apt-get mass install packages from a file?

Something along these lines ought to do the trick.

apt-get install $(grep -vE "^\s*#" filename  | tr "\n" " ")

The $(something) construction runs the something command, inserting its output in the command line.

The grep command will exclude any line beginning with a #, optionally allowing for whitespace before it. Then the tr command replaces newlines with spaces.

The following command is a (slight) improvement over the alternative because sudo apt-get install is not executed when the package list is empty.

xargs -a <(awk '! /^ *(#|$)/' "$packagelist") -r -- sudo apt-get install

Note that the -a option reads items directly from a file instead of standard input. We don't want to pipe a file into xargs because stdin must remain unchanged for use by apt-get.

Given a package list file package.list, try:

sudo apt-get install $(awk '{print $1'} package.list)