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apt-proxy v2 and rsync

Can anyone explain why rsync is no longer considered an appropriate
method for fetching Packages files? It's the only mechanism I'm aware of
that makes "apt-get update" over a 56Kb/s connection complete in a
reasonable length of time. Am I missing something?

Begin forwarded message:

Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 07:10:28 -0700
From: Ian Bruce <ian_bruce@fastmail.fm>
To: <halls@debian.org>, <otavio@debian.org>
Subject: apt-proxy v2 and rsync

I was distressed to read the following in the documentation for the new

    - rsync is not officially supported.

        It can work with rsync and some LD_PRELOAD hack, although it has
        not been tested for a while, and the shared library is not
        included in the .deb package.

        If someone convinces me that it is still usefull in the current
        situation I may give another chance to rsync backends.

    - '+' prefix or equivalent functionality is not supported.

        This was specially usefull for rsyncing uncompressed Packages
        files, which are not anymore available.

        'rsyncpackages' config option was supposed to fill the gap, but
        in the current situation, someone will have to convince me that
        it is still usefull.

I don't understand why the utility of rsync for fetching Packages files
is in question. For anyone with a dialup internet connection, waiting to
download ten megabytes of compressed Packages files every time they do
an "apt-get update" is unacceptable. The rsync option solved this

I spent some time tracking down a bug in the old version to make this
work properly:


I'll have to go on using it if the new version won't support rsync.

Now that gzip has the "--rsyncable" option, wouldn't it be feasible to
rsync against compressed Packages files rather than having to keep the
uncompressed ones around for this purpose?

Unless I'm missing some important development ("current situation"?),
the rsync method for Packages files is still as important as it ever
was. Please reconsider your decision to drop support for this feature.
Not everyone has a high-speed internet connection.

-- Ian Bruce

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