Download Server

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Revision as of 18:04, 27 September 2011 by Warmerda (talk | contribs) (note interim status.)
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Status: The old download server has failed and not been restored. It is being re-established at OSU OSL. Details in:

There is a need for a "download server" for OSGeo that provides for bulk downloads of software.

We are hesitant to handle this on our primary server hosted by Peer1 because of the risk of exceeding our bandwidth allotment and getting charged a lot extra. For that reason the download server is being hosted on a telascience blade. Telascience has extensive bandwidth and is not charging OSGeo for it.


For now the blade is being used as a download server.

  • It is known as "", and is configured to respond to that.
  • It is also known as "", for historical reasons.
  • The DNS name also points to it.
  • The downloadable tree is found in /osgeo/download on the server.
  • The virtual host declaration is found in /etc/apache2/sites-available/
  • Logs are in /var/log/apache2/download_access.log and /var/log/apache2/download_error.log.

Access Log Viewer (awstats)

To maintain/view the Apache access logs of download server, the debian awstats package has been installed on the server. with site configuration in /etc/awstats/ It's updated every 4 hours by /etc/cron.d/awstats. See them now at [1]


It is intended that each interested project should have a directory under /osgeo/download with appropriate permissions so a project member can manage the subdirectories and files. Scp, or sftp can be used to bring files onto the server. Someone from each project will need their LDAP OSGeo Userid shell enabled, for ssh/scp access.

Any administrator can create new project directories, and chown them to a project representative.

Contact Frank Warmerdam for overall configuration questions or about problems.

End Users

End users should be referred to downloads similarly to:

Directory indexing is left on so requesting a directory will give a file list.

FTP Service

There is FTP service configured on the blade. The FTP access is served by vsftpd - secure and fastest FTP server for UNIX-like systems.

The vsftpd daemon configuration is the default one provided with Debian and is suitable for anonymous ftp only.

  • root directory: /osgeo/download
  • no access for local users
  • no write, mkdir or upload privileges

Controlling FTP Service

In order to control the vsftpd server, you need to:

  • belong to sudoers
  • login in to the host using SSH client.

Here you can see how to issue two basic commands:

  • Start
$ sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd start
  • Stop
$ sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd stop
  • Restart
$ sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd restart


The /osgeo/download area is exported for anonymous rsync read access as a module named "download". The following can be used to pull a local copy of the gdal data tree for instance:

rsync -av .

This is controlled by the rsync configuration file at /etc/rsyncd.conf. It is possible that rsyncd will not automatically restart on reboot in which case "rsyncd --daemon" as root may be necessary to start it.


Nightly backups of the /osgeo/download tree are managed using rsync to the /osgeo/backup/rsync/ /home/other_backups/download directory by a nightly cronjob, and this mirror is available at the url if needed.

There is also an rsync to (Frank's personal server in Montreal) in case of extreme emergency, and this is found at