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Bug#907704: choose-mirror: default to deb.debian.org

On Mon, 2018-09-03 at 20:13 +0200, Karsten Merker wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 03, 2018 at 04:41:10PM +0200, Julien Cristau wrote:
> > Control: tag -1 + patch
> > 
> > On 08/31/2018 06:27 PM, Julien Cristau wrote:
> > > Package: choose-mirror
> > > Severity: wishlist
> > > X-Debbugs-Cc: tfheen@debian.org
> > > 
> > > I think it's time for choose-mirror to stop asking by default.  AFAIK
> > > deb.debian.org works well enough now that we don't need users to
> > > manually select a mirror close to them.
> > > 
> > > PoC patch, completely untested:
> > > 
> > 
> > Updated patch, at least somewhat tested.  It downgrades the debconf
> > priority for mirror/http/countries and mirror/http/mirrors so they're
> > not asked by default (previous patch would still ask for a country).
> > Only the "proxy" question remains; I'd kind of want to skip it by
> > default unless we find out we can't get at the mirror directly, but
> > that's something for another bug/patch.
> Hello,
> I can see the argument for not asking to select a mirror when
> there is a well-working mechanism for automatically choosing a
> "near" (in networking terms) mirror.  Does deb.debian.org fulfill
> everybody's needs in this regard?  ISTR that there were some
> discussions in the past that deb.debian.org didn't resolve to
> particularly useful mirrors for some parts of the world, but I
> have no idea whether that is still a problem.  My personal
> experience with deb.debian.org hasn't been that great - instead
> of redirecting me to the Debian mirror that is run by my local
> ISP (and that is in d-i's mirrorlist), it redirects me to an AWS
> instance hosted rather "far" away in networking terms.

The existing mirror network has several longstanding problems:

1. Many mirrors don't reliably update
2. Some mirrors aren't reliably available at all
3. Many mirrors don't carry all release architectures (even a few
   of the "primary" ones don't)
4. Most mirrors don't support TLS

httpredir.debian.org attempted to solve the first 3 problems while
still doing what you want: it redirected to local mirrors known to have
up-to-date files.  This would have been almost ideal as a default.  But
apparently it required a lot of maintenance work, which no-one was
prepared to continue doing.

That's why deb.debian.org is a plain CDN which doesn't rely on the
existing mirror network.  It also supports TLS (which I think should
also be enabled by default in the installer).

If deb.debian.org still doesn't provide reasonably fast service in some
countries, then maybe we should still ask—but then we should put
deb.debian.org at the top of the mirror list for most countries.


Ben Hutchings
I say we take off; nuke the site from orbit.
It's the only way to be sure.

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