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Re: GeoMirror for Backports? (Also, YAY! Backports is Official)

On Sun, 05 Sep 2010, Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. wrote:

> I was wondering if backports.debian.org was going to be available through the 
> http://wiki.debian.org/DebianGeoMirror service.

> I was hoping that all the official services (core, security, volatile, and 
> backports) would be available through a similar service.

www and security do use geodns.  Not one of the unofficial services
in d.net but right there in the debian.org domain.

That being said, I don't see us converting more services to such a
setup.  I am increasingly convinced that using such DNS hacks is a
fragile thing to do in combination with dnssec.  In bad cases this
could even result in some users being unable to resolve hosts such
as security.d.o.

That, and the added complexity that comes with having to maintain a
lot of mirrors to be always completly in sync does suggest that DNS
is the wrong layer for this anyway.  I can see us adding one or two
more hosts to the backports.d.o label in DNS and make that a round-
robin service.  But that wouldn't be geodns.

The proper solution, imho, would be for apt to learn what a mirror
is.  One would simply add
   deb automirror:ftp.debian.org/debian lenny main contrib non-free
or somesuch to ones sources.list and apt-get would fetch the mirror
masterlist together with the other metadata from the most preferred
mirror, falling back to a different mirror when unavailable.  Worst
case it would have to go back to ftp.debian.org itself (or whatever
is suggested by a DNS SRV record).  The mirror list would be signed
by the usual pgp keys.

That's of course just a pipe dream for now, waiting for somebody to
implement it all.  I think somebody at ubuntu/canonical is working
on a scheme involving apt and mirror, but I don't know if it is the
same I outlined.

To summarize: this sort of location aware thing belongs in the
application layer and not in the DNS.  There it can be more robust and
also handle other kinds of failures (outdated/unavailable servers)
much better.

                           |  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux **
      Peter Palfrader      | : :' :      The  universal
 http://www.palfrader.org/ | `. `'      Operating System
                           |   `-    http://www.debian.org/

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