Backing Up Fedora Packages

If you’re running a Fedora system, it’s wise to maintain backups of your installed packages. This makes system restoration much smoother in case of unforeseen hiccups. Below is a quick guide on how to achieve this.

Backing up

Backup using dnf:

  • Command: dnf list --installed > $HOME/dnf-installed.txt
  • Note: dnf lacks a feature to filter dependencies automatically, so you’d have to sift through the dnf-installed.txt file to retain only necessary packages.

Backup using Flatpak:

  • Command: flatpak list > $HOME/flatpak-installed.txt

Store Your Backup List on a Private Gist

For those who might be hearing this term for the first time Gists are a neat feature provided by GitHub. They come in handy for storing code snippets, notes, and in our case, backup lists. Here’s how to push your backup to a private Gist:

  1. SSH Setup:

  2. Use GitHub’s CLI tool:

    • Command for dnf:
      cat $HOME/dnf-installed.txt | gh gist create -d "My dnf packages" -f dnf-installed.txt -p -
    • Adjust the command for Flatpak, replacing filenames where necessary.
  3. Private Gist:

    • Gists are public by default. Use the --private or -p flag to ensure privacy.
    • Once your backup is pushed, gh provides a URL to your Gist. Bookmark or save it!

Restoring Your Packages

Here’s how you can restore packages using the lists you’ve backed up:

Restore dnf packages:

  • Extract package names, omitting version numbers.
  • Use sed to extract names, then xargs to install via dnf.
  • Sample script:
    sed -E 's/([a-zA-Z\-]+).*/\1/' dnf-installed.txt | xargs sudo dnf install
    • This script avoids using -y to let users verify the installation list.

Restore Flatpak apps:

  • The following script reads from stdin, ensures Flatpak and its repositories are set up, and then installs apps:
    # Ensure Flatpak installation
    if ! command -v flatpak &>/dev/null; then
        echo "Flatpak not found. Installing Flatpak..."
        sudo dnf install flatpak
    # Add Flathub repository
    flatpak remote-add --user --if-not-exists flathub
    # Install apps from stdin
    while IFS=$'\t' read -r app_name app_id app_version app_channel app_origin; do
        echo "Installing $app_name..."
        flatpak install --user flathub "$app_id" -y
    echo "All apps installed successfully!"
  • To use the above script:
    cat flatpak-list.txt | ./

Wrap Up

Maintaining and restoring Fedora packages is straightforward once you’re equipped with the right commands and scripts. The method described ensures a seamless backup on GitHub Gists and a hassle-free restoration process. Always remember to review your backups periodically to keep them current and relevant.

Stay safe, and keep your data backed up!