Ubuntu I had the serious problem of not having codecs or decompressors; I was still going online to download packages, problems installing debs because it asked for more and more dependencies ... but I found a project that still exists "Road to Ubuntu" is a pack that installs codecs and some little programs in a single command, without internet. Regarding the documentation ... at least the first versions of ubuntu and knoppix came with a fairly complete manual, I don't know if there will still be offline help for ubuntu. Today there are thousands of helpful blogs and wikis, nothing like a few years ago. Cheers!

    1.    k1000 said

      True, there is no longer that great offline help that ubuntu brought, or it is not so extensive, now gnome has one but it is very short. With that help I learned everything I needed to use ubuntu when I had no idea about linux and the internet did not reach my house.

  8.   jorgemanjarrezlerma said

    That such.

    Internet, although necessary, is not the "solution" for learning or clarifying doubts, installing packages or updates. As they say, you can download the packages and install / update them and of course you always have to check what dependencies you need to have since generally "almost" all packages have dependencies or updates to them.

    In practically all distros there is the man command and you don't need the internet to use it. That being connected to the network is practical, useful and comfortable if it is true, but it is not an impediment to work or any activity that occurs to us.

  9.   k1000 said

    I think the problem is when you don't have internet and you need to install the codecs to listen to your music, or you want to install libreoffice 3.6 because it goes faster than openoffice (which does not resolve having the 50 GB of the repository if this program has just come out and promises much more than the one you have installed), or do you need to install lyx to write an article for the U. In windows what is done? you go to the internet cafe and download the .exe, and in linux? It is time to give birth to the dependencies and then install them one by one, sometimes there are 30 or more (I have done it, when I had no internet). And death is when the repository changed and that library is not where the package manager told you it should be. PC-BSD has the .pbi which are like the .exe and have all the libraries included in a single package, but the list of applications is very small.
    In my experience Linux Mint is appropriate to use without internet if you are not going to install more than what it already brings because you have to give birth to 20 dependencies to install a single program.

  10.   sieg84 said

    is another excuse

  11.   Yoyo Fernandez said

    Without the Internet, I don't see the point of Linux….

    Neither to Windows, nor to Mac….

    What good is an OS without Internet? for very little, the truth …….

    PS: Internet is for p0rn.

    1.    Charlie-Brown said

      How good a little season in Cuba would do you! ...

      1.    elav said

        That would create post-traumatic stress hahaha

        1.    anti said

          I suppose there are people in the world who yes works on your computer. XD

  12.   Tesla said

    Excellent post. The truth is that I also feel very excited every time a package comes in and I have an update. However I am on Debian Wheezy with all that that entails.

    In my opinion, we often forget the actual use of the software in favor of updates. It is what they are selling us, with so many smartphones and with so many versions of Android, iOS, apps, etc. We are in a stage that if you are not updated, it seems that you are from the stone age or that you do not take advantage of your software 100%. I've seen people work perfectly with a freshly installed Debian Squeeze and rarely update it. Many servers (without going any further at my university) work with Debian Lenny. Therefore the most obvious answer to the question that opens the post is a resounding NO.

    For me, GNU / Linux and any software in general, comes with the essentials for common use of the PC: file explorer, players, office suites, drawing programs, etc.

    Obviously I am always from the perspective of a typical user. Not from a user who makes a more professional use of the pc.

    And regarding the Internet, if it is true that if we count the minutes that each program is open, the web browser would be the one that would take the first place. But in my opinion it is because of the use we make of it and not because the OS requires it. I myself have used the pc without internet many times, and the truth is that it does the job the same 🙂

    Greetings and as I said, excellent article!

    Therefore, in conclusion,

    1.    msx said

      "The truth is that I also feel very excited every time a package comes in and I have an update."
      Debian Syndrome, hahahahahahahahaha.

  13.   msx said

    Man, "Windows user" says it all, it's like "military intelligence", the best example of an oxymoron! xD

  14.   Helena said

    If you need offline documentation: download the pages with httrack, the truth with only one time you connect to the internet, your linux can have everything you need if you download everything in one sitting, you can even download the packages to install them offline, although like this, you need more knowledge of the dependencies, but good…. I like to have the latest stable of arch, and it seems to me that everything is fine, if I did not have an internet connection, I think it would be fine, and if I didn't have internet forever (hopefully and never happens) I would use debian or some distro that the update progresses slower than a snail.

  15.   Diego Silberberg said

    I personally always shit with laughter when they come to me with that argument

    I remember once that I made the mistake of updating Ubuntu "automatically" to a higher version (you will have to forgive me but I don't remember which one) and an error occurred that made it impossible for me to update anything

    Do you know what happened? nothing, it was a PC from Ogareña, and the system already came with all the basics, browser, player, office programs, drawing programs, it lacked nothing, so what is the use of updating all the time?

    Nowadays any GNU / Linux distribution is ready or almost ready for a complete and functional use without requiring to install more things.

    The biggest problem may be the installation of the system itself, but if you have a DVD or a USB handy, it is bullshit.

  16.   maria said

    I think it's ok okkkkkkkkk

  17.   Carlos said

    Keryx is a software that allows the download of packages from another computer that does have internet, a tutorial here: http://www.k-lab.tk/content/html/keryx.php