Setting Up a pacman Repository for Archlinux

Last night, I finally got around to recompiling my own vim binary through abs. I wanted X title bar support, and the python interpreter so that one of these days I can set up PHP debugging with x-debug.

Users of emacs can kindly redirect themselves to /dev/null. </religion>

Everything went off without a hitch; package compiled and installed fine, and I got a bonus gvim package to go with it. (On an unrelated note, anybody want a mint condition gvim package with ruby and python support compiled in? Has never even been opened; I don't even know if it works.) The dependencies are a little off (now requires libxt, ruby 1.9, and python 2.6), but I already had everything installed, so it was fine for me.

Then I went through and installed an ftp server on my latest test box and got the package added to the repository. It turns out that the name of the repo is important, which is a double edged sword. On the plus side, you can host multiple repositories on the same server without the huge directory tree required of other distros (*cough*ubuntu*cough*). On the other hand, it means that it took some trial and error to get the pacman.conf entry right:

Server = ftp://hostname.example.com/

This actually downloads ftp://hostname.example.com/repository-name.db.tar.gz, which isn't what I would have expected. It's succinct, but means that you have to know the server's internal name for the repo (as opposed to, say, http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/lucid/main/).

The other gotcha that wasn't clear from the Arch wiki is that the packages and the db file must live in the same directory. It looks like the following should work:

root@mirror:/srv/ftp# repo-add pkgs/vim-7.2-1-i686.pkg.tar.xz repository.db.tar.gz

and everything appears to work perfectly until you try and actually download repository/vim. The db entry doesn't store the full path, so you can simply move pkgs/*.tar.xz into the root of the ftp server and everything will magically start working.

Finally, pure-ftpd >> GNU inetutils ftpd. It supports IPv6, has rate-limiting, throttling, and chroot() built in, and permits anonymous, password-less logins. The motd at client connect I'm not crazy about, but that doesn't show up in pacman, so I don't much care. IPv6, on the other hand, means not having to deal with silly things like NAT. And we all know how well ftp works with NAT (hint: PASV is a hack that can now go the way of IE6).

So, now I have a native IPv6 arch repository that I can packages I compile from abs into. Let the hacking begin!

For those interested in what I'm up to:

Server = ftp://ftp.tingar.uni.cx/


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