Last week on the Costa Rican hackerspace we started a project to serve the ubuntu archive on top of IPFS. The idea is that it should be faster to download deb packages from an IPFS node that is closer than the closest mirror of the archive.
For example, in Costa Rica there is only one mirror, hosted at the university in the middle of the country. On the jaquerespeis there are at least 50 Ubuntu users spread on different geographic areas. If we get all of them to use the ipfs mirror, we should start seeing faster downloads. Or at least, that’s the theory; the experiment is to see how it goes in real live.
We started writing a transport for IPFS that knows how to download IPFS URIs:
Now, we are trying to find resources to get a server and start seeding the full archive. This requires 2TB of storage, so it might take us some time to find somebody who donates the server
We also need to put that transport on a PPA to make it easier to install, and do more tests with more people.
So far, the only problem we have is that downloading stuff from the published IPNS is slower than using the hash directly. I don’t yet know if it will be slower than hitting the HTTP mirror. We will need to make measurements and more controlled experiments.
If you want to join the project, any kind of help will be appreciated. Specially, from Ubuntu users who would like to try it and share their bandwidth serving the debs on ipfs.
This should also work for Debian, but that’s another 2TB for the debian archives. So maybe we wait to get the first mirror online before trying that