Sunday, February 20, 2011

» Packman service interruption and migration

The Packman website and repositories are going to be broken and in the works for several days (possibly up to a week) starting tonight at 20:00 CET, during which the following services will not be available, or only sporadically:

The reason is that we are performing a major migration of our services to

  • the latest version of the openSUSE Build Service (we were still using an old version)
  • a new layout of our repositories, to enable a more fine-grained control over what parts of Packman should be used (see below)

In order to try to keep a minimum service going during that time, you may use and point people to our new repositories, that already contain the "Essentials" part, which are almost complete with the bare minimum everyone needs (mplayer, vlc, libraries, ...).
The URLs for the new repositories are as follows:

There are no .repo files there yet, so adding one of these is done as follows:
zypper ar -n packman packman
(obviously adapt the URL to your openSUSE version).
You may also use one of our mirror sites, as they already have our new repositories:

New repository layout

As has been announced (including here), we have had a discussion back in December about whether and how we should reorganize the layout of our repositories. Up to now, and for many years, it has always been "one big repository", which had pros and cons:

  • good: easy to use, just add onr repository and be done with it
  • good: easy for us to manage
  • bad: you get everything and the kitchen sink, including packages that are duplications of stuff from other repositories, specifically from (which didn't exist when Packman was created), and potential conflicts with those
  • bad: large metadata files to synchronise (although zypper has become pretty fast at that)

We came up with a solution to this, as more and more people requested having split repositories, in order to control whatthey want to use from Packman:

  • we will have four repositories instead of one: Essentials, Multimedia, Games and Extras
  • Essentials will be the bare minimum to get your multimedia experience on openSUSE going (libraries, MPlayer, vlc, ffmpeg, ...)
  • Multimedia will contain additional applications that are not available for openSUSE or only in a crippled build, such as avidemux, etc...
  • Games are, well, games, although we will try to move most of what may be hosted on to the games project there
  • Extras is all the rest

In order to provide the best of both worlds or, rather, still provide you with the old option of adding everything, we are using a little trick and are running "createrepo" on the top-level directory, which results in having repository metadata that contains all the packages from all the above mentioned repositories without having to duplicate the RPM files on our server (and mirrors).

Hence, to make it short and less technical, you can still also use the "old way" too.

As an example of what needs to be added to zypper, once the migration is complete and .repo files are available too:

  • add the Essentials repository:
    zypper ar -r
  • add the "everything" repository:
    zypper ar -r

I will announce our progress on my blog (which is also aggregated on Planet openSUSE) and will obviously post another announcement here once our migration is complete.

In advance, sorry for the inconvenience, and thank you for your understanding. We are convinced that our move will not only provide us with a better infrastructure, but also improve your experience with Packman and openSUSE.

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Blogger DimiG said...

Hmm, It's a pity only that no 11.1 backups anywhere. Can't install upgrade on server cause waiting for 11.4 version. That was incorrect step to remove 11.1 repo's before 11.4 issue.


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