man apt-move (Administration système) - move cache of Debian packages into a mirror hierarchy.


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 configured 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 distribution.

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 LISTSTATE variable.
getlocal [ dir ]
This is an alias of get. It may be removed in future releases.
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 master files or are obsolete will be left in the file cache directory. 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 skipped.
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 affecting its consistency as long as you run the delete command afterwards.
Builds new local versions of Packages.gz and Sources.gz files.
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.
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.
This is an alias, equivalent to 'move delete packages'.
This is an alias for update. It may be removed in future releases.
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 running on. It will, however, mirror all source packages.
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 latest versions of the packages, regardless of the version currently 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 internet connection.
movefile files...
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 repository.
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:

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.
-c conffile Use conffile as the configuration file instead of /etc/apt-move.conf.
-d dist Use dist as the default suite instead of the value of DIST from the configuration file.
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 -f.
Suppresses normal output. This option is useful when apt-move is used in a non-interactive script.
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 syntactical 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 their defaults):

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 URIs.
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 repository) 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 formats 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 files.
If this is set to non-empty string, then packages will sign generated Release files with specified signing key. You must install gnupg before enabling this option. With current apt you should list compression none in PKGCOMP directive, otherwise apt will complain about missing files.

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 file URI.


The script.
Configuration file for the script.
The manpage.
The temporary files created at runtime.
Utility to fetch files just like apt-get install -d. Except that no dependency analysis is done.
.apt-move/*.{binary, source}.local
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.



Exclude file

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 partition 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.

Code names

Since apt-move gets the suite names from Release files, which usually use the names stable, testing and unstable, the suites in the repository are named accordingly. You can simulate the code names by creating 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 install script.
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-move 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 .apt-move/ancient.
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 again.
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 permission 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.
Cannot find index files for APTSITES.
apt-move could not find any index files for the get operation. You should either run apt-get update, or run apt-move with -f if only the *.local files have been changed.


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 <>

Herbert Xu <>