Arepa - Apt REPository Assistant
Arepa (Apt REPository Assistant) is a suite of tools to manage a Debian package repository. It has the following features:
dput): checking its signature, approving it, re-building it from source, updating the repository and signing it, and optionally sending the repository changes to another server (e.g. the production static web server serving the repository).
To use Arepa, you first must decide how you want your repositories to look like, then configure Arepa to do what you want. The recommended way of configuring Arepa is:
Unfortunately, at this point there are a bunch of steps that aren't automated yet. This will hopefully improve in the future.
Each of the sections below explain each point in detail:
First of all,
you have to know which distribution(s) you want to manage.
you would be interested in only one,
For the sake of the example,
let's assume you want to manage two distributions: one called
Each one of those will contain extra packages for the Debian distributions "squeeze" and "lenny" (so they will have to be compiled in those environments).
Once you have decided this,
you also have to decide which aliases your distributions will have.
This is useful because incoming packages for those alias distributions will work.
you probably want to accept incoming source packages meant for
so you can say that
unstable is an alias for
there's another possibility that you might want: having a source package compiled for several distributions.
This doesn't always work of course,
but it's useful in some cases.
In this example,
say that you want source packages meant for
unstable compiled for both
In that case,
you can say that
unstable is an alias for
then say that you want binNMUs for all other distributions you want the package compiled for.
Once you have the list of distributions, along with their aliases and possibly binNMUs triggers, you can go ahead to the next section.
Once you have a clear idea of the distributions you want,
you have to register them into your repository.
To do that,
arepa-admin with the codename as first parameter and suite as second parameter (optional).
By default it will create a distribution with one component
main and two architectures (
source and the current architecture as reported by
You can change those defaults,
and even add new fields (like
AlsoAcceptFor and similar,
arepa-admin createdistribution mysqueeze arepa-admin createdistribution --arch "amd64 source" mysqueeze arepa-admin createdistribution --components "main contrib" mysqueeze arepa-admin createdistribution --extra-field version:5.0 mysqueeze
This will update both
/var/arepa/repository/conf/distributions and the repository itself (by calling
Note that the
Codename should be the distribution name, and you can specify the first alias as the
Suite. The rest of the aliases you can specify in a field
AlsoAcceptFor, like so:
arepa-admin createdistribution --extra-field "alsoacceptfor:squeeze stable" \ mysqueeze
Now, make sure you have GPG key for the special user
arepa-master. That will be the GPG key used to sign the repository. To do so, simply type:
# su - arepa-master $ gpg --gen-key
And follow the instructions. Make sure that key doesn't have a passphrase.
The next step is to configure the web interface. Make sure that you can access the application from the URL path
/arepa/arepa.cgi and that it works properly. You have a sample configuration file in
apache.conf. If you have installed the Debian package, everything should be already in place, and the only step you should follow is:
# a2ensite arepa
Other steps you have to follow in any case:
/etc/arepa/users.ymland add a line per user. The passwords should be hashed with MD5. For example, you can use:
echo -n "mypassword" | md5sum -
sudoso users in the group
/usr/bin/arepa issynced. You can add these lines in
%arepa ALL = (arepa-master) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/arepa sign %arepa ALL = (arepa-master) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/arepa sync %arepa ALL = (arepa-master) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/arepa issynced
/var/arepa/keyrings/uploaders.gpg). You can do that in the web interface itself.
Note that your upload queue is by default at
/var/arepa/upload-queue, but you can change it in the configuration file
Finally, you need to create an autobuilder for every combination of distribution and architecture you want (in this case, let's say
amd64). If you are in an amd64 environment, you can create a builder for the i386 architecture by passing the special option
--arch i386 to
To create an autobuilder, simply execute this command as root:
arepa-admin createbuilder BUILDERDIR \ ftp://ftp.XX.debian.org/debian \ DISTRIBUTION
arepa-admin createbuilder /var/chroot/squeezebuilder \ ftp://ftp.no.debian.org/debian \ squeeze
That will create a builder running Debian squeeze in
/var/chroot/squeezebuilder. Once it's ready, you might want to make sure that the
/etc/apt/sources.list is correct.
IMPORTANT WARNING NOTE: once you have created a builder chroot, it will automatically bind certain files (
/etc/passwd and others) from the "host" machine. So, if you
rm -rf the chroot, you'll delete
/etc/passwd in your machine. Make sure you "uninit" the builder first:
arepa-admin uninit squeezebuilder
Check the output of
mount before removing the builder just in case!
When Arepa is completely configured, you'll have the following "points of entry":
The web interface to approve packages, check compilation status and have an overview of the repository contents.
The repository itself. This is a "local" or "staging" copy that the autobuilders will use. As you probably don't want to serve the repository to your real users from the same machine that hosts CGIs and whatnot, you can easily send the repository to the final machine using
This utility allows you to inspect the compilation queue and insert new requests into it. Note that you're expected to run this utility as the
arepa-master user, at least for some of the operations.
This utility allows you to do certain "admin" operations that require root permissions, like creating new autobuilders. Must be run as root.
At least binNMUs (binary NMUs) don't work with sbuild 0.59 (the version shipped with Ubuntu Lucid Lynx). Both 0.57 (Debian Lenny) and 0.60 (Debian Squeeze) should be fine, although you might get warnings in 0.60 due to the use of old-style configuration key names, needed for Debian Lenny compatibility.
Esteban Manchado Velázquez <email@example.com>.
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Copyright (c) 2010, Opera Software. All rights reserved.
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