[arch-dev-public] [RFC] archive.archlinux.org

Sébastien Luttringer seblu at archlinux.org
Sat Oct 17 19:02:00 UTC 2015


More than one year ago[1] we started to discuss making the Arch
Rollback Machine more official. There were pros and cons and I would
give us the opportunity to move forward.

ARM was renamed to Archlinux Archive, following suggestions made
earlier. The ALA acronym is now preferred to avoid confusion with the
ARM architecture. AUR part was removed, the last/month/week links are

The Archive project is basically a daily snapshot of our official
repositories and ISOs. A description of it if available on our Wiki[2].
Of course this could be improved by anyone who want to help.

Today, this is used for hunting bugs (testing previous working package,
 bisecting at the system scale), rescue systems when broken package are
pushed. Tomorrow, this may provide a ground for reproductible builds.

The project code base[3] is really simple (it's one bash script) and
running a server don't need much maintenance. I was designed keeping
that in mind. I got few donations over the year to provide this service
and one request to create a mirror.

So far, the disk space used is:
# du -hcs iso packages repos/*
60G     iso
2,0G    packages
110G    repos/2013
254G    repos/2014
204G    repos/2015

Some concerns raised about the place of agetpkg[4] in our official
repository so I deleted it. agetpkg is a command line tool used to
easily download previous versions of packages for debugging purpose.
For example, with the new gnome 3.8 release, the VFS access to smb
shares was broken. It was really fast and easy to downgrade all gvfs
package to a previous version to confirm (e.g: agetpkg -i gvfs 1.26.0

Let me share the questions I got about the project so far and my

Q: We will support old packages?
A: No. Nothing change. We already have to check when people report bugs
they upgraded their system to the last version.

Q: We will support partial upgrade?
A: No.

Q: User will become lazy and stop report bugs
A: I don't believe that providing more tools to test will make them
stop reporting. The local cache already stop them to report.

Q: This will add more unwanted works?
A: ARM exists for years. Users already use AUR packages, unofficial
repositories and non-stock kernels and this didn't change our way of
rejecting incorrect requests.

Q: This will lighten your sysadmin time. That's why you want to move it
as an Archlinux project.
A: Not at all. Firstly because I still plan to maintain the Archive for
the Arch project. Moreover, I started another Archive server for my

Q: If you quit the Archlinux project, we will have to maintain it.
A: Even though I'm not leaving, as soon as nobody want to maintain a
service in arch, stopping it is easier than starting it.

The plan I propose for now:
- Add a new server[5][6] to our farm (fsociety.archlinux.org?).
- Move archivetools and agetpkg git repositories into project.al.org
- Add archive.al.org
- Adding agetpkg back to our repositories
- News announcement. With all the warnings about our policy about


[1] https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-dev-public/2014-March/02
[2] https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_Linux_Archive
[3] https://github.com/seblu/archivetools
[4] https://github.com/seblu/agetpkg
[5] http://www.online.net/en/dedicated-server/dedibox-md
[6] http://www.online.net/en/dedicated-server/dedibox-classic

Sébastien "Seblu" Luttringer
https://seblu.net | Twitter: @seblu42
GPG: 0x2072D77A

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