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Re: Less dinstall FTW?


as I have seen some confusion what this change means in practice and
most answers ignored the second part of the proposal, here are some more

dinstall and unchecked runs

The archive processes uploads every 15 minutes ("cron.unchecked"). At
this time we send upload notification mails, close bugs, install the
files into the tree, and so on. The modified archive is not visible for
the public at this stage. In addition uploads are installed into a
location accessible by buildds and users (see incoming.debian.org

In addition there is "dinstall" which currently runs four times per
day. This process does some archive maintenance jobs like removing
superseded versions of packages, removing no longer needed files, and so
on. In addition we update the indices that APT accesses (Packages,
Release, Contents, ...) and make all changes public by pushing the
mirror network.

The latter is probably the main reason people are interested in
dinstall: uploaded packages get accessible. If your work is blocked, but
a fix was recently uploaded, you currently have to either wait for
dinstall and your mirror to be pushed or search and download the file in
question by hand on incoming.d.o (and find the signature in the mail
archive). This is one of the reasons some people want to have dinstall
run more often.


incoming.debian.org consists of two parts: there is a flat list of
recently uploaded files you can see on [1]. This location cannot be used
with APT.

  [1] <http://incoming.debian.org/>

In addition there is a private APT archive only accessible by buildds
that contains among others the "buildd-unstable" suite. This suite is
used by buildds to download source and binary package that have not yet
been published on the main mirror network so that they don't have to
wait for up to six hours before being able to actually build uploaded

As this suite is much smaller than the full archive, updating it can be
done with much less overhead and is done with every cron.unchecked
run. Packages.gz (amd64) is just 98 kb, Sources.gz is 180 kb compared to
8.5 MB each for the main archive. There are also no Contents indices.

So what's the proposed change?

The more interesting part of the proposal has so far been ignored by
most replies: we would make the incoming.d.o archive public. This would
mean all new uploads are available after ~15 minutes via APT, a lot
faster than the current interval between dinstall runs.

The less interesting part is the (optional) change in dinstall
frequency. As the main reason for a higher frequency falls away as new
uploads are accessible via incoming.d.o, we could revert back to running
dinstall twice per day (instead of four times). Or we could stay at four

The open question is if having earlier (easy) access to uploads is
worthwhile or if it would just lead to people running apt-get update in
a loop to always have the newest packages without any real gains for the


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