How to manage and mirror repositories from the web portal

See also: About repository mirroring

Web-based repository mirroring is available in Landscape 24.04 LTS and beta.

The repository mirroring feature in Landscape enables you to mirror Ubuntu and third-party repositories locally, and to establish custom repositories from your local mirror. This provides an additional layer of control over the software versions available to your client machines. If you’re not familiar with repository mirroring in Landscape, we strongly encourage you to first read our explanation of repository mirroring.

The guide specifically demonstrates how to mirror an Ubuntu repository, but most of the information here also applies to mirroring third-party repositories.


Disk space requirements

As of March 2024, these are the estimates for the amount of disk space needed to download the following Ubuntu distributions:

Series amd64 i386 Both
Noble 150GB 110GB 180GB
Jammy 330GB 120GB 360GB
Focal 430GB 105GB 445GB
Bionic 290GB 155GB 355GB

Packages will be downloaded to /var/lib/landscape/landscape-repository/standalone/. These estimates are a breakdown of the total size of the pockets for the main, restricted, universe and multiverse components of the amd64 and i386 architectures (release, updates and security pockets). The last column provides an estimate for downloading both the amd64 and i386 architectures. It’s not a total of the amd64 and i386 disk space requirements because it doesn’t duplicate packages that are present in both architectures.

Note that this is only a subset, and it does not include arm and other architectures. Including these will use more disk space.

(If needed) Generate API credentials

You only need to generate API credentials if this is your first time using the newer web portal introduced in Landscape 24.04 LTS. If you’ve used this web portal before, you can skip this step.

If you’re a first-time user of the 24.04 LTS web portal and web-based repository management, you’ll need to generate API credentials from your account. To do this:

  1. In the default web portal, click your account name from the header (near Logout), or go directly to <landscape_url>/settings.
  2. Click Generate API credentials
    • Note: If you’ve already generated API credentials in the past, this button will instead read Regenerate API credentials. You don’t need to regenerate API credentials, and you can proceed with the next step in this guide.

Now you can access web-based repository management and navigate to the newer web portal by clicking Repositories from the header. You may need to log out and back in again, but you only need to generate API credentials once.

Create and import the GPG key

You need to create a secret GPG key in your terminal before importing it into the web portal.

To create the GPG key:

  1. Install and run rngd to improve the efficiency of generating the GPG key:

    sudo apt-get install rng-tools && sudo rngd -r /dev/urandom
  2. Create the GPG key using one of the following commands. The --gen-key command creates a GPG key that sets a two year expiration date, and --full-gen-key creates a GPG key that does not expire.

    gpg --gen-key
    gpg --full-gen-key
  3. If you’re prompted to provide information about the key, click Enter to choose the default options or make selections based on your system configuration. If you’re unsure what to select, the default options work for most configurations.

  4. Enter Y when prompted with Is this correct? (y/N)

  5. When you’re prompted with “Please confirm that you do not want to have any protection on your key,” choose Yes, protection is not needed. You’ll be prompted and need to confirm this twice.

Your GPG key should now be created. To import the GPG key into Landscape:

  1. List the key in the command line:

    gpg -K
  2. Copy the secret key ID from the output. It should look similar to A1234B5678C9101112D12141516E17181920FGH0.

  3. Export the key to an .asc file:

    gpg -a --export-secret-keys {SECRET_KEY_ID} > mirror-key.asc

    Replacing {SECRET_KEY_ID} with your ID from the previous step. You can also change the mirror-key.asc file name and location if preferred, although that file will be deleted shortly.

  4. In your Landscape web portal, navigate to the GPG Keys page (Repositories > GPG Keys).

  5. Click Import key

  6. In the Name field, provide a name for your key. For example, mirror-key.

  7. In the Material field, copy and paste the contents of your mirror-key.asc file. Make sure you include the entire contents of the file, including the header and footer. If you paste the key incorrectly, your import will fail and you’ll get an error message.

  8. Click Import key

If done successfully, your key will now be listed in the GPG Keys page. Once it’s imported, you can delete your mirror-key.asc file.

If you intend to mirror a third-party repository, you’ll also need to get their public GPG key and import it into Landscape.

Create a new repository (distribution)

To create a new distribution:

  1. From the sidebar, navigate to Repositories > Mirrors
  2. Click Create distribution
  3. Enter the name of the distribution you intend to mirror. For example, ubuntu.
    • Note: You can’t use the same name for multiple distributions, so you should make this name unique and descriptive of the repository. If you want to reuse a name later, you’ll have to delete the original distribution.
  4. Select the appropriate access group(s) for this distribution
  5. Click Create distribution

Create a mirror

To create a mirror using the distribution you previously made:

  1. On the same page where you created your repository (Repositories > Mirrors), click Create mirror
  2. Select the type of mirror from the Type dropdown menu. For example, select Ubuntu Archive if you’re mirroring Jammy 22.04 or another Ubuntu repository.
  3. In the Mirror URI field, use the default Mirror URI if you’re mirroring Jammy 22.04 or anther Ubuntu repository
  4. In the Distribution dropdown menu, select the distribution you previously created
  5. In the Mirror series dropdown menu, select the series you’re mirroring. For example, Ubuntu Jammy 22.04.
  6. In the Series name field, enter a name for your series. For example, “jammy”.
  7. In the Mirror GPG key dropdown menu, you can leave this blank if mirroring an Ubuntu repository. The Ubuntu public mirror GPG key is already configured in Landscape.
  8. In the GPG key dropdown menu, select your private key which you previously generated.
  9. Review the selections under Pockets, Components and Architectures. Either use the defaults or change the options as needed to customize your mirror.
  10. Click Create mirror

Sync pockets

If you’re using Landscape on Jammy 22.04 or later, you may need to change the default timeout of 30 minutes in RabbitMQ before syncing your pocket. For more information, see how to configure RabbitMQ for Jammy 22.04 or later.

Syncing pockets involves downloading all packages from that pocket locally. For large pockets, such as those in the Ubuntu repositories, this step can take a few hours or even longer depending on the size of the pocket and your download speed. We have some estimates of the amount of disk space required for the Ubuntu repositories; however, these repositories change frequently and may be larger than the provided estimates. If you attempt to sync a pocket but don’t have enough disk space available, the sync pocket activity will fail and you’ll receive an error message before any packages are downloaded.

To sync a pocket from the web portal:

  1. On the same page where you created your mirror (Repositories > Mirrors), locate the pocket you intend to sync. For example, the “release” pocket in Jammy 22.04.
  2. In the same row, click the two arrows creating a circle arrow icon to sync your pocket
    • If you hover your cursor over the icon, it says Sync for mirrored pockets and Pull for pull pockets

NOTE: Only one pocket can be synchronized, at a time. This will change in the future.

The Landscape web portal has a progress bar, and you can also make an API call to check on the progress. To do this via the command line API package, run:

landscape-api get-activities --query type:SyncPocketRequest --limit 1

The output of this returns a progress field that provides an estimate of the percent complete of your pocket sync. You can also add watch -- before the previous command to get an update every two seconds.

Create a repository profile and associate computers to the profile

To create a profile:

  1. From the sidebar, navigate to Repositories > Profiles
  2. Click Create Profile
  3. In the Title field, enter a name for this profile. For example, “jammy-test”.
  4. (Optional) Add a description of this profile in the Description field
  5. (Optional) Use the Access group dropdown menu and Tags field to associate this profile with an access group or specific computers
  6. (Optional) Use the Pockets and Apt Sources tabs to associate this profile with certain pockets or apt sources
  7. Click Create profile

Note that you may want to create multiple repository profiles for different groups of computers.

Create and manage pull pockets

To create a new pull pocket:

  1. On the same page where you created your mirror (Repositories > Mirrors), locate the series with the pocket you intend to pull from. For example, “jammy”.
  2. In that section, click New pocket.
  3. In the Type dropdown menu, select the type. For example, Ubuntu.
  4. In the Mode dropdown menu, select Pull.
  5. In the Name field, enter a name for your pull pocket. For example, “jammy-release-pull”.
  6. In the Pull from dropdown menu, select the pocket you intend to pull from.
  7. In the GPG Key dropdown menu, select the same private key you previously generated.
  8. (Optional) If you want to use filters in your pull pocket, select the type in the Filter type dropdown menu.
  9. Change any selections in Components and Architectures as necessary for your configuration.
  10. Click Create

To update your pull pocket:

  1. On the same page where you created your mirror (Repositories > Mirrors), locate your pull pocket
  2. In the same row, click the two arrows creating a circle arrow icon to update your pocket. This activity may take awhile to complete.
    • If you hover your cursor over the icon, it says Sync for mirrored pockets and Pull for pull pockets.