APT-MOVE(8) System Manager's Manual APT-MOVE(8)
apt-move - move cache of Debian packages into a mirror hierarchy.
apt-move [-c conffile] [-d dist] [-afqt] command
The apt-move script is used to move a collection of Debian package
files into a proper archive hierarchy of the form $LOCALDIR/pool/...
where LOCALDIR is specified in the configuration file. It is intended
as a tool to help manage the apt-get(8) file cache, but could be con-
figured to work with any collection of Debian packages.
Additionally, using the sync and mirror commands, you can build your
own local mirror of portions of a selected binary and/or source distri-
Running apt-move periodically will assist in managing the resulting
partial mirror by (optionally) removing obsolete packages and creating
valid local Packages.gz and Sources.gz.
The following commands are accepted by apt-move:
get [ dir ]
This generates the master files using Packages and Sources files
from the apt(8) cache. The master files are used to keep track
of what packages are available, and where packages should be
installed. If dir is specified, it will be used in lieu of the
getlocal [ dir ]
This is an alias of get. It may be removed in future releases.
move Moves a collection of packages into the local mirror tree. Uses
existing master files (see get) to repair any mangling done to
the package names. Any packages that aren't listed in the mas-
ter files or are obsolete will be left in the file cache direc-
tory. Obsolete packages will also be copied into the archive
but they will be removed after the next delete operation. In
the these two cases, the package is considered to have been
delete Delete obsolete package files. Configurable through the DELETE
and MAXDELETE settings in the /etc/apt-move.conf file (see the
CONFIGURATION section below). It also deletes any index files
of packages that are no longer in the archive. This means that
you can simply delete packages from the archive without affect-
ing its consistency as long as you run the delete command after-
Builds new local versions of Packages.gz and Sources.gz files.
fsck Rebuilds all index files used to make Packages and Sources files
and reprocess all packages in the archive by calling movefile on
them. Use this if you are upgrading from an old version (<<
4.2) of apt-move.
update This is an alias, equivalent to 'get move delete packages'.
This is the preferred method for moving package files from your
cache into a local mirror.
local This is an alias, equivalent to 'move delete packages'.
This is an alias for update. It may be removed in future
mirror This command automatically runs get, then uses /usr/lib/apt-
move/fetch and apt-get(8) to download any packages missing from
your mirror. The downloaded files will be installed into the
repository using move. Finally, it runs packages and exits.
See the DIST and PKGTYPE settings in /etc/apt-move.conf. Before
using this command, you need to set up a $LOCALDIR/.exclude file
containing patterns to exclude unwanted files from your mirror.
See the SAMPLE.exclude file for an example. See also the
Exclude file section of NOTES below. Note that this command
will only mirror packages for the architecture that you are run-
ning on. It will, however, mirror all source packages.
sync Similar to the mirror function, but only gets the packages that
are currently installed on your system. It uses dpkg(8)
--get-selections to find out what files to download. It will
skip any files that match one of the patterns in the
$LOCALDIR/.exclude file (if it exists). sync will get the lat-
est versions of the packages, regardless of the version cur-
rently installed on your system (think about it).
This command is used to test your $LOCALDIR/.exclude pattern
file. It will go through the master lists and print any file
that matches one of the patters in $LOCALDIR/.exclude. This
will show you exactly what files you have EXCLUDED from your
mirror. The -t (test) flag has no affect on this command. This
uses your existing master files, and does not require an inter-
This command is similar to move. Instead of moving files from
FILECACHE, it will move the files specified on the command line.
listbin [ mirror | sync | repo ]
This command prints a list of packages which may serve as the
input to mirrorbin or mirrorsrc. If the argument is mirror or
sync, it will produce the same lists that the mirror and sync
commands use. If the argument is repo, the list produced will
contain the packages that are currently in the apt-move reposi-
This command will fetch the list of packages specified on the
standard input, and place them into the archive in the same way
as mirror does.
This commands acts like mirrorbin, except that it fetches source
packages instead of binary ones.
The following options are available from the command line:
-a Process all packages. By default, commands like listbin and
mirrorbin only process packages that differ in version between
the apt-move repository and the archive being mirrored. This
option causes all packages to be considered even if the apt-move
repository already contains the latest version.
Use conffile as the configuration file instead of
Use dist as the default suite instead of the value of DIST from
the configuration file.
-f Forces deletion of files even when the percentage of files to
delete exceeds the MAXDELETE setting. This is useful if
apt-move aborts with an error saying that too many files would
be deleted, and you want to delete the files anyway. (Use with
caution.) If you get this error, using -ft will show you the
complete list of files, so you can verify them before you use
-q Suppresses normal output. This option is useful when apt-move
is used in a non-interactive script.
-t Makes a 'test run' and reports what WOULD be done for option but
does not modify any of the cache or mirror files.
Before using apt-move, edit the /etc/apt-move.conf file to match your
local setup. Always remember to use the test parameter after any
change in your configuration to make sure it will work like you want it
to. You may also want to set the DELETE option to no to turn off file
deletes until everything else is working successfully.
The file is read as a Bourne shell script. So you must obey the syn-
tactical rules of sh(1). In particular, values with spaces in them
must be quoted with single or double quotes.
The following settings are recognized by apt-move (shown here with
Set this to the names of sites in your /etc/apt/sources.list
that you wish to mirror. The value /all/ refers to all non-file
This is the full (absolute) path to your debian directory (the
top of your local mirror).
This is the default suite assigned to packages when the Release
file is missing. It does not have any effect on whether a suite
is stored in the archive.
Set this to your choice of: binary, source or both to tell the
mirror, sync and movefile which type(s) of files to get.
The directory where your local cache of packages are. The
default will work for the apt-get(8) packages, unless you've
changed the configuration in /etc/apt/apt.conf.
The directory to your local cache of Packages files. The default
will work for the apt-get(8) packages, unless you've changed the
configuration in /etc/apt/apt.conf.
Determines whether obsolete packages (packages not listed in the
master file, or packages that have been superceded in the repos-
itory) are to be removed.
Maximum percentage of files apt-move is allowed to delete during
a normal run. Anything exceeding this will produce an error and
abort the script. I added this as a precaution so that you
won't lose your entire mirror when a new distribution is
released. You can override this (with caution) using the -f
parameter with apt-move.
If this is set to yes, then move and movefile will copy instead
of move. That is, the originals will be left alone.
This should be set to a space-separated list of compression for-
mats that apt-move should provide when generating Packages and
Sources files. The possible values are none, gzip and bzip2.
If this is set to yes, then packages will generate Contents
For the sync and mirror commands to function correctly, you need to
list your apt-move repository at the top of /etc/apt/sources.list as a
Configuration file for the script.
The temporary files created at runtime.
Utility to fetch files just like apt-get install -d. Except
that no dependency analysis is done.
Put entries of local packages here. The fields are ``package
priority section source version task'' for the binary file, and
``package priority section version'' for the source file. The
version field may be set to a single dash to refer to the latest
version in the archive. Blank lines and lines beginning with a
hash are ignored.
The mirror command uses a file in the $LOCALDIR/ directory called
'.exclude' which contains exclude patterns that are applied against the
files to be mirrored. These patterns were created with the following
limitation: they must work the same with with grep(1), after any '*'
characters are removed. Unless you're careful setting this up, you'll
get unexpected results. Run 'apt-move -t mirror' first, to make sure
you're getting the results you intended. Another way to verify your
exclude file is the use the exclude command for apt-move to print a
list of files your are excluding from your mirror. See the sample
.exclude file (SAMPLE.exclude) for an example of an .exclude file.
The apt-move mirror and sync commands do not test for available disk
space. The current potato (main binary) distribution is over 1Gb in
size. Add the sources to that and it can eat up the space on a parti-
tion really fast. I would advise you to put your mirror somewhere other
than the root partition. Set up your exclude file and run apt-move -t
mirror and examine the result.
Since apt-move gets the suite names from Release files, which usually
use the names stable, testing and unstable, the suites in the reposi-
tory are named accordingly. You can simulate the code names by creat-
ing symbolic links in the dists directory. For example, in order to
make testing equivalent to sarge, you could run ln -s testing
$LOCALDIR/dists/sarge. Alternatively, you could delete the testing
subdirectory and run ln -s sarge $LOCALDIR/dists/testing. This will
cause future executions of the get operation to use sarge whenever it
sees testing in the Release file.
apt-move may exit with one of the following error messages:
Could not read configuration.
apt-move could not find the /etc/apt-move.conf file. Run the
Could not create directory.
For some reason, a necessary directory could not be created.
You failed to select a distribution.
You did not configure a DIST setting in /etc/apt-move.conf.
You specified an invalid package type.
You can only use binary, source or both for the PKGTYPE setting.
No master files exist!
You need to run apt-ve with the get command at least once in
order to create the master files which determine where packages
are to be installed.
bc calculation returned invalid result
apt-move uses the bc(1) program to determine when the number of
files to delete will exceed the MAXDELETE setting in
apt-move.conf. If you get this error, make sure that MAXDELETE
is set to a number in the range of 1 to 100, without the % sign.
Otherwise you need to report this as a bug.
Too many files to delete!
apt-move will report this error if the number of files to be
deleted exceeds the MAXDELETE setting in apt-move.conf. You
need to study the output to determine if this is normal (in
which case you can override this using the force parameter), or
if its due to some drastic change on the mirror site (like a new
release) or possibly due to a partial download of the master
Packages.gz or Sources.gz file.
Your current mirror directory is incompatible...
You have just upgraded from an old version of apt-move. Update
your configuration, then run apt-move fsck and finally remove
Could not read Release files.
apt-move could not read the release files needed to build the
master files. Make sure you have run apt-get update and try
Failed to remove original files.
apt-move could not remove the original copies of files that have
just entered the apt-move archive. Make sure that you have per-
mission to delete those files.
Please remove $LOCALDIR/backup.
You must remove LOCALDIR/backup before running the fsck command.
Unknown DIST setting.
The value of DIST must match the Archive field in the Release
file of the distribution that you are trying to mirror.
The exclusion system was designed prior to the introduction to the
package pools. Hence its content still relates to the old structure of
the Debian archive. This is confusing and it should be replaced with a
new exclusion system.
The DIST variable does not control what is actually downloaded by the
fetch utility. It should have a similar effect to that of apt-get -t.
Michael Merten <mikemertenATyahoo.com>
Herbert Xu <herbertATdebian.org>
APT-MOVE 2002 Oct 7th APT-MOVE(8)