Awasu » Installing software on a Banana Pi without an internet connection
Sunday 4th October 2015 6:41 PM []

The default Banana Pi OMV image doesn't have vi installed, so to install it, we would normally do this:

    sudo apt-get install vi

The computer will go out to the internet, download the vi sofware (along with any other dependencies) and install it for you, but without a connection, this process won't work 🙁

Installing apt-zip

To work-around this, we can use a tool called apt-zip, which figures out what files need to be downloaded, and generates a script to get them. You then transfer this script to another computer that has an internet connection and run it, to download everything. Then, you transfer the downloaded files back to the bPi, where apt-zip can install them.

However, we face the ironic problem of how to install this tool without an internet connection :wall: We have to do this manually:

  • First, download the package from here[1]At the time of writing, OMV is built upon Debian Wheezy, so you will need to get the corresponding version of apt-zip..
  • Then install it:

Getting the vi package

We can now start installing vi. First, create a temporary directory for apt-zip to put its work files e.g. /tmp/apt-work/.

We then run apt-zip to figure out what is needed to install vi[2]Note that the package we want to install is called vim, not vi!:

apt-zip can save the generated scripts to a removable USB drive, but since we have a network connection to the bPi, we can transfer the files using scp[3]Or you can just put them in a shared folder., so we need the --skip-mount option to stop it from trying to mount the output directory. The internet-connected computer I'll be downloading the files on is a Windows box, and so I include the -M wget-dos option, to tell apt-zip to generate a Windows batch file (instead of a Linux shell script).

After transferring the generated scripts to my Windows computer, I want to run the fetch-script-wget-dos-bananas.bat script, but there is a minor problem: it checks that the programs it needs are available, but if the PATH contains any directories that have a space, this will confuse it 😐 We can hack around this by temporarily setting our PATH to point to only the directory where wget.exe lives e.g.

    set PATH=c:\bin\gow\

We can now run the fetch-script-wget-dos-bananas.bat script[4]Note to self: run this in a DOS box, not 4NT.. Note that you will need wget installed, to actually download the files - I use gow, which provides a set of the most commonly-used Linux tools for Windows, but Cygwin should also work.

Installing the vi package

Once everything has finished, transfer the .deb files that were downloaded back to the bPi and install them:

It will take a minute to run, but when it's done, vi will be installed :jig:

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1. At the time of writing, OMV is built upon Debian Wheezy, so you will need to get the corresponding version of apt-zip.
2. Note that the package we want to install is called vim, not vi!
3. Or you can just put them in a shared folder.
4. Note to self: run this in a DOS box, not 4NT.
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