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I have a small grid of computers that form an analysis cluster. One master node with internet on eth0, and a couple of private static IP workers connected to a switch. The master is also connected to the private network on eth1. All currently run Ubuntu 12.04 server. I am new to clusters in general and not much of a system admin, but I found that remotely updating the workers would be a problem. Since I'm just testing, all boxes are some old desktops that I assume differ too much to be able to clone worker images and install those.

Instead, I have thought out that one could run on the master

apt-get update

And transfer the package lists to the workers. Then let each worker run

apt-get upgrade -qq --print-uris | cut -d\' -f 2

to generate a list of packages, download them on the master, then transfer packages to the workers and installing them using

dpkg -i package_name

Although I wouldn't mind if someone pointed out I'm doing it wrong here, it is the first step that I have questions about. Where do the package lists go when downloaded? If I keep identical sources.list files will the right package lists be downloaded for the individual workers?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you can spare the disk space, build an archive mirror with debmirror on an internet-connected machine, then move it to the non-connected network.

You'll need about 70GB of space for a full mirror of Precise (12.04) only.

A full ubuntu mirror (all versions, releases, CDs etc) is about 700GB.

You'll need to do some other stuff too, but there's really good documentation on the ubuntu site.

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Excellent, this makes more sense than my method. Thanks! – glormph Nov 13 '13 at 16:22
maybe use apt-proxy can help in this particular case, (instead of create a full mirror) – CronosNull Nov 15 '13 at 19:32

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