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openSUSE-like update repositories for third party projects

February 22nd, 2009 by

Starting with 11.0, the openSUSE-Education project hosts it’s own, separate update repository. This is our solution for the strategic decision not to use the openSUSE Build Service as repository for endusers but for development only.

So for production purposes, we always recommend to use our frozen repositories on http://download.opensuse-education.org/. But as “frozen” implies, the repositories there are frozen at the time, the openSUSE-Education team declares them as “Goldmaster” (which is the case for all except the 11.1 repo at the moment) – and no package update or changes happens for this repositories.

The openSUSE-Education team has relatively long development and testing cycles – but as everywhere, shi* happens, and so it might be that some of the packages in the frozen repository are broken or need a security fix. For this, we have created update repositories (for at least 11.0 and the upcomming 11.1 Edu-Release) which are disabled per default, but added to the system during installation of the openSUSE-Education-release  package. (Reason behind this decision: if an administrator installs openSUSE-Education in a school, he wants to “mirror” the update repositories and not point every client to the official ones. All a user has to do is to enable this update repository via YaST or via “zypper mr -e ‘openSUSE-Education Updates'”.

We’re using the “updateinfo.xml” file formal described in the openSUSE-Wiki. Currently, we’ve 5 package updates/fixes for 11.0 in the update repository – and this might grow over the time. The updates are shown in the current online-update-applets as “normal” updates like the openSUSE ones. Interestingly, the user can’t see if an update is from the official openSUSE or the openSUSE-Education update repository – even if we use a different “from” tag. Perhaps we have to “play” with the “release” or other tags: testing is needed as it looks like nobody tries this before…

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2 Responses to “openSUSE-like update repositories for third party projects”

  1. Thorsten

    How do you create your update repositories?

    Do you have any scripts or (better) a webinterface to create those “patchinfos”, resp. the updateinfo file?

  2. Thorsten

    BTW: thanks for the whole Education Project! For me it’s one of the greates openSUSE community projects ever seen!

    …and reading your other post here about the build service, I now understand, why the Education project has it’s own repository like Packman. But with your special update repository, you’re even better than Packman! :-)