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How to mirror ASF software releases locally

NOTE - as of August, 2021, the ASF itself is not accepting further mirror site applications.

Organizations may wish to create a download mirror that includes the releases of most or all of the Apache Software Foundation's projects. You may mirror either the full distributions tree, or a reduced tree that excludes a few very resource-intensive (disk-wise and bandwidth-wise) projects (see Mirroring techniques).

Here is how to set up such a mirror.

Requirements

Hosting a mirror has a few requirements:

  • You should have at least 150 GB of available disk space. The current distribution directory is around 110 GB, but it is constantly expanding.
  • You should not trim or abridge the mirrored tree in any way.
  • You should not modify the mirrored tree in any way. In particular, you should not alter or remove HEADER.html or README.html files. See below for adding information about the mirror host.

We encourage you to

  • do an update-check at least four times a day a day. You may sync a maximum of six times per day, but only if you have a slow or poor connection that causes timeouts.
  • run the Apache HTTP Server version 2.2 or later and use the following configuration for your web mirror to allow all the features of our download site to function optimally:
<Directory /path/to/mirror>
  IndexOptions FancyIndexing NameWidth=* FoldersFirst ScanHTMLTitles DescriptionWidth=*
  HeaderName HEADER.html
  ReadmeName README.html
  AllowOverride FileInfo Indexes
  Options Indexes SymLinksIfOwnerMatch FollowSymLinks
  ErrorDocument 404 default
</Directory>

Note that our HEADER.html files do not contain the HTML preamble, so it is important not to enable the SuppressHTMLPreamble option.

Make sure that the server does not send a Content-Encoding header for any of the compressed archives. The hashes and signatures used to check downloads are created for the compressed archives so it is vital that the browser is not told to decompress them. For example, .tar.gz and .tgz files are compressed TAR files. They should have a suitable Content-Type - e.g. application/x-gzip - but no Content-Encoding should be sent. If the server incorrectly sends Content-Encoding: x-gzip (for example), many browsers will automatically decompress the response. This produces a TAR file which will not verify when checked against the hashes or sigs.

Mirroring techniques

Updating

We only support rsync for updating mirrors.

Update your mirror with:

rsync -avz --delete --safe-links rsync.apache.org::apache-dist /path/to/mirror
  • Don't rsync "on the hour" (cronjob minute 0). Pick a random minute between 5 and 55. Never run cronjobs at minute 0 unless the nature of the job requires it.
  • Run the job four times a day; no more than six times a day in any case.
  • Check the output from the rsync job regularly so you can detect problems like lack of disk space or permission issues.

Excluding resource-intensive projects

To exclude resource-intensive projects, replace ::apache-dist with ::apache-dist-most. Do not use --exclude.

Directory permissions

If there is a problem with file/directory permissions, make sure you use a proper umask in your cronjob:

umask 022 ; rsync ...

Excluded file types

Private mirrors of ASF downloads cannot host the following file types:

exclude => ['/tmp/', '*.md5', '*.MD5', '*.sha1', '*.sha',
           '*.sha256', '*.sha512', '*.asc', 'MD5SUM', 'SHA*SUM*',
           '*.mds', '*.sha2', '*.sha3', 'META',
           '*.sig', '*.KEYS', 'KEYS', 'KEYS.txt', 
           '.svn/', '/.rsync.td/',
           '/openoffice',
           '/zzz/rsync-module/apache-dist', '.revision'],

Mirror host information

Here is how to add information explaining who is hosting the private download mirror:

  1. Edit the file /local/path/to/mirror/README.html
  2. Add to your rsync options --exclude "/README.html"

The contents of README.html appear near the bottom of your mirror's home page.

  • Only customize the home-page (top-level) README.html. Do not change any other README.html files.
  • Don't omit the '/' in "/README.html".

Please limit the contents of the README.html to something like:

This mirror is donated by www.domain.com [url] to support the Apache open source community.

Search engines interpret referring to specific services or products as PageRank manipulation. This could hurt your site's ranking.

Testing your mirror

If your mirror is not working properly, check the following:

  • Page headers and footers display correctly.
  • All top-level directories and files on the ASF mirror are present on your mirror.
  • Download a couple of files to check that the process works.
  • Trying to download a missing file should generate a 404 Not Found error. You can verify this by modifying one of the valid URLs that you tested above.

Verifying the download

If you want to verify that the download is a true mirror of what the ASF project posted, using KEYS and signatures, THIS INFORMATION IS COMING.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact us at users@infra.apache.org.

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