[clug] .au Debian mirrors

Martin Pool mbp at samba.org
Tue Dec 2 23:57:44 GMT 2003

On  2 Dec 2003, Jepri <jepri at webone.com.au> wrote:

> This gets discussed on the debian lists every now and again.  The 
> response seems to be one part fossilized attitudes, one part NIH, one 
> part security concerns and one part practical "it works the way it is, 
> who needs P2P".
> Plus, most Debian developers can calculate the bandwidth overheads of 
> maintaining a connection to a P2P network for something they don't use 
> more than a few minutes a day.

Unlike other systems, BitTorrent does not need to maintain a
connection when you're not uploading or downloading.  For 'legit' data
like Debian it's OK to have a central distribution point.

I think the main problem (aside from Debian committee-itis) is that
BitTorrent is mostly optimized for relatively large .iso files, rather
than the thousands of smaller files used by apt.  But in principle
that could be fixed in the future.

> Being able to easily set up ad-hoc servers to share your cache might be 
> a more practical solution.  But how will we find these server?  Perhaps 
> a peer-to-peer network might help :)

I was wondering about using Squid cache sharing.  If people had
semi-static ISPs you could locate the other participating caches using
its UDP q protocol for finding cached files.

Or you could put some kind of similar broadcast lookup into apt-cacher.

But if it turns out that you can't get free traffic between different
Transact ISPs there's probably not much point.  I'm currently on
Netspeed but if I get motivated I might switch to someone with a free
mirror.  If nothing else it ought to save the ISP a fair amount of
incoming paid traffic.

                               linux.conf.au -- Adelaide, January 2004
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