How to Backup And Install Your Linux Applications With AptOnCD

Everytime after you have reformatted the hard disk and reinstalled the Linux distro of your choice, the one troublesome thing that you need to do is to re-download all your applications and restore all the settings. This is made worst when your wireless connection just don’t work with the newly installed distro. How are you going to download all your applications when you can’t even connect to the Internet?

APTonCD aims to solve this problem by backing up all your packages into a Cd/DVD. You can then install your applications right from the CD/DVD. If you want to save up on CD, you can even store the data as an iso file and restore your system right from the ISO file.

Here’s how it is done:

Install APTonCD

you can also install it via the Synaptic Package Manager.

Go to System->Adminstration->APTonCD


Backing up package

Click the Create button.

APTonCD will then scan your system for all the package that you have downloaded/installed previously.


When it is done scanning, you can then select the package that you want to backup. Click Burn to start the backup process.

Enter the destination to store the image. Depending on the size of the file, you might need to choose DVD instead of CD.


When it is done, it will prompt you to burn into a CD/DVD. Click Cancel if you only want to store it as an ISO file.


This is all you need to do for the backing up process.

Restoring the package

To restore the package (assuming you have created the CD media), simply pop in the CD/DVD. Your computer will scan the disc and prompt up a window asking if you want to restore the package. Click Yes. Once that’s done, you will be able to install applications from the Synaptic Package Manager (or apt-get) without Internet connection.

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. Can the .iso file be saved to a flash drive and installed from it? How would you point to the flash drive for restoring the apps?

    1. You can save the iso file to a flash drive, but you won’t be able to restore it until you have installed AptonCD on the new system

  2. Hi Damien. This site has helped me so much over the last few days. I was wondering, would I be able to restore by mounting the iso directly from nautilus as covered in this section ( or MUST I restore with cd?

  3. Thanks for replying Damien. I tried to make a backup but aptoncd kept closing after scanning 10% (of making backup). I googled a bit and I read that it was trying to read too many files in the /var/cache/apt/archives directory. So if anyone else comes across the same problem, move the archives directory to a different folder and add only 6-10 files at a time. It’s a bad solution I know, but it’s best I can do for now

  4. Wow! This is awesome! I’ve been looking for something to back up my apps, because I just hated to reinstall my PC…

  5. Love it! and remember you are only ever a free disk away from a complete new installation with Ubuntu! I have finally made the error of shutting down the power to my computer before Ubuntu was exited and screwing it up, after three years of faultless running – no slowed down hard drive, no blue screen of death, no accumulation of useless crap on the hard drive, no virus problems, no spy-ware, no freezes, no sudden unexplained stuff, no licensing bull-Shiite, just good solid running! Now, after all this enjoyable, trouble free computing, I will have to give in and re-do the thing, with Ubuntu of course! This site makes it a snap! Thank-You!

  6. nice i need to format my pc to finnaly get rid of the doze.(vista dur) and dont want to have to redo the mac4lin project so this rocks!

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