I have a Pi (Model A) and it does not have an ethernet jack. How can I install emacs?

As far as I know, aptitude requires an internet connection to work, but I imagine there must be a way to download the package and its dependencies, stick them on a flash drive, and then install them that way, yes? I do not have access to another Debian-based machine, but if they can be downloaded over a browser, that approach could work.

3 Answers 3


From: http://tuxradar.com/answers/517

You can use the --print-uris option on apt-get to generate a list of URIs to download. e.g.

apt-get --print-uris --yes install emacs | grep ^\' | cut -d\' -f2 >downloads.list

Now on a PC with network access, download the files in downloads.list

wget --input-file downloads.list

Copy the packages to a flash drive and install them with apt-get on your Pi

  • Does apt-get --print-uris use a local dependency database to generate the URIs? Jan 9, 2014 at 4:24
  • Yes, it uses the package index files from your local sources.list. So you want to run this command on your RPi
    – Ben T
    Jan 9, 2014 at 4:37
  • I've already sprung for the adapter, but I often have this problem when using a guest board. I'll take your word for it and try it out at the next opportunity—thanks!! Jan 9, 2014 at 4:58
  • if you only need to install emacs (probably old and outdated), then you're fine with --print-urls, but most people use apt-get to update their systems, and I don't see any reliable way to provide package list (apt-get update?) without a network connection.
    – lenik
    Jan 9, 2014 at 23:50

You'd be better off to use wireless USB adapter to establish the internet connection.

Trying to manually download and install packages usually leads to pain and/or frustration.

  • This is what I ended up doing (am I a horrible person for use and return?), but there has to be a way around it. If nobody has posted an answer in a week, I'll accept this answer. If anybody has the choice, this is most certainly the easier route to take. Jan 9, 2014 at 0:48

I think you better use internet connection as manually install package is pain in the ass. Package somehow need another dependency before it can install another package. You can use your phone to do usb tethering internet connection, I'm using my phone and it doing fine.

You can however using local command with sudo dpkg -i <path to deb file> and as I saying before, it more confusing to install dependency requirement.

  • 2
    Well if I could have, I would have ;-) Jun 2, 2015 at 16:38

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