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How to create a mirror step by step

Hey there again! So recently I went through all the steps on setting up a public mirror server, and website. The guides were not very user friendly so it took me quite some time, but eventually I got it working.. of course.

Here’s our mirror:

We currently got CentOS, OpenVZ and some other ones avaliable. If you’re a customer of ours I recommend that you switch to these mirrors for the fastest speeds. Eitherway, let’s get to it! Here’s 3 simple steps on setting up a mirror just like ours:

1. What kind of mirrors do you want?

The first step is figuring out what mirrors you want to have. Every mirror has the same installation process so I am going to take the CentOS mirror as an example. It all starts with you requiring to install a webserver and rsync.

To install Apache on a CentOS server run:

yum install httpd

If you’re using a Debian based operating system run:

apt install apache2

After you’ve installed Apache you need to edit your configs so that they support directory listing as well as allowing for .htaccess. On CentOS the configuration files are found in /etc/httpd/conf.d, however on some operating systems they may be in /etc/apache/conf.d.

rm /etc/apache/conf.d/default.conf
nano /etc/apache/conf.d/default.conf

Paste the following inside the newly created file

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin [email protected]
    DocumentRoot "/var/html/www"
    Options +Indexes
    ErrorLog "/var/log/httpd/"
    CustomLog "/var/log/httpd/" common
  IndexOptions FancyIndexing NameWidth=* FoldersFirst ScanHTMLTitles DescriptionWidth=*
  HeaderName HEADER.html
  ReadmeName README.html
  Options Indexes SymLinksIfOwnerMatch FollowSymLinks
  ErrorDocument 404 default

<Directory /var/html/www>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted

Next you should restart your apache for the changes to take effect, but because apache has two different names depending on whether you’re on CentOS or not, the restart command will be different too. If you’re on CentOS run the following:

service httpd restart

Otherwise run the following

service apache restart

2. Sync from another mirror

Okay, once you’ve got your webserver setup and configured you need to sync with another mirror. The tool you need to do this is called rsync, and here’s how you can install it.

For CentOS you need to run the following:

yum install rsync

For Debian/Ubuntu you need to run the following:

apt install rsync

Okay, next up we just need to start syncing. I recommend that you use a screen window to sync because it will take many hours to do this, and if your SSH connection cuts out, the sync will also stop. Just type screen in the terminal to open a new window.

Once you’re in the screen window just type the following command to start syncing:

rsync -av --delete rsync:// /var/www/centos
  • /var/www/centos your webserver directory path plus directory where the files will be stored
  • -v verbose mode

3. Keep your mirror updated

Once it has finished syncing it’s important to keep it updated by syncing off other mirrors. The best tool for this is using cron.

Get started by typing the following in your terminal:

crontab -e

Then add a new line and add the following information:

40 */4 * * * rsync -aq --delete rsync:// /var/www/centos

This will run the following command in quiet mode (-q) so that it doesn’t create huge log files for no reason. It will also run this command every 4 hours.