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It turns out when you run debmirror on CentOS 7 from EPEL, it sneakily (not really) lays down a configuration file in /etc/debmirror.conf. Despite the ‘-d‘ argument, e.g. ‘-d xenial,xenial-security,xenial-updates‘, it happily tries to mirror the sid distribution. I saw other people having this problems and it was maddeningly to finally figure it out at 2 AM. So here’s to all you intrepid Google searchers:

Running debmirror with options something like this:

debmirror -a amd64 --no-source -s main,restricted,universe,multiverse \
  -h archive.ubuntu.com -r /ubuntu --progress -e rsync \
  -d xenial,xenial-security,xenial-updates /mnt/dist/ubuntu/16.04.3/amd64

Does this:

*** Processing arch: amd64
Mirroring to /mnt/dist/ubuntu/16.04.3/amd64 from rsync://anonymous@archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/
Arches: amd64,amd64
Dists: sid,xenial,xenial-security,xenial-updates
Sections: main,main/debian-installer,contrib,non-free,main,restricted,universe,multiverse
Pdiff mode: use
Download at most 200 files per rsync call.
Will clean up after mirroring.
Attempting to get lock ...

And it finally dies downloading dists/sid/Release even though we didn’t specify it on the command line.

Ubuntu Release file: using Suite (xenial-updates).
 Download of dists/sid/Release failed
Failed to download some Release or Release.gpg files!

The sid coming from /etc/debmirror.conf (the comment at the top about overrides is fucking lies):

# Options specified on the command line override settings in the config
# files.


So change this to whichever dists and architectures you want, or comment these out of the config files.

I haven’t figured out a proper patch/config for this, at this point I’m not sure I really care this much. The internet seems to thing disabling signature checks is a good idea, and they’re WRONG. This is important to ensure integrity of your downloads, to ensure you’re getting the right goods and they’re completely downloaded.

If I stick fiddling with Ubuntu maybe I’ll come out with a better config.

6 Responses to “debmirror defaults to downloading ‘sid’ if you like it or not”

  1. Rye says:

    Bro, you just saved me a bunch of time! Tx!!

  2. Michael says:

    Thanks – this saved me a lot of frustration!

  3. Sebastian says:

    This still helps in 2020. Thank you!

  4. Lynx says:

    Thanks for your information. It saved me lots of hours work!

  5. DanP says:

    Thanks so much for this, still saved me hours in 2022

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