Sunday, 2 February 2020

Rebuilding a mirror - Fedora EPEL mirroring and Apache config

This follows on from the previous post: Fedora does things differently. EPEL is a sub-project: software packaged for CentOS/Red Hat Enterprise Linux by the Fedora Project maintainers.

Mirroring Fedora appears to be unusual if you're not a major (Tier 1) mirror.

The Fedora Wiki page at
is very useful.

Public mirrors are required to have minimum bandwidth and, ideally, to include everything. Fedora is large: fedora-buffet is the whole thing under /pub to download for those who have many TB to spare. fedora-enchilada is everything under /pub/fedora (including the Fedora distribution itself), fedora-epel is EPEL alone.

Public mirrors are required to register with the Fedora Account System [FAS]: those undertaking private mirroring are requested to mirror from Tier1 mirrors or below. The script below relies on mirrors which include fedora-buffet. These are used to achieve rsync speed-ups (by accessing cached bundles of timestamps to speed up differential transfers based on the time files changed).

Since I'm not running a public mirror and not reporting back to the public mirror network stats using mirror-manager, I needed to find a Tier1 mirror that would permit me to mirror privately and my nearest is Hoch Schule Esslingen at

The suggested mirroring script is quick-fedora-mirror available from Fedora's git repositories at This is licensed under Creative Commons CC0.

The script is written in zsh (with features not included in bash or other shells) and Python3 so I had to do a quick apt-get install zsh. There is a quick-fedora-mirror.conf.dist file included as a template for editing. The suggestion for the completed quick-fedora-mirror.conf file is to move it to /etc

The script requires space somewhere to store a couple of files: timefile and timefile.prev which record the times that the script was last run. I found it easier to just put these into /home/mirror and I copied the quick-fedora-mirror script itself into /usr/local/bin/

One easy mistake to make: this script should be configured to write into the top level directory - so into /srv/mirrors rather than /srv/mirrors/epel or you end up with /srv/mirrors/epel/epel

Apache2 configuration

This was relatively easy - set the document root to /srv/mirrors by uncommenting the relevant lines for /srv in /etc/apache2/apache.conf and amend the /etc/apache2/000-default to show /srv/mirrors as the new DocumentRoot

This results in the six separate directories all being appropriately served under http://localhost as /centos, /debian, /debian-cd, /epel, /ubuntu and /ubuntu-releases.

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