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Re: Making a customized mirror installable

On Mon, Oct 08, 2001 at 12:48:41PM -0700, David Kimdon wrote:

> > I have set up a rather customized mirror of Debian sid and lots of
> > unofficial apt-sources mostly for my personal use. It has a slightly
> > modified directory structure, custom Packages file, custom overrides,
> > and it lacks many packages I don't need (e.g. far-east language support,
> > most non-English documentation, etc).
> depending on how you have modified the directory structure you may run
> into problems,  some of the tools expect a specific structure.

Well, my mirror has a single pool directory with pool/a... pool/liba...
pool/libz... pool/z. However, inside each pool directory there already are
i386.debs and all.debs; the packages that belong to a given source package
are thus scattered around the pool.

I have dists/sid/main/binary-i386, and all status symlinks (i.e. stable,
unstable, frozen, testing) point to sid.

Could this cause problems?

> > possible. The Release file needs to have a certain format, and I would
> > probably need the Debian-installer stuff and so on.
> you probably don't need the debian-installer stuf,f see below.

Good news.

> > Are the scripts that generate the Release file (with checksums of
> > Packages etc) and any other required stuff (other than Packages and
> > Packages.gz, which dpkg-scanpackages handles well enough) available
> > somewhere?
> > 
> > Where can I read about the Debian-installer thing so I can determine
> > what and how I need to mirror?
> Are you trying to use debian-installer or boot-floppies.


> > To make it clear what I'm after: I want to use my mirror as the
> > installation medium for new debian installations. I'd like to know what
> > files need to be where for the bootfloppies to find them, what structure
> > those files must have, and if tools to generate those files are
> > available.
> both d-i and b-f will use the package debootstrap to install the base
> system.  If you can use debootstrap to install a woody chroot on your
> sysem using the mirror you have created then you can probably use
> boot-floppies, d-i is still in development, it doesn't sound to me
> like you want to use it.

Well, so long as debootstrap only depends on a Packages file and that it
contains valid 'Filename:'s, that should be no problem. My problems start
much earlier in the install process; with the Release file.

> > I know I need a Release file under /debian/dists/sid/main (or just
> > dists/sid?). How do I generate it?
> I think the release file is a simple text file, take a look at the
> debootstrap source to see what it wants to see in the release file.

Not so simple; it contains lots of checksums, for example.

There are also these fields:

Origin: Debian
I assume I better change this...?

Label: Debian
And this.

Suite: unstable
Codename: sid
Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 20:25:44 UTC
I guess this can stay as it is.

Architectures: alpha arm hppa hurd-i386 i386 ia64 m68k mips mipsel powerpc
s390 sh sparc
OK, this becomes just 'i386'.

Components: main contrib non-free
This becomes just 'main'.

Description: Debian Unstable - Not Released
And this is probably irrelevant. Is this right so far?

I can generate the md5sums that follow; sha1 probably too with 'openssl dgst

But what about Release.gpg? Can I just sign it with any key?

What about .udebs? Do I need those?

When I have some more time, I'll try a fresh installation again so I can
better tell you where I run into trouble.



            Andrew Korn (Korn Andras) <korn@chardonnay.math.bme.hu>
             Finger korn@chardonnay.math.bme.hu for pgp key. QOTD:
    Come to Lapland for your honeymoon. The nights last twenty-four hours.

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