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Mirror Split and Other Changes

Hi all,

A few points for your delectation!

Please do read the "Archive/Mirror Split" section; it's important. The
other parts of this mail can be safely ignored.

Archive/Mirror Split

    Since the archive has grown so much (170GB at present), we're
    ending the long standing expectation that mirrors will include the
    entire archive.  This means two things, first that we'll be more
    accepting of limited mirrors using the ftp.xx.debian.org aliases,
    and second that ftp.debian.org will soon stop including a number of
    architectures for etch (testing) and sid (unstable).

    What this means to you:

         (a) if you are mirroring from ftp.debian.org, and are happy to
             only mirror the mainstream architectures, just keep doing
             what you're currently doing. Your Debian mirror will drop
             back from 170GB to about 90-100GB in a few weeks time.

         (b) if you are mirroring from ftp.debian.org, and wish to
             *continue* mirroring all architectures, or choose specific
             architectures that your users are interested in, you should
             make sure you are mirroring with rsync (not using wget or
             similar over http, nor using ftp), and immediately switch
             to using the "debian-all" rsync module, instead of the
             "debian" rsync module. That is:

                 rsync ... rsync://ftp.debian.org/debian/ /mirror/debian/


                 rsync ... rsync://ftp.debian.org/debian-all/ /mirror/debian/

             anonftpsync users should change their RSYNC_DIR setting.

         (c) if you are mirroring from somewhere else, you may want
             to watch for any changes your upstream mirror makes, or talk
             to them directly. The --max-delete option to rsync might
             be useful if you want to ensure you don't entirely lose an
             architecture that your upstream decides to stop mirroring.

    The ftp.debian.org switchover will happen in a little over two weeks,
    probably between the 8th and 13th of March.

    If you wish to switch to the smaller subset of the archive in advance
    of that changeover, you can use rsync://ftp.debian.org/debian-typical/
    now. Note that that alias will be removed after the changeover happens,
    and you will need to switch to rsync://ftp.debian.org/debian/.

    The list of files in the "typical" set is also available on mirrors as
    indices/files/typical.files. It's possible to use this as input to 
    rsync's --files-from option; however rsync won't delete files from your
    mirror that are no longer listed, so unfortunately this option isn't
    terribly usable.

    The set of files being mirrored as part of this "typical" set is currently:

        * all packages for all architectures for sarge (stable, Debian 3.1)
        * all i386 packages, and installer images for woody (oldstable,
          Debian 3.0), etch (testing), sid (unstable) and experimental.
        * all sources
        * miscellaneous files

    The anonftpsync program we encourage mirrors to use includes options
    to exclude architectures (ARCH_EXCLUDE); if you're already using this,
    please continue to do so. Unfortunately if you start using this now,
    it will also exclude architectures from the stable release, even
    though your site will remain listed as supporting the architectures
    it currently does, until we can update the hard coded mirrors
    list in the installation software. So if possible we'd ask that
    you not start dropping architectures via that feature immediately,
    and instead either mirror the typical set as per the above, or only
    exclude new architectures.

Mirror Mailing Lists

    We've now got two lists for mirror admins. The debian-mirrors-announce
    list (this one), will be used for limited, irregular announcements
    of things of importance to mirrors. We strongly encourage everyone running
    a public Debian mirror to subscribe, if you're not already.

    There's also the debian-mirrors list which is for general discussion
    amongst mirror maintainers. Some mirror admins frequent the
    #debian-mirrors IRC channel on irc.oftc.net as well, for folks who
    are interested in that.

    See http://lists.debian.org/debian-mirrors-announce/ and


    In order to help people find a local mirror for their architecture,
    we've set up the <cc>.<arch>.mirror.debian.net namespace, and
    populated it with a number of mirrors that already accept connections
    over http under that name. Over the next few weeks we'll be updating
    that, so you may wish to setup your http server to handle requests
    under that domain.

    It's not yet clear whether we'll start using that domain permanently,
    or simply make the Mirrors.masterlist more official and up to date,
    and encourage people to use that when looking for a mirror for their

    Example URL:


Future Directions

    In the next few weeks, amd64 packages will start being uploaded to
    the archive. Initially this will likely add about 5GB to mirrors,
    and will be immediately included in the "typical" set. Some (essentially
    empty) Packages and Sources files are already present, so mirrors can
    be configured to include amd64 immediately, if they so desire.

    In June/July, security support for woody (oldstable, Debian
    3.0) will be dropped, and that suite will be archived (moved to
    archive.debian.org).  This will cut the size of full mirrors by a
    significant amount, probably on the order of 25GB; and will obviously
    increase the size of archive.debian.org mirrors by a similar amount.

    We will likely be adding some other architectures in the not too
    distant future, as well. These will not be added to typical, apart
    from amd64 as mentioned above, however they may need to be added to
    your exclusion list as they are added, if you aren't mirroring either
    the "typical" set mentioned above, or the full archive. We will aim to
    announce new architectures that get added to this list as they happen.

    Additionally, we will probably be looking into doing multiple updates
    to the archive per day in the near future, probably up to four times
    a day. It's likely we'll leave the decision of whether to update each
    mirror once a day or more frequently up to the mirror admin.

    We're looking at trying to keep our mirrors list more up to date,
    so we'll hopefully be providing some new ways for you to update your
    mirror's details, and request things like an ftp.<cc>.debian.org
    alias, or arrange to be a push mirror, etc.

Thankyou for your time in reading this, and for mirroring Debian :)


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