Urpmi - Automatically Add Media When Installing Remote Packages

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ABF build system provides a convenient way to build experimental packages and share them with other users for test purposes without publishing them to any repositories — in order to do this, you can build a package and create a container from build list. Container is an ordinary repository which contains only packages from your build. So users can add your container as a repository and install packages from it.

However, containers are used as a temporary storage to tests packages before rejecting them or publishing to official repositories (and moreover, containers are automatically destroyed by ABF after two months from their creation). A typical scenario for users who would like to install packages from container is to add container as a repository, install packages and remove that repository. Too many actions! If you have only one package in container, you can simply provide urpmi with a link to that package, but this won’t work if you have several packages that depend on each other. No wonder that we got several requests to improve urpmi a little when dealing with remote files — urpmi should not only download a file, but try to add remote media (if possible) before installing the package, and remove this media after installation is finished

For example, if you want to install apache-mpm-prefork from build https://abf.io/build_lists/2290444. With previous urpmi, you couldn’t install it without adding container as a medium:

[root@r4null64 ~]# urpmi http://abf-downloads.rosalinux.ru/rosa2014.1/container/2290445/x86_64/main/release/apache-mpm-prefork-2.4.10-2-rosa2014.1.x86_64.rpm
The following packages cannot be installed:
apache-mpm-prefork-2.4.10-2-rosa2014.1.x86_64 (due to unsatisfied apache-base[== 2.4.10-2])

To be sure, apache-base-2.4.10-2 is located at the same container.

With the new urpmi, this command works like a charm:

urpmi http://abf-downloads.rosalinux.ru/rosa2014.1/container/2290445/x86_64/main/release/apache-mpm-prefork-2.4.10-2-rosa2014.1.x86_64.rpm
removing medium "medium_for_apache-mpm-prefork-2.4.10-2-rosa2014.1.x86_64.rpm"
adding medium "medium_for_apache-mpm-prefork-2.4.10-2-rosa2014.1.x86_64.rpm"
To satisfy dependencies, the following packages are going to be installed:                                                                                                         
(test only, installation will not be actually done)
 Package                        Version      Release       Dist  DEpoch Arch 
(medium "medium_for_apache-mpm-prefork-2.4.10-2-rosa2014.1.x86_64.rpm")
 apache-base                    2.4.10       2             rosa  2014.1 x86_64 
 apache-mod_actions             2.4.10       2             rosa  2014.1 x86_64 
 apache-mod_alias               2.4.10       2             rosa  2014.1 x86_64 

 < ... cut list of packages from container to be installed ... >

 apache-mod_auth_basic          2.4.10       2             rosa  2014.1 x86_64 
 apache-mod_usertrack           2.4.10       2             rosa  2014.1 x86_64 
 apache-mod_version             2.4.10       2             rosa  2014.1 x86_64 
 apache-mod_vhost_alias         2.4.10       2             rosa  2014.1 x86_64 
 apache-modules                 2.4.10       2             rosa  2014.1 x86_64 
(command line)
 apache-mpm-prefork             2.4.10       2             rosa  2014.1 x86_64 
8.1KB of additional disk space will be used.
887KB of packages will be retrieved.
Proceed with the installation of the 38 packages? (Y/n) Y

< ... cut off installation log ... >

removing medium "medium_for_apache-mpm-prefork-2.4.10-2-rosa2014.1.x86_64.rpm"

As we can see, urpmi has added a medium named medium_for_apache-mpm-prefork-2.4.10-2-rosa2014.1.x86_64.rpm in the beginning and removed it in the end. Even if package installation fails (due to file conflicts, unresolved dependencies or if you answer «no» when urpmi suggests to install additional packages), the medium will be removed. But if you interrupt installation process (e.g., by pressing Ctrl-C), then medium will be left in the system.

URL of the medium to be added is obtained in a very straightforward way — we simply drop package name from the URL passed as urpmi argument. If urpmi fails to add such a media, you will get a corresponding message, but the installation of remote package will proceed. Finally, you can disable this behavior completely by using --no-auto-media option in command line or no-auto-media global option in /etc/urpmi/urpmi.cfg.

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