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Re: jigdo + approx + netinstall -- need for a coherent system


On Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 03:38:04PM +0000, Russell L. Harris wrote:
> Have I missed something?

maybe ... many iso images are there for people without good network

... first think about what you really wish to do.

Let me assume your objective is to install the current testing system to
several machines on your LAN and keep them updated with minimal network
load, ...

> (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
> particular, "jigdo-lite":

Unless you are testing all ISO images, you do not need to have them all.
All you need is just the 1st CD image (not nessasary the latest one.
netinst image is good enough.) if you have decent network access.

> (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.

You do not need to update it unless your image is broken badly with some

> (3) The "netinst" technique provides a simple and nearly-universal
> method for the installation of Debian.

> (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.
Alternatively, you can run any http proxy server.  I used to use squid.
By setting it properly, your bandwidth is minimized.

Your first attempt to access repository for your jigdo image should be
cased and should be used later for installation if it has not been
changed and required. (This happens, I think, if you download large
CD/DVD image and decide to install via network.)

> (5) Moreover, "approx" provides the potential of a near-zero-bandwidth
> installation:

> (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.

Creating USB image from CD image is documented somewhere like:

> (7) "approx-import" allows ".deb" package files to be added to
> the "approx" cache.

If you accessed repository via approx for whatever need, those should be
cached already.  You usually specify proxy server with environment
variable for this.  Read each manual how to do this for each
application.  The "$http_proxy" environment variable can be used to
override proxy server setting in the "/etc/apt/apt.conf" file for apt.


There is no need to manually add them after download.

> %%%%%%%
> 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.

yes but why do this.  

> (3) There perhaps should be four sets of ".jigdo" and ".template"
>     files:
>     - 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

???  Why you need these all ???

> (4) The "tutti" image, loop-mounted, could be the source for
>     all other images.

??? yes but why make it so complicated.  The debs are all available in apt

> (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: 

If you are half-offline, think about apt-zip ... 


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