Debian announces Chinese Mirror

May 25th, 2011

The Debian project is proud to announce the availability of a new primary mirror in mainland China. The new mirror,, will significantly reduce network latency to the Debian software repositories and help to raise Debian's profile in China, and is accessible via IPv6 as well as via IPv4. Besides Debian's package archive, the mirror also offers Debian's CD and DVD images as well as the backports archive, and for users of Debian's oldstable release (Lenny), the Debian volatile archive.

The Debian mirror team worked with Stephen Zhang and Aron Xu to set up the mirror in China. To quote Aron, this will significantly reduce the lag time when synchronizing with Debian's ftp-master server. Previously it was common to have a lag time of about two days between ftp-master and China. With the new primary mirror, the mirror team has been able to reduce that time to under six hours for push clients and under twelve hours for passively synchronizing mirrors.

A primary mirror site has good bandwidth, is available 24 hours a day, and has an easy to remember name of the form ftp.<country code> Such a mirror is automatically updated whenever there are updates to the Debian archive.

Hosting of the primary mirror in China is provided by the University of Science and Technology of China.

Usage of the new mirror

CD and DVD images can either be downloaded directly from the mirror or via the tool jigdo.

Users of the current stable release Debian 6.0 Squeeze should replace their existing /etc/apt/sources.list with the following:

deb squeeze main
deb-src squeeze main

deb squeeze-updates main
deb-src squeeze-updates main

deb squeeze/updates main
deb-src squeeze/updates main

Users of the current oldstable release Debian 5.0 Lenny should replace their existing /etc/apt/sources.list with the following:

deb lenny main
deb-src lenny main

deb lenny/volatile main
deb-src lenny/volatile main

deb lenny/updates main
deb-src lenny/updates main

Add the following optional lines to use packages backported for Squeeze:

deb squeeze-backports main
deb-src squeeze-backports main

Or for packages backported for Lenny:

deb lenny-backports main
deb-src lenny-backports main

Of course users of the current testing and unstable distributions, Wheezy and Sid, can also use the new mirror.

Please note that after changing the sources.list, users need to update their package manager's index files, for instance by running apt-get update.

About University of Science and Technology of China

The University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) is a national research university located in Hefei, China. Founded by the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) in September 1958, USTC is aimed at fostering the high-level expertise in science and technology absolutely necessary for the development of the national economy, national defense construction, and education in science and technology. The university is regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in China. USTC LUG was founded in 2003 and has been operating for eight years. As a technology-leading association, USTC LUG has organized a number of significant activities, such as: Linux network technology seminar, GNU/Linux Install Party, PMP Embedded Linux technical seminars, Oracle and open source technologies seminars, Open Source Software Competition in Hefei, Software Freedom Day, and a series of systems using and programming lectures. USTC LUG started maintaining the well known Debian archive mirror in 2003, and now, with better hardware and bandwidth sponsored by USTC, it is finally becoming the official mirror of China. In addition, USTC LUG has established a freeshell server running on Loongson CPU, serving the whole campus to provide online experience on GNU/Linux. With the assistance of USTC Network Information Center, USTC LUG has set up a PXE network booting system, enabling the whole campus to perform convenient installs or quickly experience the system.

About Debian

The Debian Project was founded in 1993 by Ian Murdock to be a truly free community project. Since then the project has grown to be one of the largest and most influential open source projects. Thousands of volunteers from all over the world work together to create and maintain Debian software. Available in 70 languages, and supporting a huge range of computer types, Debian calls itself the universal operating system.

Contact Information

For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at or send mail to <>.