[tex-live] Off topic: copying tlnet

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Mon Nov 1 15:00:10 CET 2010

On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 9:01 AM, Philip Taylor (Webmaster, Ret'd)
<P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk> wrote:
> Robin Fairbairns wrote:
>> [T]he largest proportion of users of
>> the cambridge node blindly use http -- total is>=10x the bandwidth of
>> ftp+rsync combined ... on a few occasions,>1 tbyte in a day).
> Have you considered using a combination of packet shaping and
> pro-active user education to encourage migration to Rsynch ?

I know rsync works well for updating a mirror but I'm not sure about
using it to install a packages.   I assume the bulk of the traffic
is for "fresh" installs.   If you want to make a local mirror using rsync
you have a bit of work to select the architectures you want.  Maybe
a useful addition to the installer would be an option to either install
directly or to install after first creating a local mirror.

Many sites block rsync at the firewall, so you would have to teach users
how to deal with a larger set of failure modes.    Rsync is not normally
found on windows, so TL would have to provide a version of rsync.  Last
week I discovered that McAfee deletes netcat.exe when you install
ssvnc -- will rsync.exe or wget.exe be next?

As long as the performance using http is acceptable, few people will
be interested.   Maybe if a) rsync is available on the system, and b)
user chooses a mirror for which rsync works then tlmgr could suggest
rsync  (or provide a configuration option "use rsync if available").

The recovery section in <http://www.tug.org/texlive/tlmgr.html> suggests
using an ftp URL with tlmgr and if that fails try rsync.  This will also fail
for many users (either rsync is not installed or it is blocked by a firewall).
If rsync works the user gets a local copy and then runs tlmgr against the
local files.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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