cjwatsonrealtime-neil: Did you try something along the lines of the apt offline howto that I pointed at?15:11
cjwatsonrealtime-neil: apt will certainly respect version requirements15:12
realtime-neilcjwatson: I'm looking at that now15:21
realtime-neilcjwatson: I'm looking at this 21-year-old documentation and firmly believe that everything old is new again15:22
realtime-neilcjwatson: I ran into some search interference with `apt-offline`, which seems like a completely different tool inspired by the documentation you linked.15:28
cjwatsonrealtime-neil: It's certainly possible that apt-offline is better.  I was suggesting that documentation mainly as a toolkit of ideas for how to drive apt in the right way rather than necessarily as a fully-tested script16:27
realtime-neilcjwatson: understood, and I'm working my way through the documented example as a way to familiarize myself with The Right Way. I'll move on to `apt-offline` once I master the basics.16:28
cjwatsonYou can also give it a fake status file (maybe even an empty one) to force apt to really download everything, though it's possible that might get a bit confused; probably better if it at least has essential packages to go on16:36
realtime-neilI'll try it with a straight copy and then an empty to see what happens with the `*.list` files I give it.16:38
realtime-neilcjwatson: would it make sense to "seed" this kind of faked offline installation with a "bare-bones" `/var/lib/dpkg/status`; i.e., a dpkg status file that represents the minimal set of packages on a vanilla installation?17:08
realtime-neilcjwatson: If so, how would one acquire such a minimal dpkg status file?17:08
cjwatsonrealtime-neil: Maybe.  I guess I might start by running an existing system's file through "grep-dctrl -wFTask ubuntu-minimal" or some such.17:36
realtime-neilcjwatson: I had the idea of using deboostrap to generate a minimal rootfs and then harvest the `/var/lib/dpkg/status` from that, but your idea seems better17:38

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