[arch-releng] [PATCH 6/6] Let the mirrorlist in overlay generate dynamically

Dieter Plaetinck dieter at plaetinck.be
Mon Jul 6 08:56:33 EDT 2009

On Mon, 6 Jul 2009 07:33:11 -0500
Dan McGee <dpmcgee at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 3:20 AM, Dieter Plaetinck<dieter at plaetinck.be>
> wrote:
> > On Sun, 5 Jul 2009 18:47:17 -0500
> > Dan McGee <dpmcgee at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 3:39 AM, Gerhard Brauer<gerbra at archlinux.de>
> >> wrote:
> >> > Removed mirrorlist file from overlay and modified Makefile to
> >> > fetch the file dynamically on iso creation (Thanks, Dan!)
> >>
> >> What if we also had an option to fetch it at runtime of the ISO as
> >> well?
> >>
> >> -Dan
> >
> > Do you mean that a user would boot up the liveCD/usb stick and a
> > script would run that fetches a mirrorlist file from the interwebs?
> >  (or updates the mirrorlist package automatically?).  Seems quite
> > dirty to me, and won't work for networkless systems.
> Why would you ever want to do this on a networkless system? That
> doesn't make any sense at all. If you are doing a install from a full
> core CD, you have no need for a network connection and a new
> mirrorlist. However, for everyone doing a FTP install, networking is
> kind of required.
I agree with that.  But people can also use ftp iso's as rescue media,
and hence could be without networking.  My point was just that it would
be awkward to try to (automatically) update the file behind the users
back.  After all, the mirrorlist is packaged for a reason.  If the user
wants to update it, the solution is to use pacman imho.

> So no- nothing to do with booting and fetching, but during the FTP
> install process.
> >  Besides why would we even
> > need that? mirrorlist files don't become outdated that fast?
> Not necessarily outdated, but missing mirrors. And you'd be surprised
> at the mirror turnover we do have.

Will this become such a problem, given we are now doing snapshots +/-
every 6 months, and the long term goal is 3 months?
Maybe the best thing is to update the mirrorlist package during the
network installation procedure (optionally asking confirmation from the

> On another note related to Australia's mirrors being listed first-
> there is a reason they are all commented out by default, so as not to
> shoulder the burden on any one particular mirrror. I'd rather we find
> a way to do this same sort of thing on the ISO as well. Any sort of
> mirror selection procedure should work just fine, as long as the user
> has to make an *explicit* choice, meaning they can't just use a
> default (which 99% of people wouldn't change so that wouldn't be very
> helpful).

So on the iso we have the choice:
1) leave all mirrors commented out.  In aif "force" users to pick a
mirror, and maybe for each login shell that opens, put a gentle
reminder that the user will need to pick a mirror if he wants to use
pacman on the command line.
2) since it's impossible to pick a "one size fits all" default, pick
archlinux.org as default, which is more or less okay as this mirror is
throttled, so it all works by default, albeit at a slower speed.

(2) has the problem of being slow if a user forgets to pick a mirror, so
we may put the notes as described in (1).  I think that would be a good
compromise.  Especially since aif currently already motivates the user
to choose a specific mirror.

Also, both these problems would solve themselves if we would use
( http://www.archlinux.org/pipermail/pacman-dev/2009-March/008422.html )

> -Dan


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