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Re: What has happened.

On Thu, 8 Jul 1999, Philip Hands wrote:

> > > This almost certainly won't work, I'm afraid, since the one image we
> > > produce is bound to be fatally flawed in some way,
> >
> The way I see it is that the first cut of the CD will either be basically 
> OK,in which case the plan to do only one is just fine, or it will be fatally 
> flawed in some way, in which case persevering with it would be a little 
> foolish IMO.

Oh dear. I believe I didn't make myself clear in the first place. Some people
here say I have a habit of formulating things so complex that it's almost
ununderstandable. Perhaps they're right...

I did not mean that the very first image set should be the "beta". The
"official beta" image set should rather be the first set that the Debian CD
team considers good enough (possibly according to new CD QA rules that are
discussed elsewhere on this list). CDs of those "beta" images are sent to
testers etc., so that we don't get the situation of different "beta" CDs in
Europe and the US.

Prior and subsequent image sets should not be called "beta" but merely
"testing-<serialnumber>" or the like. I think even a name like "beta-2" would
cause people to want "the latest beta" all the time, which is probably not
advisable. In other words, "beta" might be an alias to "testing-4". It is not
a question of altering the CD image production process in any way, it's just a
question of naming, that should be completely clear to all parties involved.

> I'm sorry, but if you are not in a position to either have a local archive 
> mirror, or a recent CD to start from, then you cannot expect to get copies of 
> the CD images via the net around release time.

The only reason that stopped me downloading `testing' images of 2.1r0 and use
rsync to patch was the enormous mess on the mirrors. I simply didn't have
the slightest idea what I should get. In such a case there's only one solution
that doesn't require much thought/work: just wait and see. It worked well. In
my case...

So, this seems to be a problem. And it will be an even greater problem with

Let me propose a quite rigorous solution. Of course you don't have to do this;
it's merely intended to stimulate thought ;-)


Post the following message to debian-cd, debian-cd-vendors, debian-release,
debian-announce, comp.os.linux.announce and on the cdimage.debian.org webpages
a few weeks before the official release (the reason for this is that we want
people to start acting _now_ and _not_ wait for the official release, and we
want to reach as much vendors/... as possible because otherwise they'll have a
big problem around release time): 

"This message is intended for all people who are planning to download the CD
images of the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux release 2.2 ("potato") for i386,
alpha, m68k, sparc and ??? architectures.

 [ A little advertisement won't harm ;-) ]

 "First of all, please note that downloading the CD images is meant _only_ for
Debian CD vendors and Debian CD image mirror sites. If you want to install or
upgrade Debian, use either a FTP-based access method to the Debian packages
from a Debian packages mirror site (see http://www.debian.org/distrib/ftplist) 
or buy a Debian CD set from a Debian CD vendor (see
http://www.debian.org/distrib/vendors). This will save you a lot of trouble
and download-time. 

 "The CD image downloads of the previous Debian version 2.1 were causing so
much network traffic that our fastest mirror was taken off-line for a few days
by the network operators. To prevent that from happening again, we have
drastically altered the procedure for downloading the CD images. This will
require action _before_ the official release.

 "You need to get one (no more) set of (unofficial) CD images _before_ the
official release. The best way to do this is to make a set of images yourself
from the contents of a local Debian mirror. Use the `debian-cd' program; more
info about that is available from


 [ should describe EXACTLY (cookbook-like) what to do when, the necessary
   other packages (mkisofs,...), the needed disk space, etc. ]
 [ debian-cd should run on a slink system, with possibly back-ports to
   hamm or even bo. I know quite a lot of people who still haven't upgraded ]
 [ also provide source code and clearly indicate what (dev-) packages are
   needed to run/compile things ]

 "The other way (depricated!) is to download the `testing' images that will
appear on the Debian CD mirror sites. During the CD image production process,
there will be a few `testing' image sets that are provided for review by the
Debian CD Quality Assurance Team, with names like
`potato-i386-bin1-testing-2.iso' in the `testing' directories. Please refer to

 [ note the file name !!  different for each image so there can't be any
   confusion. This may require renaming prior to rsync; should be
   covered in the `rsync' page mentioned below ]

  http://cdimage.debian.org  [ or /mirrors ]

for mirror sites. Note that you only need to get _one_ `testing' version of
each CD you want; it doesn't matter if they are from different `testing'
releases (like `testing-2' and `testing-4'). You have a few weeks to get these
images (until X Sept 19??), so please spread your accesses evenly to balance
the load on the mirror sites. But again: the procedure using the `debian-cd'
program as indicated above will generally be much faster and is much less

 "When the official CD images are released (planned for X Sept 19??), they
will _not_ be available for full download at the fastest mirror sites.
Instead, they will be available _only_ for `binary patching' using the program
`rsync'. The `rsync' program will compare your images to the official ones,
and download only the changes. This will typically reduce the download time
(and with that the load on the mirror servers) by over 90%. More information
on this can be found on


 [ should describe EXACTLY (cookbook-like) what to do ]
 [ rsync should run on a slink system (back port if necessary!!!) ]
 [ and maybe a M$Win version?? There ARE internet-with-windows-only people out
   there... ]

 "Note that the rsync-only accessibility will last for at least one week after
the official release, and that there may be serious access limitations after
that. So if you want the Official Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 CD images as soon as
possible, you should take some action in the next few weeks."

 [ note that I don't speak of "beta" images here. The designation "beta" is
   only known / does only matter to the debian-cd and testing people ]

This strategy might be what we need. But then again, it may not. Think about

> BTW why were you grabbing CD images then, anyway.  If you're ferrying them 
> around on a laptop, why not just mirror the archive and do network installs ?  
> It's a lot quicker than grabbing CDs.

I'm a vendor of Official Debian CDs in the Netherlands (and proud of
it, too ;-)

  Anne Bezemer

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