[Mageia-discuss] Mirror

Juergen Harms Juergen.Harms at unige.ch
Wed Mar 9 13:34:12 CET 2011

I have now arranged for a mirror to be set up at CUI - my old lab at the 
university of Geneva - I hope it will come up in time for alpha-2.

CUI is glad to help, but that is not a permanent solution - CUI normally 
does not provide this kind of service - permanent mirroring services 
should be provided by Switch as soon as a stable Mageia release becomes 
available. I will pursue the discussion with Switch.

Talking to people at Switch brought up some facts which Mandriva should 
be aware of:
  - There is a heritage of bad experience that has been made with Mandriva.
  - It is not the first time that I hear the argument Mageia = Mandriva 
= forgetit.
  - Mageia happens at present to be perceived as "just another one of 
those distros that appear and disappear to oblivion" (maybe with a 
component of unfriendlyness towards Linux).

By the way, at my university there was a similar experience: Mandriva 
was part of the officially supported infrastructure (mirror, 
consultancy), with fees paid to Mandriva - that broke in dysharmony due 
to bad administrative response from Mandriva, leaving quite some ill 
feeling. Sorry if I wade through these negative arguments, but these 
beyond-the-enthusiast-user spotlights count.

I think that, when the stable release approaches, a small campaign to 
rectify these prejudices would be an excellent thing.

Talking with the people at Switch who maintain the Switch mirroring 
service, there were also some concrete and technical arguments - I 
quote, translating from German:
  "the communication with the mirror sites at Mandriva had already been 
minimal, compared with other distros: announcing releases, checking the 
availability at the mirrors (QA), etc" (which is a mere quote, dont ask 
me to interpret).

Switch is reluctant to maintain a mirror at "assembly language level" 
("just run rsync every 2 hours"), they would prefer solutions using 
something like MirrorBrain - but probably Mandriva experiences are part 
of the background to this argument.

At present, putting a mirror on a univeristy site puts it into an 
environment which is in good match to the straightforward rsync approach 
- correct for the alpha period of Mageia.

But I think that on the long-run there are lessons to be learned from 
the discussion with Switch - mirrors for a stable Mageia should be 
preferably hosted at professionally run mirror sites (who make the kind 
of consideration I quoted above), university solutions should come as 
additional icing. In case of a second round of discussion on how to 
organise Mageia mirrors, it might be a good idea to have that discussion 
with some participation from the mirror sites.

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