[svlug] How do I build a custom Debian Package Server?

Joey Hess joeyh at debian.org
Wed Jul 4 18:14:01 PDT 2001

Ivan Passos wrote:
> OK, here is the plan: I want to create a Debian-based distribution (for
> internal use, etc.) with the specific packages I choose. For that reason,
> I want to create a Debian package server locally so that the updates _I_
> decide to make in the distro are available to the systems using it.

I'm unclear on whether you simply want to:

1. Make a subset of debian that has only the set of packages you use, but
   does not modify the packages debian distributes, or add new packages.
2. Make a subset of debian as above but modify occasional packages
   and/or add some new ones.
3. Make what basically amounts to a fork, with special compile time
   differences or something.

1. can be best served by using a proxy server, or apt-move, or apt-proxy
   or similar, so you get the packages you want to be in your subset
   rather transparently, as you decide to install them, and they're all
   mirrored locally so a lot of machines can use them. Or you can set up
   a debian mirror and exclude the stuff you don't want, but this is
   really more work.
2. can be best served by doing 1. plus having a local small apt
   repository, with your modified and/or new packages in it. Configuring
   your sysyems to look in your local repository first, then use the
   proxy server.
3. Requires that you set up an entire debian mirror structure yourself
   and maintain it.

> Basically I don't know how the server structure should be, what daemons it
> should have

Apt uses ftp or http to download packages. You can proxy and/or serve
either or both protocols.

> You don't need to give me a recipe (actually a recipe by itself won't
> help me, because I want to _understand_ this), pointers to docs
> explaining how this works would be really appreciated.

I suggest the documentation of apt, then a look at dpkg-scanpackages and
dpkg-scansources, and then a look at the more advanced apt-ftparchive
program in ap-utils in testing.

see shy jo

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