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Welcome to http.debian.net

About http.debian.net

Brought to you by Raphael Geissert, it aims to solve the problem of choosing a Debian mirror, among other issues. The redirector uses the geo and network location of the user and the mirrors, the architecture of the requested files, IP address family, the availability and freshness of the mirrors, and a few other things. It is constantly improved.
The result: it selects the best mirror that can serve the file. Give the demonstration a try!
If you are familiar with cdn.debian.net you should think of http.debian.net as a superior replacement.

Using the redirector

Replace your currently configured Debian mirror in sources.list with the following address:

http://http.debian.net/debian
e.g.
deb http://http.debian.net/debian stable main

You may use it like you would use a primary Debian mirror: binaries, sources, stable, testing, experimental, etc., they are all supported.

Backports (for wheezy):
deb http://http.debian.net/debian wheezy-backports main
Backports (for squeeze):
deb http://http.debian.net/debian-backports squeeze-backports main
Archived releases (archive.debian.org):
http://http.debian.net/debian-archive
Notes

Note: some people test the above URLs by copying&pasting them as-is in their browser. You need to add a slash at the end. E.g. /debian/.

Advantages and other approaches

There are other approaches to solving the problem of choosing a mirror. For a comparison to similar tools, like mirrorbrain, please refer to the README file in the code repository.

Advantages over a good old, specific mirror

Advantages over cdn.debian.net

cdn.debian.net uses a technology called geoDNS. Although this technology has its benefits, such as being protocol-independent, it also has its limitations.
Some of the advantages over such approach include:

Advantages over mirror:// method

Some of the existing advantages over the mirror:// method being developed within apt:

IPv6 support

IPv6 is supported (please refer to the README for the details.)

The plan

There's still a lot that can be done to improve the redirector and APT. If you are interested, please clone the repository and get in touch with me.
There are plans for features such as:

How about local/private mirrors?

The redirector can not send users to a local address. Use a caching proxy.
If you don't have control over the network infrastructure, you might want to look at
apt-p2p.
If you administer a local mirror for your company, university, etc. and want your users to be redirected to it, please get in touch with me. I'd like to work a solution with you.

How about other repositories?

The code can easily be adapted to be used on non-Debian.org repositories. Get in touch with me for the details (they vary as the code is developed).

The code, issues, etc

The code repository is now at github. Feel free to clone it, hack it, send pull requests, report bugs (in the code! see below), etc. If you don't want to create an account there you may send me (Raphael) an email, but I might need some prodding.

Clone it:
https://github.com/rgeissert/http-redirector.git

If you are having issues with the redirector itself, please email me instead. Hash sum mismatches, poor mirror selection, etc., I'd like to know about all that.

Disclaimer

There is no warrant that this service will be uninterrupted or error free. It is provided in the hope that it will be useful but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.