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how to handle the skolelinux apt/package archive


At the debian-edu meeting in Erkelenz this weekend there was a discussion
about how to handle the skolelinux apt/package archive. This document aims 
to give a summary.


Steffen Jöris
Werner Olsen
Andreas Stockholm
Petter Reinholdsen
Martin Zobel-Helas
Knut Irvin
Ragnar Wisloff
Holger Levsen

The issue has been discussed for a few month now, and the current archive
handling lack manpower. There has been no consensus on the software to use 
so we tried to come up with a list of requirements for skolelinux. 

Finnarne was unfortunatly not here (his flight was canceled), which is a bit 
problematic, because he has done most of the archive work in skolelinux the
last years.

Finnarne has proposed reprepro, others have proposed the debian archive
software (dak). Martin Zobel-Helas (debian developer, not yet involved in 
debian-edu) is familar with dak and offers help. Jörg Jaspert (ftp-assistant
in Debian) also offers support. Otavio also offered to help debian-edu with

Skolelinux aims to get all changes integrated into debian, hopefully an
archive will not be needed any more in the long term future. We need
something for now, as current archive maintainance in skolelinux is done
manually (and by one person only), it's difficult esp. for non-maintainers
to upload, as the documentation how to use it is out-of-date or well hidden.

* Feature: many maintainers who can keep it running for the next five years 
  (zobel, white, werner, h01ger are volunteering - we also hope for 
finnarne ;) 
  This needs to happen from the beginning as forming a team later is more
  work and sometimes gets forgotten...

* We need a strict policy for getting packages in the skolelinux archive -
  because we dont want to become a fork of Debian.

* There are approximately 37 binary packages and 15 source packages in 
  skolelinux-sarge at the moment, but many suites: skolelinux-woody, 
  skolelinux-sarge, skolelinux-backports, skolelinux-sarge-testing, $whatever.

* Important FSF requirement: We need to have the sources available for at
  least three years.

* We also want to automatically build CDs with debian-cd, to easily be 
  able to test new stuff. 

* auto-accept packages in a testing-repository (from a list
  of defined maintainers).

* dinstall needs to run much more often the on the debian hosts, so changes
  to packages become visible more or less directly (can be run every time a
  new package (version) enters the archive 
  !!! skolelinux needs this !!!

* fallback feature request: install the old version of a package (needs
  keeping of old packages for some time, e.g. a month)

* nice to have: uploading one source, and build it for woody and sarge 
  -> wanna-build
  (currently i386 only, nobody works on powerpc + amd64 (but the
  infrastructure would be in place) 

* nice to have: Policy Checking and autoinstallation of uploaded new 
  packages for quality assurance. 

Other effects of using dak
* dak supports the same upload process and tools as uploading to debian
  (just a different config for such tools)

* dak easily integrates with other (already existing) debian infrastructues
  such as wanna-build and build-daemons.

* dak also makes it possible to have packages from skolelinux-$suite showing 
  up on packages.debian.org and packages.qa.debian.org with their versions
  from skolelinux-$suite

* spread the knowledge about dak (debian archive software)

* If needed, every debian ftp-master can be asked when problems occur.

Additional ideas
* zobel offers to ask mirror-maintainers for more mirrors (at least one
  should be there for redundancy)

* zobel suggested asking testing-security team to include the packages list
  in their security tracking tool. (read as in: ask Florian Weimar to add
  skolelinux to debsecan[1]). They track all security bugs with CVE IDs
  (also the public known issues in stable).

How to proceed
* Discussion of this proposal on the mailinglist.

* No decission without finn-arne's input.

_IF_ we go for DAK:
* setting up DAK would take half a day for zobel or Ganneff (with support 
  of the machine admin). zobel/Ganneff does not need super user privilges 
  for that, but it would help.

* needs root for "apt-get install dak postgresql; adduser katie ; #give
  maintainers "sudo -u katie" rights.

* we need better documentation for dak, and a kickoff-tutorial for the
  archive-maintainers immediatly after zobel set it up.

* build up Skolelinux gpg keyring (should be maintained by skolelinux

* Should be installed on the new machine! 
  (while/before/after skolelinux-sarge is released, zobel/Ganneff is not 
  involved in that :)

[1] http://idssi.enyo.de/tracker/ or "apt-get install debsecan"

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