Call for mirrors! (And a big thank you to Liam)

Liz: Here’s a post from Liam Fraser, who you may recognise from the forums, or for his Python tutorials on YouTube. I’ve bent his arm into administering our downloads server for us, and he has, as usual, gone above and beyond what we’d briefed him to do.

Liam’s tutorial video series is becoming very popular, and he’s paying a lot of attention to what you are saying in the forums and blog comments here. Because some readers have said they’re struggling a bit with making SD card images, he’s planning on a video tutorial to show you how to do it step-by-step before we launch the device itself. Head over and subscribe to his channel – we think you’ll get a lot out of it. 

We had email the other day from someone complaining that a naked Jennifer Anniston had been seen on YouTube in a “recommended for you sidebar” near one of Liam’s videos. Now, obviously, the Foundation can’t police YouTube’s algorithmic choice of what it thinks you might like, and we don’t police community-created videos like Liam’s. I’m just putting it out there; we thought this might be the sort of information some of you would like to know… 

Over to Liam.

I’m Liam Fraser, the guy who is administering the Raspberry Pi Downloads server. As many of you will know, the release of the Debian 6 image on Friday went extremely smoothly. We still have around 2000 seeders on our torrent which is fantastic. Even more impressive than that was the number of mirror links that were generously donated by the community.

I’m sure many of you saw the dreaded ‘capacity full’ message when trying to download via http. Over the past few days I’ve been working on a load balancing system for our server so we can fairly distribute our http traffic amongst the mirrors.

The system takes client location, mirror location and server bandwidth into consideration when assigning a mirror. A server with a gigabit connection would have more chance of being assigned to a user than a server with a 100 megabit connection. A user can also select an alternative mirror if there is an issue with the automatically assigned mirror.

However, I can’t just start putting links from those who have kindly entered their mirror details on the wiki into the load balancer because it would be unfair on those people hosting to have to deal with such a traffic surge.

So, if you’d like to become a trusted mirror to be used with our load balancer, email raspberrypimirrors@gmail.com with the following information:
• The http path to your mirrors Raspberry Pi root folder
• An FTP Login with password for your Raspberry Pi root folder
• Server speed (100 megabit, gigabit, etc.)
• Continent/Country of the server
• Logo / link / text such as “This mirror is hosted by webfusion.”

Any mirror that provided us with this information would automatically have new images pushed to their web root via FTP and would not have to worry about being up to date.

Edited to add: I’ll be setting up an rsync server as an alternative to FTP for all the linux guys as they’ve all asked for it in the comments below.

Liz has asked if data on how many downloads are made from the trusted mirrors can be given to the Foundation, so they can make estimates about how many Raspberry Pis they will need to produce, so you’ll be helping out in more than one way.

It’s worth pointing out that that we’re expecting a large amount of traffic and that we cannot be held accountable for exceeding your bandwidth allowance. However, any mirror wanting to be removed from the list could easily do so by emailing me.

Thanks all!