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

On 2018-09-05 12:35, Wouter Verhelst wrote:
On Mon, Sep 03, 2018 at 08:13:55PM +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.


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.

Regarding hiding the proxy question: I'm not sure that it would
be a good decision to hide the proxy question by default.  Being
able to connect to the mirror directly doesn't mean that one
doesn't want to use a proxy, in particular when a package-proxy
like apt-cacher-ng is available in the local network.
Personally, I would prefer if the proxy question remains
at default debconf priority.

I disagree with that, but I do also agree that it would be preferable if
local proxies or mirrors were used preferably.

However, this shouldn't be done by way of manual configuration; instead,
I think it should be done by way of autodetection performed by apt,
something not unlike the proxy-PAC scheme, where a browser looks for
pac.<domain>, with the <domain> part being what was passed to it by
DHCP, incrementally dropping off the leaf-most part of that until it

I think such a scheme could work for apt too.

Arguably the correct way would be to fetch the PAC and execute it to determine the proxy for the host. Of course that'd require interpreting Javascript.

Kind regards
Philipp Kern

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