Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update [SOLVED]

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Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update [SOLVED]

Postby odo5435 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:00 am

My Australian ISP (Internode) offers unmetered downloads for Linux software. This is not a problem with the Main Edition (Maya) which includes the option to select my ISP in the Software Sources as follows:
Screenshot - Software Mirrors.png
Screenshot - Software Mirrors.png (28.59 KiB) Viewed 3417 times

However, In LMDE Xfce 4.8 (on another machine) only the other three mirrors are available to select.

I've tried changing the /etc/apt/sources.list using gedit as suggested in this thread but every time I re-open Update Manager it seems to revert the file back to the previous version.

I'm obviously missing something, somewhere but a couple of days searching hasn't gotten me any further. How can I add Internode to my list of Software Sources in Update Manager in LMDE like it is in the Main Edition? Or is this not possible?
Last edited by odo5435 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update

Postby ketoth on Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:22 pm

First things first: Linux Mint Debian isn't like Linux Mint "main edition" :)

As you have noticed, Mint "main" is based on Ubuntu. Mint "main" sources.list is composed like this:
- Ubuntu archive, like "precise"
- Ubuntu archive updates, like "precise-updates"
- Ubuntu security, like "precise-security"
- Medibuntu archive, "precise"
- Ubuntu parter archive, "precise"
- Linux Mint packages, like "maya"

So, Linux Mint is actually only providing some packages needed to transform ("mintify") an Ubuntu 12.04 "precise" into a Linux Mint 13 "maya". You can browse them there:
http://packages.linuxmint.com/list.php?release=Maya

Not many stuff to mirror, only 13 GB of data. Therefor, many people running mirrors around the world, helping everybody getting best possible speed to download the Mint-specific packages.
You can see the full mirror list (ISO, packages, Debian) here: http://www.linuxmint.com/mirrors.php

Now, let's talk about LMDE. It's sources.list is composed like this:
- Debian testing snapshot, "latest"
- Debian security snapshot, "latest/security"
- Debian multimedia snapshot, "latest/multimedia"
- Linux Mint packages, "debian"

2 main parts: the Debian testing repository snapshot (codename "latest" and build in Update Packs), and the "mintification" packages. Linux Mint does here a full copy and then tests it's stability (codename "incoming"), releasing it then in "latest" as update packs. To operate a Linux Mint Debian repository mirror, you need more than 500 GB of disk space: that's very much. Also the mirroring system was changed for UP5, that's why there are only 3 mirrors available. All in Europe :(

To help people select the best mirror for them, the Mint team has created the "mint-debian-mirrors" package which comes with UP5 (it only selects the Debian mirror, not the Packages mirror). The actual choice is:
- Mint team's mirror (USA)
- Gwendal Le Bihan's mirror (France)
- RTS Informatique's mirror (France)
- Lund University's mirror (Sweden)

As an Australian, I guess you will land on the Mint's mirror, and it will still be slow. We really could need more mirrors worldwide, but as said.. a hi-speed dedicated server with 1 TB hard disk space isn't quite cheap, so yeah :(
BTW I'm operating the "mirror.rts-informatique.fr" mirror, posted some stats recently.

Summary
- Let "mint-debian-mirrors" find the best suited Debian mirror for you
- Use this as packages in your sources.list, if works well: deb http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/linuxmint-packages/ debian main upstream import
- If you know someone at Internode (or elsewhere) who could open a Mint Debian mirror, it would be really helpful*
*says the sysadmin who's expecting 5 TB traffic in 2 weeks on his servers :cry:


Just as example, my full LMDE sources.list looks like this:
Code: Select all
deb http://mirror.rts-informatique.fr/linuxmint/packages debian main upstream import
deb http://mirror.rts-informatique.fr/linuxmint/debian/latest testing main contrib non-free
deb http://mirror.rts-informatique.fr/linuxmint/debian/latest/security testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://mirror.rts-informatique.fr/linuxmint/debian/latest/multimedia testing main non-free
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Re: Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update

Postby odo5435 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:08 pm

Thanks for your reply @ketoth but I was just coming here to explain what I'd done when I saw your reply. I know most of you aren't interested, but in case there are others out there as clueless as me here's what happened.

After gediting my /etc/apt/sources.list file I was expecting my ISP to show in the Linux Mint Software page here:

Screenshot - Linux Mint Software.png
Screenshot - Linux Mint Software.png (43.68 KiB) Viewed 3396 times
I don't know why I looked here but it just seemed logical. When nothing was listed, as in the above screenshot, I clicked on the "Main Packages" button and that must have been when the sources.list file reverted; 'cause that's when my other Aussie mirrors would show.

After try No.39, for some reason, I decided to look at the Other Software tab and there is my ISP:

Screenshot - Other Software.png
Screenshot - Other Software.png (45.54 KiB) Viewed 3396 times
It was merely a case of me not looking in the right place although, overall, it is an understandable error. The terminology is ambiguous.

As things are, everything seems to be working as it should so I'm marking this as solved but if there is a compelling reason not to have my ISP listed in the Other Software tab, I'd appreciate a heads up here.
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Re: Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update

Postby ketoth on Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:54 am

if there is a compelling reason not to have my ISP listed in the Other Software tab, I'd appreciate a heads up here

- Your ISP runs a package mirror (status ok)
- Your ISP runs an outdated debian mirror

See here:
http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/linu ... k-info.txt
"version 4": they didn't set up the mirror with the new mirroring system (with the pools). That's why the Mint team doesn't include it in the debian mirror list.

Therefor you got Gwendall's debian mirror from France in your sources instead. (do NOT remove these lines from sources.list, obviously)
Internode should fix this and tell Mint's team by the time update pack 6 comes, really. Downloading around 1 gigabyte of data at ~50 kilobytes per second isn't fun at all. And that's for their own sake, since they must pay the transcontinental traffic bill.

Gonna mail them in case they don't know yet, if you have further questions, go on :)

EDIT
Just before I mailed them, I saw that they have the pool structure BUT incorrect symlinks. This is buggy, I have to tell them immediately.
If you're really in a hurry, you can have this manually in your sources.list for now (but I don't recommend it, really, it shouldn't point to specific pools):

Code: Select all
deb http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/linuxmint-packages/ debian main upstream import
deb http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/linuxmint-debian/pools/A/ testing main contrib non-free
deb http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/linuxmint-debian/pools/A/security testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/linuxmint-debian/pools/A/multimedia testing main non-free


I make sure to mail them. Once it's corrected, they will tell Clem about it and Clem will add their mirror to the list. So keep an eye on this page:
http://www.linuxmint.com/mirrors.php

Once the Internode mirror is listed, the Mint team will release an update for the "mint-debian-mirrors" package. When updating it, it will have the Internode in the list, letting you select it and enjoy unmetered hi-speed :)
Sorry for being this long, but this points out that some repository mirrors are (still) buggy.
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Re: Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update

Postby odo5435 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:01 am

Thanks for looking into this further @ketoth. I can wait until everything is running as it should so I think I'll leave my sources.list as is for the time being.
Code: Select all
deb http://lmde-mirror.gwendallebihan.net/latest testing main contrib non-free
deb http://lmde-mirror.gwendallebihan.net/latest/security testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://lmde-mirror.gwendallebihan.net/latest/multimedia testing main non-free
deb http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/linuxmint-packages/ debian main upstream import


I've also sent a request to Internode asking them to take necessary measures from their end though I can't be certain it'll be actioned before Update 6. We can only hope so, which should make life easier for everyone (including me :) ).
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Re: Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update [SOLVED]

Postby ketoth on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:15 pm

Quick update: Internode just fixed the repository mirror, you can go ahead with this sources.list :wink:
Code: Select all
deb http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/linuxmint-packages/ debian main upstream import
deb http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/linuxmint-debian/latest/ testing main contrib non-free
deb http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/linuxmint-debian/latest/security testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://mirror.internode.on.net/pub/linuxmint-debian/latest/multimedia testing main non-free


Meanwhile I tested some other mirrors: there are a few out there up-to-date but unlisted; gave the report to Clem for addition.
Thanks to you for raising the issue with the Internode mirror, we all definitively got a step forward :)
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Re: Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update [SOLVED]

Postby squeezy on Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:02 pm

One thing many people forget when moving to a mirror is to modify the /etc/apt/preferences file, otherwise Mint applications will not have the proper priority during updates/upgrades.

Using either the command line in a terminal, or your favorite text editor from your DE, edit as root the file /etc/apt/preferences and add the following. Anywhere in the file will do. I like to add it right under the Mint server entry to remind me what it's referencing.
Code: Select all
Package: *
Pin: origin mirror.internode.on.net
Pin-Priority: 700

Your file should look like this when you are done:
Code: Select all
Package: *
Pin: release o=linuxmint
Pin-Priority: 700

Package: *
Pin: origin packages.linuxmint.com
Pin-Priority: 700

Package: *
Pin: origin mirror.internode.on.net
Pin-Priority: 700

Package: *
Pin: release o=Ubuntu
Pin-Priority: 500
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Re: Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update [SOLVED]

Postby zerozero on Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:13 pm

squeezy,
just a quick correction:
the last rule shouldn't be
Code: Select all
Package: *
Pin: release o=Ubuntu
Pin-Priority: 500

but
Code: Select all
Package: *
Pin: release o=Debian
Pin-Priority: 500
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Re: Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update [SOLVED]

Postby squeezy on Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:43 am

Oops! I grabbed my Mint main edition backup file by mistake. Thanks for the catch :oops:

Apologies to the OP, hope I didn't confuse you.
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Re: Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update [SOLVED]

Postby odo5435 on Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:11 am

Internode are normally good at fixing problems quickly (I can recommend the ISP to any Aussies out there if I'm allowed a plug) but I hadn't expected this problem to have been resolved so quickly (less than two days).

Thanks to you all for your help and I'm glad to have been a part of an event that helped advance the cause, even if only in a minor way. I've made all the changes as suggested without any problems @squeezy 'cause I didn't get back to this until after @zerozero's post. Hopefully updates will run quicker (and cheaper) in future.
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Re: Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update [SOLVED]

Postby StroudRoadStuart on Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:20 am

Hi guys,

I have the exact same question, only referring to the aarnet mirror (also in Australia). How do I tell if it's up to date, so that I may notify them if it's not and have it rectified ?

Regards,
Stuart.
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Re: Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update [SOLVED]

Postby ketoth on Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:36 am

Straight to the point: they don't have it :)
http://mirror.aarnet.edu.au/pub/
I see they mirror the ISO and the packages, but no trace of a "Debian-latest", "linuxmint-debian" or "lmde" folder.

Since they mirror so much different distros, I think they don't mind adding 500 GB more :mrgreen:
Tell them to look on this page for adding the "Linux Mint Debian repositories" to their mirror: http://www.linuxmint.com/mirrors.php
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Re: Add a Mirror to Software Sources In Mint Update [SOLVED]

Postby StroudRoadStuart on Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:44 am

ketoth wrote:Straight to the point: they don't have it :)
http://mirror.aarnet.edu.au/pub/
I see they mirror the ISO and the packages, but no trace of a "Debian-latest", "linuxmint-debian" or "lmde" folder.

Since they mirror so much different distros, I think they don't mind adding 500 GB more :mrgreen:
Tell them to look on this page for adding the "Linux Mint Debian repositories" to their mirror: http://www.linuxmint.com/mirrors.php

Thanks Ketoth. I will email them with the information.
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