New archive snapshot service available

April 12th, 2010

The Debian project is proud to announce a new service, available at http://snapshot.debian.org/, a wayback machine that allows access to old packages based on dates and version numbers.

The ability to install packages and view source code from any given date can be very helpful to developers and users alike. It provides a valuable resource for tracking down when regressions were introduced, or for providing a specific environment that a particular application may require to run. The snapshot archive is accessible like any normal apt repository, allowing it to be easily used by all.

The snapshot service also enables administrators to install a predictable, tested set of packages by using a view of the archive on a given date. This feature allows administrators to test an upgrade path in a staging environment and then repeat the procedure in their production environment with assurance that they are performing exactly the tested upgrade. As the snapshot covers the entire archive and all suites this can be applied to environments that wish to track testing in a controlled manner as well as those with more stringent change control who wish to fully audit all stable updates before rolling them out.

The archive currently holds almost all[1] packages from the main and security archives since March 2005, as well as selected additional archives like debian-volatile, debian-ports and backports.org. This new service currently holds about 6.5 terabytes of data and will grow constantly.

Hosting of the snapshot service is provided by the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of the University of British Columbia and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Additional needed hardware was provided by Nordic Gaming. Initial data was provided by the Debian ftp-master team as well as Fumitoshi Ukai.

About Debian

Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system, developed by more than a thousand volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the Internet. Debian's dedication to Free Software, its non-profit nature, and its open development model make it unique among GNU/Linux distributions.

The Debian project's key strengths are its volunteer base, its dedication to the Debian Social Contract, and its commitment to provide the best operating system possible.

Contact Information: For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at http://www.debian.org/ or send mail to <press@debian.org>.

[1] Some packages have been removed due to license issues since they were first shipped.