[packman] Packman repository switch: state of things

Pascal Bleser pascal.bleser at opensuse.org
Fri Mar 4 09:59:35 CET 2011

(warning, way too long email ahead)

After many hours of work, Marc and I still identified a few
issues with our safe repository transfer and delayed it (again)
until Monday, as Marc is unavailable until then.

State of the Uni^H^H^HPackman:

- as announced, the old repositories (/suse/11.1, /suse/11.2,
  /suse/11.3) have been deleted

- we created symbolic links to avoid breaking the old URLs:
  /suse/11.1 ---> /suse/Evergreen_11.1
  /suse/11.2 ---> /suse/openSUSE_11.2
  /suse/11.3 ---> /suse/openSUSE_11.3
  /suse/11.4 ---> /suse/openSUSE_11.4

  That means that unless you want to switch to the more
  fine-grained repositories (e.g. only Essentials + Multimedia),
  you don't have to change anything to your current URLs in zypp

- the /suse/kde3 repository has been deleted and has not been
  replaced -- if there is a lot of demand for also having
  Packman built against e.g. 11.4 + K:D:F, then we might
  consider building that too, but our amount of build power
  might be too limited for that

- the repository metadata and the packages are still signed with
  two different keys (as it was for the past year or two), which
  is highly annoying as that causes zypp not to automatically
  import the key -- we definitely want(ed) to fix that, but rpm
  utterly failed at re-signing the keys, will have to

- the website (http://packman.links2linux.org) might still have
  minor glitches here and there, we ran into a few "interesting"
  corner cases and a few ludicrous limitations of MySQL, but it
  should mostly be fine (openSUSE 11.4 doesn't show up yet, should
  be fixed in a couple of hours)

- our OBS instance is still directly rsyncing into the public
  repository tree that is read by mirrors, which may cause
  incomplete or corrupt repositories to be synced to mirrors,
  specifically when a mirror server is pulling with rsync from
  the same directory our OBS is pushing into
  (but that only means that you might run into errors while
  trying to install packages, it does not endanger the security
  of the packages); that will be fixed by next week, hopefully,
  as Marc and I can continue to work on the process we designed
  for it -- if and when it happens, the repository is likely to
  be fixed with the next mirror pull, which is typically one
  hour later

- the "community repositories" in YaST2 still point to the "big"
  repository, it's on my TODO to adapt it to the new layout
  (hence, it works, but doesn't offer the option of using the
  smaller "only-what-you-need" repositories) -- but I did add
  11.4 already, not yet Tumbleweed and Evergreen_11.1

- the wiki pages on http://w.opensu.se/ are not up-to-date yet,
  will have to document the new layout

- http://r.opensu.se is not updated yet either, on my TODO list

- as said before, we now build Essentials for:
  * openSUSE 11.4
  * openSUSE 11.3
  * openSUSE 11.2
  * Evergreen 11.1 (use that if you're still on 11.1)
  * Tumbleweed
  * Factory (snapshot)
  those are all published, on the mirrors, and can be used

- the other repositories (Multimedia, Extra, Games) are
  currently only built for 11.2, 11.3 and 11.4 (the only reason
  being build power)

- we still don't have a proper bug tracker, some other members
  of the Packman team still need to be convinced that it's
  useful and better suited than emails

- the .repo files are there too now (maybe not on the mirrors
  yet, but that'd be only a matter of an hour for them to be
  synced); examples:
  * /suse/openSUSE_11.4/packman.repo
  * /suse/openSUSE_11.4/Essentials/packman-essentials.repo
  * /suse/openSUSE_11.4/Multimedia/packman-multimedia.repo

The latter means that for adding the "full" Packman repository
for 11.4, this is what you need to do:

zypper ar -r \

If you only want to add the Essentials and Multimedia
repositories, do this:

zypper ar -r \
zypper ar -r \

For a list of mirrors:
(but don't use the one on skynet.be)

Note that all the repositories depend on Essentials and, hence,
if you add Multimedia, Extra or Games, you *must* also take care
of adding Essentials. As there are no mechanisms to define
dependencies between repositories, nothing will check that for
you, you have to do it yourself.
Obviously, if you use the "big" repository, you shouldn't add
Essentials, as its packages are in the "big" metadata too.

If you would like to contribute and help us, there are several

(but in no particular order)

1) If you have packaging experience, help us maintain our
   packages: we use our instance of the openSUSE Build Service
   so it's all business as usual (web UI, osc, SRs, ...).
   You can register a user at
   and then poke me by email to confirm your account.
   Note that our OBS instance is *public*, which means that you
   can see all our packages, our spec files, etc... -- reviews
   and hints are always welcome, and it's even possible without
   an account on our OBS: http://pmbs.links2linux.org

2) If you have big iron servers idling around, we could use some
   more OBS workers, especially if users want us to build more
   combinations (e.g. Multimedia also for Evergreen and
   Tumbleweed, Essentials and Multimedia also against K:D:F,
   etc...). We use openVPN to interconnect our workers with our
   main OBS server.

3) If you have a bit of spare time on your hands, you could
   update the wiki pages about Packman and "restricted formats"
   at http://w.opensu.se -- if you don't have an account there
   yet, you may create an account here:
   and then poke me by email to confirm it

4) Same as above, that wiki has pretty much the same setup as
   the Mediawiki on opensuse.org and also supports
   So if you want to help us translate those pages... see above

5) If you run a mirror and would like to mirror Packman too,
   please let us know at packman at links2linux.de -- especially if
   the server is not in Europe (mirror coverage is not too
   shabby there).
   Note that the Packman repositories are pretty large though,
   and updated /very/ often. Oh, and they're being hammered by
   millions of openSUSE users too ;)
   Our current list of mirrors:
   (although the one on skynet.be is a dead cow, unfortunately,
   I need to remove it from that list)

6) Use and test our packages and when you run into issues,
   please let us know on packman at links2linux.de

7) Due to the migration of our packages, we didn't port
   everything (as explained in one of my previous posts) so if
   you notice a package you totally need which isn't in our
   repositories right now, please let us know at
   packman at links2linux.de
   (I hope you start to notice the pattern here.. ;))

8) Please don't be mad at us if you report issues and they're
   not fixed in the next hour -- it sometimes even takes a few
   days, and poking us a few times can help too. We all do it
   during our spare time, after working on something more boring
   all day, and the ratio of packages to packagers is insane
   (see point 1 above ;))

9) Please invent a time continuum distorter to give us 72 hours
   of free time a day. That would be awesome.

10) Have a lot of fun, because every 10 point list needs 10

Sorry for the inconveniences that might arise from the current
situation (which will hopefully be fixed by Monday or Tuesday
next week), but there are only so many hours in a day (err..
night) :\

Oh, and thanks for reading so far. I know, this email is way too

  -o) Pascal Bleser
  /\\ http://opensuse.org -- we haz green
 _\_v http://fosdem.org   -- we haz conf
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