4

I work in an IT support company, so I keep a cache of offline installers for common software for myself and my colleagues, as it is VERY useful for use when updating my own computers, setting up computers for clients, installing on-demand while onsite in locations with poor Internet connectivity, rolling out from the server, etc.

These installers need to be kept up-to-date, so, currently, every couple of days I just check filehippo.com/latest and every couple of months I go through all the software's websites and download the latest installers for the software I keep.

Obviously, this is very time-consuming and horribly inefficient so my question is this:

Is there a website or database anywhere that contains the versions of major software (see below)? Preferably with the ability to order by newest? That way, I can just compare the version numbers on the website to the setup file rather than having to visit every single website, download the software, determine the version number (which can be very drawn out), etc. for every single piece of software.

Just to be clear, I am not asking for software that can scan my computer and inform me that updates are available for software that's installed.

Examples of major software: Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Dropbox, ESET antivirus, FileZilla, Google Chrome, iTunes, LogMeIn Rescue, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, Notepad++, SABnzbd, Sandboxie, VLC Player, VMware Workstation, WinRAR, etc.

  • Welcome to Software Recommendations. Please take a look at What is required for a question to contain "enough information"? Also the help page - hmm looking at that it is a bit slim on information; Software is on topic; data is off topic. So this is off topic but could be edited to be on topic - ie if you were looking for a app/web-app that took a list or scanned your computer and told you what updates were available it would be on topic but just a sortable list is off-topic. – Nick Wilde Apr 3 '14 at 13:34
  • I guess you're a Windows user? – Martin Thoma Apr 3 '14 at 14:08
5

If you are using windows, have you considered chocolatey (https://chocolatey.org/)? It's based on nu-get packaging infrastructure using powershell and works a lot like apt-get would on linux. It does require network access to download packages but you can also create your own repositories of applications on your local network for items that may not be in the default repository. You can use it to update apps, or even regress to previous versions if necessary.

  • Can you by chance setup (and automatically update) a stash of things you usually install on -say- a thumb drive so the whole thing can work offline start to finish? – Caleb Apr 3 '14 at 15:01
  • Wow how did I not know about this? It looks like this is for Windows what Homebrew is for Mac (and what almost every Linux distro already is out of the box)! – Caleb Apr 3 '14 at 15:03
  • Would you consider this as an answer to this question I wish I'd asked a lot earlier? It might fit here, but this question has some odd specifics that are not really what I want to do and this is an exact fit for my exact question. – Caleb Apr 3 '14 at 15:19
  • @Caleb yes you can use a local directory by using the -source flag and setting it to the directory(github.com/chocolatey/chocolatey/wiki/CommandsList). As for your other question it sounds like chocolatey would do what you want but I'd recommend searching their repository for the packages you use to see how much support you'd have. – digitalnoiz Apr 3 '14 at 15:44
4

This is not quite what you asked for, but I would like to suggest a slightly different tact on the same problem that does not suffer from the hassle you describe.

Ninite is a sweet little installer gizmo that does what you have been doing manually for you. They keep an up to date list of a bunch of common software packages and auto-download and install a set of them on demand. You check off which ones you want and get sent a little binary that does the dirty work for you. You can even keep the binary around in case you want to install the same set of software on another computer. The install process does not ask any questions and saves you from clicking "next" a few dozen times.

As an added benefit, the batch install process auto-de-selects any junk "bundled" options such as "toolbars". Only the base software package with sane default options are installed.

Of your list there are a few cases that are not on the list (usually ethier because they have not been requested or it is not possible to batch install them) -- specifically you will need to keep track of ESET antivirus, LogMeIn Rescue, SABnzbd, Sandboxie, and VMware Workstation yourself. All the others and many more you can scratch from you list of things to keep track of.

  • I have come across Ninite in the past but, unfortunately, it is not really suitable for me, as (1) it requires an Internet connection when you want to use it, (2) it requires a good Internet connection when you want to use it, (3) you cannot use it to roll out software from a server as you don't have the original files, (4) the installer doesn't notify you of the software versions it just installs. ninite.com/news may be useful in tandem with filehippo.com/latest, though. – mythofechelon Apr 3 '14 at 14:27
-2

I recommend using Linux. It makes things so much easier when it comes to software installation / updating.

For example, I'm using Linux Mint (which is based on Ubuntu which is based on Debian).

Idea how repositories work

Every piece of software is (together with some meta-information) bundled to a package. So a package contains:

  • The name of the package (which has to be unique and does not necessarily match the original name of the software)
  • a description,
  • dependencies,
  • much more

For example, for the package filezilla it looks like this:

$ apt-cache show filezilla
Package: filezilla
Priority: optional
Section: universe/net
Installed-Size: 3188
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <ubuntu-devel-discuss@lists.ubuntu.com>
Original-Maintainer: Adrien Cunin <adri2000@ubuntu.com>
Architecture: amd64
Version: 3.7.3-1ubuntu1
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.15), libdbus-1-3 (>= 1.1.1), libgcc1 (>= 1:4.1.1), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.12.0), libgnutls26 (>= 2.12.17-0), libidn11 (>= 1.13), libsqlite3-0 (>= 3.5.9), libstdc++6 (>= 4.8), libtinyxml2.6.2, libwxbase2.8-0 (>= 2.8.12.1), libwxgtk2.8-0 (>= 2.8.12.1), filezilla-common (= 3.7.3-1ubuntu1)
Recommends: xdg-utils
Filename: pool/universe/f/filezilla/filezilla_3.7.3-1ubuntu1_amd64.deb
Size: 1298618
MD5sum: 747d4a1dad377bc2fb9c0eeebcea5977
SHA1: 26d603508ac449a0f6b7bd234fdf8896bf36e248
SHA256: abd348f5121021099913176bece23f63f81aef8304e9379826dc69d07146e11f
Description-en: Full-featured graphical FTP/FTPS/SFTP client
 FileZilla is a full-featured FTP client with an easy-to-use GUI.
 .
 It is written in C++ and uses the wxWidgets library.
 .
 FileZilla includes the following features:
   * Supports FTP, FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS) and SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)
   * IPv6 support
   * Available in more than 40 languages
   * Supports resume and transfer of large files >4GB
   * Easy to use Site Manager and transfer queue
   * Bookmarks
   * Drag & drop support
   * Speed limits
   * Filename filters
   * Directory comparison
   * Network configuration wizard
   * Remote file editing
   * Keep-alive
   * HTTP/1.1, SOCKS5 and FTP Proxy support
   * Logging to file
   * Synchronized directory browsing
   * Remote file search
   * Tabbed interface to connect to multiple servers
Description-md5: 782ac3b3cf186729c1138dc7616d26df
Homepage: http://filezilla-project.org/
Description-md5: 782ac3b3cf186729c1138dc7616d26df
Bugs: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+filebug
Origin: Ubuntu

So called "package maintainers" are responsible for the package. You can contact them if the software isn't installing correctly. They should make sure that the software is up-to-date and they make sure that all dependencies are correct.

A repository is a list of packages. For Debian stable, there are almost 50,000 packages (see this huge list).

Note that you can use more than one repository. Sometimes, there are "official" repositories for software, fore example:

Updating all software

Just two commands and every single program on your system (that was installed over a repository) gets updated:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

Search for software

$ sudo apt-cache search adobe reader

Installing new software

$ sudo apt-get install filezilla

Package cache

If you don't have much bandwidth / a lot of computers, you might want to install an apt-cacher-server: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Apt-Cacher-Server

The idea is that the server downloads everything once and provides it for all clients in the lokal network (I haven't tried this).

See versions

$ apt-cache madison filezilla vlc acroread
 filezilla | 3.7.3-1ubuntu1 | http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ saucy/universe amd64 Packages
       vlc |    2.0.8-1 | http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ saucy/universe amd64 Packages
  acroread | 9.5.5-1precise1 | http://archive.canonical.com/ precise/partner amd64 Packages

or via Web:

But note: The packages don't always correspond to the latest version of the program that is available. But (at least for debian) the packages are VERY stable. I think arch is less stable, but more recent.

  • 1
    I thought about answering this the same way. Updating systems to all the latest software is SO much easier on Linux it's not even funny. I suspect it falls outside of the OP's operating constraints however :( – Caleb Apr 3 '14 at 14:33
  • 1
    @Caleb: Yes, I guessed that he might want a Windows answer. But as the constraint was not there before I've written my answer and as I think he should consider this option, I will not delete my answer. – Martin Thoma Apr 3 '14 at 14:34
  • 1
    The constraint was there from the beginning: "I work in an IT support company..." That generally means he has to support whatever systems his customers use not architect them. Then he listed a bunch of mostly Windows specific (or Windows oriented) software. That makes for a pretty obvious Windows only constraint here even before he tagged it to put a nail in the coffin. – Caleb Apr 3 '14 at 14:38
  • I am not a Windows user. I have no idea on what operating system the software he lists runs. – Martin Thoma Apr 3 '14 at 14:44
  • 2
    As an experienced Linux user, you would know that things like WinRAR and LogMeIn Rescue just aren't something you would run on Linux, let alone ESET antivirus or Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. When was the last time you heard of installing antivirus or anti-malware for Linux? – Caleb Apr 3 '14 at 14:57

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