[clug] Automatic apt/yum mirror configuration...

Paul Wayper paul.wayper at anu.edu.au
Mon Aug 7 04:02:49 GMT 2006

Hi everyone,

I've thought of an interesting project and I'd like to get people's
ideas on potential problems or features.

Basically, the core idea is a website that contains configuration files
for various apt and yum repositories, located to an IP address range. 
So, for instance, there might be a configuration file for people at ANU
that would prefer AARNET mirrors, and a configuration file specific to
Internode that puts the repositories that Internode mirrors first and
then lists other Australian and finally international mirrors.  When you
go to the web site, the code looks at your IP address and determines the
best match of a configuration file for you.  The base configuration that
is supplied with the distro is listed as covering the entire IP range,
so if nothing else matches you'll get the standard configuration.

Other ideas I've had are:
* IP address to geographical mapping, so that even if you're not in a
known ISP but you're still in Australia you'd get configuration files
that preferred Australian and west-coast USA mirrors over others (for
* Keeping a list of the actual mirrors, where they're located and which
IP ranges they apply to, and generating the configuration files on the
fly (tricky).
* A package that you install on your system that, before an apt-get or
yum update, downloads the latest version of all the configuration files
you have.  If this ever got installed by default in a distro, then it'd
really encourage an ISP to set up a local mirror, knowing that someone
installing a distro fresh from the CD would get a configuration that
would save the ISP and the customer some bandwidth.

(Of course, the configuration files themselves would be vetted and
checked and would only be updated by authorised users, and so on.)

I'm working on a database and website to support this right now, so I'm
interested to hear people's criticisms and/or ideas to make it better. 
Please let me know what you think of it!

Have fun,


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