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MirrorManager (was Re: Improving availability and guaranteeing integrity in ISO downloads)

Hello, this is a repost of a message to fedora-devel, as this seems to
be the place for it.

From: Jesse Keating <jkeating redhat com>

On Friday 08 June 2007 14:24:47 Anthony Bryan wrote:
> I was hoping Fedora could investigate using Metalinks for their ISO
> downloads. Metalink is an XML format for listing all the ways you can
> get a file or collection of files (mirrors + their location, rsync,
> p2p) along with checksums to automatically repair a file in case of
> error, signatures, language, OS/arch, and other metadata. It's mainly
> used for large files like ISOs, where errors can be very frustrating.
> It's supported by about 20 programs on unix, mac, and win, including
> aria2 (already in the Fedora repos). It's used by openSUSE,
> OpenOffice.org, cURL, and many other distributions.
> Here's a screenshot of a Metalink download in the DownThemAll Firefox
> extension (nightly build). What you don't see are all the mirrors and
> checksums.
> http://code.downthemall.net/maierman/metaselect4.png
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metalink

This is something interesting, and I wonder if we could make use of
MirrorManager ( https://hosted.fedoraproject.org/projects/mirrormanager ) to
have dynamic .metalink files created with updated mirror readiness info.
Certainly something that looks worth looking into.

That would be quite nice, no one else has dynamic .metalinks on a
large scale. When I got the F7 ISO, I noticed it would fit in well w/
the download pages which tell which mirrors have which releases. I
think it would make things less frustrating for end users trying to
get things, and hopefully create less strain on mirrors. Certain
metalink clients will download from domestic mirrors first, if country
info is in there, which should hopefully be more efficient for

What can we do to make this happen? Is this the type of thing that's
easier for the maintainer of MirrorManager to add, or should we supply
a patch?

Here's the current tools people have done, if that helps -

Metalink Editor - in Python, GUI
cURL - they use a short Perl script that makes them based on location.
Simba/RoPkg::Metalink - Perl
Bouncer - there's a patch for it.
Metalink tools - CLI, C++

(( Anthony Bryan
)) Metalink [ http://www.metalinker.org ]

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