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debian linux and ubuntu desktop

Posted on 2011-03-13
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Dear Experts:

Iam planning to install debian 6.0 for the production server which works as samba domain controller, nfs server , local name server , ftp etc. as few desktops planning for ubuntu desktops my doubt since debian and ubuntu uses the same package management aptitude,  Is it possible to set local repository in the debian server and do the package management like install, remove to the ubuntu desktops ( ubuntu desktops uses the local repository configured in debian server for the package management). Please suggest me. If possible then it is great and request to provide me the how -to docs for creating the local repository on debian server for the ubuntu desktops. Please help thanks in advance.
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Question by:D_wathi
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by:torimar
ID: 35125920
You would need to use the apt-mirror program: http://dclug.tux.org/201001/apt-mirror_v0.1.pdf

The methodology is very well described in this HowTo: http://www.howtoforge.com/local_debian_ubuntu_mirror
(Although a little old - it covers Debian Sarge and Ubuntu Edgy - the principle will still be the same with the exception that you no longer need to edit your sources list in order to install apt-mirror)
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by:mccracky
ID: 35129633
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by:torimar
ID: 35130797
I'm sceptic about this, mccracky.

"apt-cacher", as the name suggests and is confirmed by the links you posted, was designed to create a 'cache' of the repository that is used by the server itself, in this case the Debian 6 repo. It was made for distributing files among server and client of the same distro.
But what the asker wants to do is create an Ubuntu repo on a Debian server.


On a side note:
The formatting in the second howto is catastrophic and plain misleading. Using the following command (as instructed in the second link) will not result in anything positive:
$sudo Apt-get Install Apt-cacher

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by:mccracky
ID: 35131029
@torimar - No.  Apt-cacher is just a proxy/cache for apt.  

If you read the second link, there is the "path_map" directive that defines which "local" repos would be mapped to which "remote" repos.  You don't have to use the server's repos, though you can.

You set up the mapping between "local" and "remote" repos and then point the various machines to use the "local" repo.

The advantage of the apt-cacher vs. the apt-mirror is that you are only using space/bandwidth for the packages actually used rather than mirroring the whole repo.
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by:torimar
ID: 35131154
I see. So it really depends on what the asker is planning to accomplish here.
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by:mccracky
ID: 35131274
Yes, that is true.  It is unclear whether the purpose is:

1. to save bandwidth - apt-cacher is probably best.
2. have one mirror for "approved" packages only - probably something like a "ppa" repo would fit.
3. have one "shared" mirror between debian/ubuntu - difficult and "a lot" of maintenance.
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by:D_wathi
ID: 35146530
Thanks for all. one is i felt maintaining the local repository and installing the packages to the clients will be good. but please suggest me if it s not a good idea. also few systems does not  have a Internet . Please suggest
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by:torimar
ID: 35150438
Although I imagine there could be more specific reasons for creating a local repo that you have control over, the main purposes for such repos are 1.) you want to save bandwidth; 2.) some of the computers in your network are not connected to the internet.

For you, #2 seems to already apply. Personally, I think it is  a good idea to go for the local repo.

You now have to decide which method to use: apt-mirror or apt-cacher.
apt-mirror: This method will reproduce the entire Ubuntu repo (~30-40 GB) on your server. Once the initial download has been done, future uses of the command will only update that repo and download packages that have been modified.
This method is very well fit, for instance, for cases like this:
-- you want to make a dist-upgrade on lots of client computers;
-- you want to make sure that there is a possibility to maintain, update, install your clients even if the networks access to the internet should fail;

apt-cacher: This method will only download packages from the official Ubuntu repo on demand, i.e. when at least one of the client computers requests them. You will never have a complete mirror of the official repo, hence you will not have to initially download those 30-40 GB once before you can start to use the local repo.
This method is well fit for cases like this:
-- you want to modify one large package on a large number of computers, e.g. you want to replace OpenOffice by LibreOffice on all of your clients;
-- you mainly want to provide a repo for those of your computers that are not connected to the internet.


Personally, I'd go with apt-mirror because it is the more 'complete' approach.

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by:D_wathi
ID: 35170426
Thank you very much for the detailed mail. SIr before closing . with debian server can i maintain the local repository for the ubuntu desktop packages. Please suggest thanks in advance.
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torimar earned 250 total points
ID: 35170524
Yes. After all, that is what the whole story was about from the very beginning.

All you need to do is configure the /etc/apt/mirror.list to mirror the Ubuntu ("maverick") sources. The second link I presented in my first comment above will give you detailed instructions (which only need to be adapted to Ubuntu 10.10).

On a side note: You could even mirror both Ubuntu and Debian repos on the same server; this is what the author of the howto is doing.
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Assisted Solution

by:mccracky
mccracky earned 250 total points
ID: 35174812
Yes, you can even host an ubuntu repo on a RedHat box, if you want.  The server flavor of Linux doesn't matter, you just need to have the repo software and the packages hosted.
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