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Upcoming Factory Changes

September 23rd, 2008 by

The openSUSE Factory distribution is our permanent moving target, this is the place where all Alpha and Beta versions are mastered from. We are currently in the process of adjusting some things due to the move from SUSE internal AutoBuild to openSUSE Build Service:

We are getting rid of all the historical names. Factory from SUSE internal AutoBuild is currently in the directories “SL-OSS-factory”, “SL-OSS-factory-debug” and “SL-Factory-non-oss” inside of the distribution directory. These names are inconsistent and have lost their meaning to some degree.

The Factory distribution from Build Service is currently in repositories directory as rpm-md tree. This means you can install packages from it, but you can’t make a new installation from it.

So we will remove all these directories and publish Factory directly to the new factory directory. The organization below this directory will be the same as below the official distribution directories. So we will have

  • iso directory: containing the latetest mini iso for network installation.
  • repo directory: containing the installation source trees:
    • oss directory: The main tree from openSUSE:Factory project, everything for a new installation is inside.
    • non-oss directory: Additional non-free packages from openSUSE:Factory:NonFree project inside.
    • debug directory: All debuginfo and debugsource packages are in this directory. These are usually only needed for debugging or bugreporting.
    • src directory: All source rpms from openSUSE:Factory project are in this directory. Please note that it makes usually more sense to check out the latest sources directly from the Build Service.
    • src-non-oss directory: All source rpms from openSUSE:Factory:NonFree project.

Another important change is that we have moved the PowerPC packages to their own server.

This new setup should make it easier to mirror subsets of the Factory distribution, without breaking any repository metadata. This means mirrors can just sync the most important stuff like the main repository and ignore the rest. We hope to get factory on more mirrors around the world with this setup.

We plan to implement this until next week. how to writer paper introductiob

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20 Responses to “Upcoming Factory Changes”

  1. Steve

    A newbee question –
    Will this change affect where the Yast auto updater looks for new files?
    If so, how do we change were it looks?


  2. Bharat

    IMO, openSUSE needs fast and stable mirrors atleast in the US, for updates and factory repos. download.opensuse.org is too slow (and I am on a college network and download from mirrors.kernel.org at 6-7MB/s, but from download.opensuse.org the typical download speed is 30-50KBps) and I couldn’t find any fast mirrors. I think this will also address to a large extent the complaints that package installation is too slow in opensuse.

    • Anon

      I’ve found US mirrors to be fast the few times I have downloaded from them I was getting 100kbps

    • Dean Hilkewich

      I find http://suse.mirrors.tds.net/pub/opensuse by far the fastest mirror for NA. I do however really miss the old days where they gave a list of mirrors that you could manually choose from. It’s a feature that should have never been removed, or even better allow a preference that enables you to prioritize the mirror hit order.

    • Gobble

      Indeed! I just moved from Ubuntu 8.04 LTS because it was not stable across updates and something minor broke every week for me. How I wish I had retained Ubuntu! I will not recommend Suse to anyone for this reason. It is a pity that a company selling enterprise class servers cannot maintain a good set of mirrors with reliably fast download networks. Almost always download/update slows down to 400 – 500 bytes/sec and Yast hangs – its not even programmed to timeout and skip in a dependable fashion – I get the skip install dialog only 2 out of every 5 times. Ubuntu was a breeze updating! *Never* ever did download slow down and I have a very reliable ISP.

      Ubuntu is the winner for me despite all the problems – if my system ever breaks and I have to reinstall, I’m going back to to Ubuntu!

      I am really amazed at how poor the repo service is.


      • Fred

        Apparently you don’t get the concept of a REDIRECTOR, do you?

        If you get always redirected to a slow mirror configure it to use a mirror of your choice. But no, instead of that you expect the distro to host mirrors across the world and start to bitch if it doesn’t work instead of being proactive and either to figure this no brainer out or to ask for support so someone else tells you this.

        Please have fun with buntu and enjoy their updates …

      • SUSE is (mainly) a European distribution and from Europe the mirrors I get are always very fast.

    • poeml

      I think you are mistaking something. When you think you are downloading from download.opensuse.org, you are in reality downloading from a mirror. The mirror will be located in the US, if you are located in the US yourself. Some mirrors are better than others. We generally have not enough feedback about mirror “quality” in the US, to better adjust the load sharing between the mirrors. The additional problem is that we lack mirrors in the US in general. So it would be very good if you ask local organizations that run mirrors about mirroring openSUSE. Another thing that would help is if zypper/YaST would make the mirror accesses transparent. Right now, the user gets no idea which mirror is used. I want zypper/YaST to display which mirror is currently being accessed. This would make it much easier to collect useful feedback, and users wouldn’t think that download.opensuse.org is slow. (I have just posted to the zypp-devel at opensuse.org mailing list about it.) A reply from download.opensuse.org maybe takes 15-30 ms, plus overseas latencies. I don’t think it would be a limiting factor for you (not in the US at least).

      • poeml

        Update about the US mirror situation

        During the last days, I have been working with someone from the US to debug
        network installs and gather data on performance of individual mirrors, and I
        actually disabled 4 US mirrors yesterday, which means that the remaining ones
        should give a much better service to you.

        Yes, the mirror situation in the US isn’t very good.

        There are only a few remaining.

        There is a real opportunity that I would like to point out to you guys. It is something that you can do to improve the situation. There is a mirror that most of you know and that is providing good service. It is the only mirror in the US which hosts the build service repositories, so it is really very important to keep it running.
        It is in need of resources to continue mirroring us. So,

        please go to http://us.unixheads.org/?donate and help support this mirror!

        With support from the community, this server can also mirror Factory.


    • Sven

      Simply ask your college or local University to mirror opensuse. Ubuntu does not run any mirror-servers, it’s just the lack of interest of your country’s institutions that makes opensuse look bad.

  3. zak

    Since 11.0 came out I can count on getting 300 to 360 Kbs from download.opensuse.org (in the US). Since my wireless card seems to cap at 400 kbs I think that is pretty good. Much of my troubles with download.opensuse I attribute to the mirrorselector giving me a bad mirror; I’d just pick my own mirror for my repositories. Of course, more and faster mirrors are always appreciated.

  4. > I find http://suse.mirrors.tds.net/pub/opensuse by far the fastest mirror for NA
    I, too, use this mirror exclusively. It contains OSS, non-OSS, and updates. For others (virtualbox,wine.OOo) I just use download.opensuse.org, cause I don’t really care much for the rest.
    I also prefer http://packman.unixheads.com for my packman server. I feel the belgian one is too busy, it being the default.

    • Bharat

      OSS and non-OSS are not accessed frequently. But updates and factory (ex. KDE4) repos are accessed reguarly. Thatswhy I am hoping of mirrors for factory repos. I also find that sometimes mirrors are out of sync w.r.t. updates. Couple of times this caused dependency issues. Also, it would be great if a mirror list is shown when you try to enable a repo. It helps newbies a lot.
      Also there needs to be an option for not at all refreshing a repo even when you choose to refresh all repos manually, because there is no point in refreshing OSS and non-OSS repos and the iso.

      • Fred


        Simply use the browser of your choice, manually navigate into the directory containing the repository for which you want a mirror list and click on one of the “Mirrors” links on the right side (next to “Metalink”).

        Voila, there is your mirror list ;)

        E.g. http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/11.0/repo/oss/EULA.txt?mirrorlist

        • Bharat

          The link you gave is for the mirrors of OSS and non-OSS repos. I am happy with them. What I am hoping for is fast mirrors for factory repos. The current situation is fine for me. But I just want it to get better.

  5. Noname

    Well… now what about the new factory layout?

    The last factory update left my system partially broken, and I’m desperately waiting for the next update to get things going again. However, the old factory repo is dead, the transitional repo hasn’t seen updates for quite some time, and the new one is still empty :(.

  6. sabakka

    When this will be done?

  7. Christopher Estep

    For some reason, unlike Fedora, Ubuntu, or even Mandriva, openSuSE is *not* mirrored by many colleges, universities, or even national laboratories (even Solaris has a better US-based mirror presence, at least in the educational/research area, than openSuSE). Argonne Mational Laboratory is a case in point; it’s easily one of the fastest Linux mirrors in the United States, yet openSuSE is conspicuously missing.