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Re: Packages file missing from unstable archive

Ian Bruce <ian_bruce@fastmail.fm> writes:

> Some related questions:
> -- what is the purpose of the "Packages.diff/" directory which has
> appeared in the "testing" and "unstable" archives? Is there some piece
> of software which makes use of this for updating the packages lists?

apt-get (experimental only iirc) uses this to only download changes
since the last update. This has been brewing for a long time and was
previously available from people.d.o/~aba. It is now integrated into

> -- is it possible that the "Packages.gz" files could be compressed using
> the gzip "--rsyncable" option? Or is this already the case?

Not sure about the rsyncable but it contains the timestamp and
possibly file permissions or something as gzip does. Running a gzip
Packages localy does not give an identical result. For debmirror I
rsync the Packages.gz, gunzip, rsync the Packages, bzip2, rsync the
Packages.bz2 (all only if the md5sums don't match)

> -- has there been any progress towards providing zsync access to the
> archives? It would seem that this would result in greatly reduced data
> traffic on the network servers, without increasing the computational
> load, as rsync does; I gather that this is the main objection to its
> use.

zsync uses http so you already have access. What is missing are the
checksum files. Also, last I checked, zsync didn't yet have support to
sync the contents of a deb as opposed to syncing the compressed data
itself. Before that the savings are minimal at best.


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