[Mageia-dev] Mirror layout

andre999 andr55 at laposte.net
Fri Dec 10 11:22:09 CET 2010

Ernest N. Wilcox Jr. a écrit :
> Perhaps we should follow the approach other distributions seem to use.
> Official Mageia repos:
> Core: The core Mageia distribution (IMHO, should contain only a very minimal
> instalation (No GUI or Productivity software).
> Desktop: GUI and Productivity software.
> Server: The various server software that would not normally be used on a
> Desktop system.
> Community: Community suppoted GPL software
> Non-Official Mageis repos (optional):
> Non-GPL: Software that is not GPL Licensed
Assume that this means software without ANY free licence.  (Such as bsd, 
mpl, etc.)
If drivers are included in these repos, and they are optional, many 
systems will not function properly with the required repos.
Only Fedora (of the distros mentioned below) has a policy to exclude 
non-free software.  The others have a separate set of repos for non-free.

> Extra: Software that can not be included in the above categories
Is this for software that is legally constrained in some countries ?

Where would development software (CLI and GUI) go ?

This approach would be advantageous if mirrors were to carry only some 
of the repo groups suggested.
If official mirrors must carry all the official repos, it's not clear 
the advantage of separating core/desktop/server repos, unless they are 
to have different levels of support.
For non-official mirrors, a server-only mirror would be a lot smaller.

Using your definitions :
Mandriva main = Core + Desktop + Server + many development packages
Mandriva contrib = community
Mandriva non-free = most Non-GPL (some of which is in main)
Some legally contrained packages are excluded.  Supposedly in PLF.

Debian uses the same names main, contrib, non-free, with explicit policy 
close to Mandriva practices.
In the same policy page, they say that patent-contrained software goes 
into non-free, then further down they say that it can be excluded.

OpenSuse has supported oss (free) and non-oss (non-free); as well as 
unsupported contrib.
Corresponding to the repos of Mandriva.

Ubuntu has 4 repo groups, essentially free and non-free, each divided 
into supported and unsupported.
They seem to permit contrained packages.

Fedora package acceptance policy is explicitly dictated by RedHat.
Includes only free packages (thus excluding redistributable drivers), 
plus excludes legally constrained packages.
Fedora is the only distro reviewed here which does not accept non-free 
However, given that RedHat sells their versions of Linux (with support), 
one could question the motivation of the Fedora policy.

> Since I am not knowlegable about running an FTP mirror, I do not know whether
> it is best to put these listings under a single tree, or to split them into
> two trees, but if we split them, perhaps we could approach PLF to host the
> Non-officvial repos?

Note that FTP would only be used for end-users downloading FROM mirrors.
Mageia will require official mirrors to synchronize at regular intervals 
using rsync + certain options.

For mirrors which want to include everything, it is obviously simpler to 
have a single tree, requiring a single simple rsync line.
However a second simple rsync line isn't that complicated.

For mirrors which wish to exclude the optional parts, the choice is 
between one simple rsync line (if 2 trees), or a more complex line 
adding an option to exclude each unwanted part of the of the source tree.
(With the complication that an error in specifying this option could 
cause problems with the mirroring.

Using PLF for mirroring constrained packages sounds like a very good 
idea. Their site says that they are open to hosting such packages for 
all distros, as long as there are volonteers to support the packages.
And since Mageia is (at least initially) compatible with Mandriva, their 
page "easyurpmi" could be easily modified to set up mirror sources for 
Mageia users.  (Call our version "easymageia" ?)

Using PLF for contrained packages offers a plus for mirror sites willing 
to host such packages.
They need only mirror one PLF tree for all distros - be it Mandriva, 
Unity, or Mageia.

Interestingly, in a search for all packages containing "codec" or "mp" 
(for mpeg) in the name, I found only 2 packages in PLF that weren't 
already in Mandriva : one being quotations from the Simpsons, which the 
package said was there for copyright reasons.
All the other PLF packages I found in the above searches were in 
Mandriva main.
Many if not all of which were in PLF for patent reasons, according to 
the package description.
Which brings up a difference of PLF packages : the PLF description 
usually ends with a line specifying why they are there.  (At least 
packages destined for Mandriva users.)
So if a user wants to avoid patent constrained packages, they are 
identified as such in PLF - but not in Mandriva.

> This is only a suggestion (and we may have already moved past this point), but
> perhaps this will let us be more flexible to the end users (both DeskTop and
> Server).

For that point, end users could also use the install routines on the 
distribution media, or the (rpm) package categories, to selectively 
install Desktop and/or server packages.  Both of which could use 

But the suggestion regarding PLF is interesting ...

my 2 cents :)

- André

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