[Whonix-devel] Whonix mirror system issues

Patrick Schleizer adrelanos at riseup.net
Thu Apr 9 20:31:28 CEST 2015

Hi Mick!

The current mirror system is somehow maintenance, time intensive.

Every now and then, some mirrors is offline. Then I need to mail the
mirror operator and wait until they fixed the issue. If I expect the
mirror operattor to take longer than it would take until that IP has
been removed from global DNS caches, I need to go to gandi webinterface
and manually remove the IP from round robin. Then wait until the global
DNS has been updated. Until then x of y users fail to download Whonix
images, Whonix packages or Whonix News. This generates support requests.
Once the mirror operator fixed the issue, I need to re-add the IP to
round robin.

The more mirrors added, the more issues of that kind.

In meanwhile, what could users be told to at least be able to download?
Other than "try again later, maybe you're lucky by then". For Firefox
there is only a now somewhat broken DNS flusher add-on. How else could
users flush DNS and force use some other IP from round robin? I know how
to do it with curl, but how with browsers and apt-get?

I am wondering if a php script on whonix.org would do better. One that
randomly [or round robin alike] redirects to a mirror IP from a list,
where temporarily defunct ones can be easily commented out from a simple
text file. A php script that in essence instructs the requester to do
something like this:
curl -H 'Host: mirror.whonix.de' -k

Does that sound possible, sane?

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