jigdo + approx + netinstall -- need for a coherent system
Have I missed something?
(1) "jigdo-lite" provides a foolproof and relatively easy method for
the individual to keep on hand locally an up-to-date copy of one or
more Debian releases, in the form of ISO images for CD or DVD. In
- minimizes loading of the Debian repository servers;
- automatically resumes a download in the event of an
interruption, without loss of data already downloaded;
- automatically runs a checksum in order to verify integrity of
- is able to glean from local CDs, DVDs, or loop-mounted CD or DVD
ISO images such files which are current, and thus reduce the
number of files which need to be downloaded from the Debian
(2) However, there is no simple and obvious approach to automation of
a jigdo update of set of images such as the images of the weekly Debian
"testing" ("Wheezy") update.
- After downloading a new set of templates (currently, about 10
DVD templates or 70 CD templates), each of the ISO images from the
previous download must be loop-mounted, so that files may be
gleaned from it; otherwise it is necessary to squander bandwidth
and time on download of the entire ISO image.
- Though it is practical to run simultaneously as many as ten
instances of "jigdo-lite" (start them in the morning and then out
for a day of shopping, or else start them in the evening and then
go to bed), management of seventy simultaneous instances of
"jigdo-lite" appears to be all but impossible.
- Even with the current set of ten DVD images, the limited number
of loop devices (currently, eight) poses a hindrance.
(3) The "netinst" technique provides a simple and nearly-universal
method for the installation of Debian.
- If a bootable USB flash stick is employed, "netinst" eliminates
the need to burn even a single ISO image to CD or DVD.
- However, in the case that only a set of DVD ISO images is
available, there is a slight complication. In order to create a
"netinst" image to copy to a bootable USB flash stick, it is
= download the ".jigdo" and ".template" files for the first CD
ISO image of the set;
= loop-mount the first DVD ISO image of the set;
= run "jigdo-lite" in order to create the first CD ISO image
of the set;
= copy the CD ISO image to the USB flash stick.
(4) "approx" provides a simple method for the individual to install
Debian in one or more machines in the local LAN, while eliminating the
need to burn a stack of CDs or DVDs and shuffle the stack of disks
during each installation.
(5) Moreover, "approx" provides the potential of a near-zero-bandwidth
- Internet access is required only for the downloading of packages
which do not already reside in the "approx" server, or of packages
for which a more recent update is available.
- However, the savings of bandwidth offered by "approx" comes only
after the first installation of Debian, unless "approx-import" has
been used to import files into the "approx" cache.
(6) With the advent of inexpensive flash USB sticks and solid-state
drives, both CD and DVD today are obsolescent; indeed, it is common to
see laptops which have no provision for an internal optical drive.
(7) "approx-import" allows ".deb" package files to be added to
the "approx" cache.
- However, it appears that provision has been made only for
download of the ".deb" files which have been stored in
"/var/cache/apt" of the "approx" server.
- Moreover, there seems to be no simple and obvious method of
extracting ".deb" files from the ISO image of a CD or DVD and
importing those files to "/var/cache/approx".
In view of the foregoing considerations, it would be nice to see
development of a procedure whereby "jigdo-lite", "approx", and
"netinst" are transformed into a compatible and coherent system in
which the logistics are simplified.
(1) Perhaps nothing more than a script or two would be necessary.
(2) It should be possible with a single command to update the weekly
"testing" set of ISO images.
(3) There perhaps should be four sets of ".jigdo" and ".template"
- a set for CD images
- a set for DVD images
- a set for a single "netinst" image
- a set for a single "tutti" (that is, "all together") image
(4) The "tutti" image, loop-mounted, could be the source for
all other images.
(5) With the "tutti" approach, one could obtain the weekly update of
Debian "testing" by jigdo download of only a single file.
Moreover, download of the single "tutti" file could be
accomplished automatically by a script invoked by cron.
(6) It should be possible to import files directly into the "approx"
cache, irrespective of source:
- CD ISO image
- DVD ISO image
- "tutti" image