Small http based apt repository howto

Introduction

Imagine that you have created and released some rpms, it is now possible to provide the same rpms via your own apt repository on your internet service provider (ISP) http pages. The only thing you need is enough disk space at your ISP.


The procedure

  1. Make sure you've the tools provided by the "apt-rpm" project installed.
    Test this by executing: "which genbasedir" and "which genpkglist", which must result in respectively: /usr/bin/genbasedir and /usr/bin/genpkglist or something similar. Or check if you have the rpm "apt" installed: rpm -qi apt. The sources can be downloaded from AptRpm.

  2. Create a directory structure like
    ..../<architecture>/RPMS.<name>
    ..../<architecture>/SRPMS.<name>

    here <name> may be any arbitrary name. However, easy to understand names are: unstable, tested and stable. You're adviced to use 1 of those 3.

    Example: /home/joe/public_html/<i386>/RPMS.unstable

  3. Copy your binary rpms to the directory: ..../<architecture>/RPMS.<name>

  4. Copy your source rpms to the directory: ..../<architecture>/SRPMS.<name>

  5. Use the tool "genbasedir" to create the apt database(s). The databases will end up in: ..../<architecture>/base. The directory base is created by the tool genbasedir.
    Example:
    genbasedir --progress --flat --bz2only /home/joe/public_html/i386 tested
    
    or
    genbasedir --progress --flat --bz2only /home/joe/public_html/i386
    

  6. Create the same relative directory structure as created under 2) in your webserver (remote/ISP environment). This is the directory structure:
    <architecture>/base
    <architecture>/RPMS.<name> and
    <architecture>/SRPMS.<name>

  7. You must now upload the files located at your harddisk in the directories: base, RPMS.<name> and SRPMS.<name> to the same directories in your webserver environment.

  8. It's now time to compose the uri that will be stored in the /etc/apt/sources.list file at your client's system.

    Let's assume that you created the directory structure under your home directory at the webserver and the url for your webserver is: http://www.apt.com/joe.

    This will result in the following uri:
    rpm      http://www.apt.com/joe     <architecture>     <name>
    rpm-src   http://www.apt.com/joe     <architecture>     <name>

    Example:
    rpm      http://www.apt.com/joe     i386     tested
    rpm-src   http://www.apt.com/joe     i386     tested

  9. You now have created an APT repository. Last thing to do is to announce your repository to the world. If you sent a mail to here you will be listed at the apt4rpm repository page.

An example of an http based apt repository can be found here (homevision) and here (apt for SuSE).

The /etc/apt/sources.list uri for this repository is:
rpm http://home.wanadoo.nl/sbron i386 untested

The archive name "i386" above may be replaced by e.g. <distribution>/<version>-<architecture>
This would than result in
rpm http://www.apt.com/joe okna/2002-i386 untested


Have fun. I'm looking forward to many http based apt repositories!


Last modified: 10 November 2002
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