jigdo: Making your own Sarge CD

This time I’ll try to write down what I am doing so next time, I will not have to be looking for the information all over the place.

Jigdo is a small program helping in downloading and maintaining iso images of current debian distributions. It is available for both windows and linux.

I am starting at debian.org with the iso image making faq and downloading jigdo.

# install jigdo
# decide on the images to use and get the correct url from the debian page for example the sarge 1 image
# call jigdo-lite with the .jigdo file, you also need the url of a debian mirror near you (you can search through a list in the program).
# a lengthy download begins

update now since my lengthy download ended in an error message I complained to the local debian guru and he gave me his own personal sarge cd. I sat down booted and then the system didn’t recognize my dvd burner as cdrom. I quit. Again. Then I got some blank dvds and decided that having sarge on dvd would be neat. I didn’t quite read what it said in the FaQ and tried on windows which downloaded stuff for an hour before telling me it couldn’t handle files larger than 2 GB. Stupid. It said so on the homepage. Oh well I managed to remember that I have a linux server that is running all night anyway and started the download there. Because I managed to not find the correct command I downloaded the 250MB template file several times in vain before I was able to start the real download. Now I am slowly coming to the point of this. Jigdo has been running all night and guess what: it is not done. Freaky freaky.

It seems jigdo will download 10 files and build the image from that. Then it will download another 10 files and build the image again and then 10 files and image and 10 and image and 10 ….. guess what my image.tm now has about 4.3 GB and is nowhere near finished because rebuilding that 4.3GB file takes forever. Guess what else? I think that’s very stupid behaviour. The manpage and other documentation isn’t very helpful with this issue either or else I might have managed to first download all the files and then build the image: the home partition on the server is big enough I should think there is still 34 GB free space.

By Yashima

Writer of code and stories


  1. Maybe you should forget about the jigdo stuff. Make a net install using one of the readily available images and install the packages you need over the net. Much faster and easier. Believe me. I think the purpose of jigdo is to compile your own debian cd distribution. And probably most packages you installed will have to be updated anyway after the first apt-get dist-upgrade.

    Oh I know, I am a smartass, but I couldn’t resist.

  2. Won’t work if the available woody images won’t recognize your hard-disc-controller and your network adapter.

    That happened to me.

  3. Last time I looked there were no cd iso images for the netinstall variant …. now I am already burning my second netinstall cd – well am not anymore it’s done – because the testing candidate wasn’t doing what it should, now I am back to beta4, lets see if that has fewer bugs.

    sarge has much more options and features than woody, much much better try that one. and read my next post.

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