Creating a personal on-disk Debian repository.

Kernels & Hardware, configuring network, installing services

Creating a personal on-disk Debian repository.

Postby Tonto » 2019-11-13 03:21

When Debian 8.2 was released back in 2015 I bought a 13-DVD mirror of the repository and installed it as an off-line on-disk repo from which I have successfully installed countless packages since. In order to do this I wrote a few Perl scripts to extract the packages from the DVDs into a single directory, recreate the index files, and configure apt/Synaptic to suite.

When I tried the same thing with Deb 9.1 it failed for several reasons. I was not the only one to have trouble with Deb 9; others reported similar difficulties and adopted the same solution: go back to Deb 8 and wait.

Debian 10 was released in July this year to joyful and relieved acclaim. The first "point release" is now out - Deb 10.1 - so I've purchased a copy. 24 DVDs worth, but not on DVD: instead, a 128GB USB stick with 24 DVD images. Should arrive in a week or so, and be good for another five years.

BUT. And it's probably a big one. One of the major issues I struck in trying to convert my Deb 9 DVDs to an on-disk repo was that "security issues" with Deb 8 had been "fixed". I'd relied on these "security issues" to bypass the new, tedious and badly-documented "security features" of Deb 8. As anyone with commonsense will know, whilst "security" is a real challenge for techs at system level, it is largely a hugely-hyped BIG ISSUE in the Mainstream Media for all the plebs out there. It's mostly used by governments and Big Business to DEMAND that you provide EVERY LAST DETAIL of your personal life - right down to the brand of condoms you use - in order to "protect you" from the Bad Guys. It's also used to insist that you ONLY USE the LATEST software. Anything else is a "security risk" that no "sensible person" would wish to encounter. Problem: most of the general public IS THIS STUPID.

My point in writing this is to emphasize that the "security features" implemented by Deb repo's are quite unnecessary for a personal on-disk repo, from which I just want to install my own software with minimum hassle.

If anyone else is interested in this project - as so I'll dignify it - I'd be most grateful for any collaboration and assistance from those with more experience and detailed knowledge than myself.
Tonto
 
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Re: Creating a personal on-disk Debian repository.

Postby Tonto » 2019-12-22 21:37

The USB stick from LinuxCollections.com not only worked well, but anticipated my intentions. There's a script which mounts all 16 DVD ISO images, but best of all is that Synaptic automatically recognizes and enables them.

Package installation now requires invoking Synaptic to select those required, inserting the USB stick, mounting the ISOs (I wrote a quick Perl script to speed this up) and installing; then unmounting the ISOs and USB stick (I'll probably write another short script for the last step).

Not quite as convenient as my old Deb 8.2 on-disk repo, but a lot less hassle.

Highly recommended for those who want a network-independent install facility, and who prefer to stick with a single stable release instead of rolling upgrades.
Tonto
 
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Re: Creating a personal on-disk Debian repository.

Postby peter_irich » 2019-12-23 06:30

You don't must use DVD images for the local repository creating, you can create directory structure like envelope/shell
for the repository with directory "conf" and conf-file "distribution" and others, see "man reprepro" and command
Code: Select all
reprepro update codename

downloads all packages from repository in Internet. Only dont't request that is not needed, for example, arch i386.
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Re: Creating a personal on-disk Debian repository.

Postby Tonto » 2019-12-23 07:04

Back when fiddling with 8.2 I tried using the repo tools to do the job, but couldn't get it working. The reason seemed to be that they were designed to set up a small repo for e.g. a company developing apps that wanted to make them available via an extra line in the apt repo list. However, when I tried feeding them the 44,000-odd packages of the full repo, they broke.

I ended up splitting the lot into a few thousand a time and got it working that way, but still had to contend with the validation code that appeared to be generated as some sort of CRC from the full packages address, and this didn't work. Fortunately, apt at the time allowed you to continue installing after a warning notice, so my setup worked. By 9.4 this was no longer the case - the security issues had been "fixed' and my own work-around was no longer allowed.

Not sure what the present situation is, but the USB-stick solution works fine without the hassles. I'm a long-term Perl convert, and practise the Three Perl Virtues EVERY day - Laziness, Impatience, and Hubris - so that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!
Tonto
 
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