Michael Vogt michael.vogt at ubuntu.com
Fri Jan 13 09:00:04 GMT 2006

On Fri, Jan 13, 2006 at 08:49:55AM +0200, Jonathan Carter wrote:
> Hi Ubuntu devel list
Hi Jonathan,
> I want to know how plausable this is.
> I was thinking this morning about getting the download sizes smaller for
> .deb files (there are probably entire teams of people working on this,
> so this might just be a millionth monkey thing), and I've wondered why
> there aren't a deb format that contains diff's between one release and
> another, let me ellaborate.

This is a interessting topic and there has been a lot of discussion
about it on various mailinglists (notably ubuntu-devel and
debian-devel). Here is also a wiki package about a proposed solution
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/APTPackageDeltas (your idea looks pretty

Another solution that was discussed was using zsync, a rsync-like
system that pushes the computation to the client (avoiding the problem
that normal rsync creates a lot of on the server). See
http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2005/11/msg00023.html for a
discussion about it. The advantage of zsync is that it dosn't require
changes in dpkg and only relatively small changes in apt (a new
fetch-method needs to be written). zsync would have to be enhanced to
understand about debs to make this solution work. 

I personally like the zsync based approach most, because it makes the
handling of diffs uniform, we can zsync Packages.gz, Sources.gz,
Content.gz, *.deb, *.tar.gz with it.

Linux is not The Answer. Yes is the answer. Linux is The Question. - Neo

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