Use zsync to update existing .iso images (alpha, beta or RC -> final)

By | 2009/10/29

Happy Ubuntu release day! The latest and greatest that the Ubuntu team has to offer is now available for download. Good luck getting it from the main site though. The only chance of getting a reasonable download speed is getting it from an alternate location, or updating what you currently have! In this short article I will outline how to update your existing alpha, beta or RC images to the final image in a fraction of the time it takes to download the full CD!

zsync

The download mirrors for this release have started to include .zsync files. zsync is similar to rsync, but it puts the load on the client vs the server, and it allows you to update your existing images in a fraction of the time it would take to re-download the full image.

I just finished using zsync to update my existing RC image, and I had the final version in just under three minutes. Not bad considering the amount of people trying to download!

To get started using zsync you’ll need to run the following command (or click the link):

sudo aptitude install zsync

Once that is installed you’ll need to rename your existing image, whether it be the alpha, beta or RC image, to the final image. As an example, I did:

mv ubuntu-9.10-rc-desktop-i386.iso ubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso

After you’ve renamed your image to match the final, you can run zsync using one of the commands below. Find your version (Desktop, Alternate, Netbook Remix or Server) and architecture:

32bit Desktop

zsync http://mirrors.cat.pdx.edu/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://ftp.usf.edu/pub/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.as29550.net/releases.ubuntu.com/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.anl.gov/pub/ubuntu-iso/CDs-Ubuntu/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirrors.xmission.com/ubuntu-cd/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.osuosl.org/releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.inode.at/cdimage/karmic/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso.zsync

64bit Desktop

zsync http://mirrors.cat.pdx.edu/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://ftp.usf.edu/pub/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.as29550.net/releases.ubuntu.com/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.anl.gov/pub/ubuntu-iso/CDs-Ubuntu/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.osuosl.org/releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirrors.xmission.com/ubuntu-cd/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.inode.at/cdimage/karmic/ubuntu-9.10-desktop-amd64.iso.zsync

32bit Alternate

zsync http://mirrors.cat.pdx.edu/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://ftp.usf.edu/pub/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.as29550.net/releases.ubuntu.com/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.anl.gov/pub/ubuntu-iso/CDs-Ubuntu/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.osuosl.org/releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirrors.xmission.com/ubuntu-cd/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.inode.at/cdimage/karmic/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-i386.iso.zsync

64bit Alternate

zsync http://mirrors.cat.pdx.edu/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://ftp.usf.edu/pub/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.as29550.net/releases.ubuntu.com/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.anl.gov/pub/ubuntu-iso/CDs-Ubuntu/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.osuosl.org/releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirrors.xmission.com/ubuntu-cd/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.inode.at/cdimage/karmic/ubuntu-9.10-alternate-amd64.iso.zsync

32bit Netbook Remix

zsync http://mirrors.cat.pdx.edu/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-netbook-remix-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://ftp.usf.edu/pub/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-netbook-remix-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.as29550.net/releases.ubuntu.com/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-netbook-remix-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.anl.gov/pub/ubuntu-iso/CDs-Ubuntu/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-netbook-remix-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.osuosl.org/releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-netbook-remix-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirrors.xmission.com/ubuntu-cd/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-netbook-remix-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.inode.at/cdimage/karmic/ubuntu-9.10-netbook-remix-i386.iso.zsync

32bit Server

zsync http://mirrors.cat.pdx.edu/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://ftp.usf.edu/pub/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.as29550.net/releases.ubuntu.com/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.anl.gov/pub/ubuntu-iso/CDs-Ubuntu/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.osuosl.org/releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirrors.xmission.com/ubuntu-cd/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.inode.at/cdimage/karmic/ubuntu-9.10-server-i386.iso.zsync

64bit Server

zsync http://mirrors.cat.pdx.edu/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-server-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://ftp.usf.edu/pub/ubuntu-releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-server-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.as29550.net/releases.ubuntu.com/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-server-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirror.anl.gov/pub/ubuntu-iso/CDs-Ubuntu/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-server-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.osuosl.org/releases/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-server-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://mirrors.xmission.com/ubuntu-cd/9.10/ubuntu-9.10-server-amd64.iso.zsync
zsync http://ubuntu.inode.at/cdimage/karmic/ubuntu-9.10-server-amd64.iso.zsync

zsync will automate the rest of the process by scanning your image, comparing it to the list of files on the final image, and then synchronizing the two. Your download speed may vary, but mine was finished in just a few minutes.

Once you have the final image please seed it by downloading the .torrent file and allow it to share the updated .iso!

7 thoughts on “Use zsync to update existing .iso images (alpha, beta or RC -> final)

  1. Eric Honaker

    If you don’t have a beta or alpha CD, bittorrent is a good option I’m getting better that 1Mb/s on my BT download of the new CDs.

    Reply
  2. speedyx

    Can I obtain a netbook-final iso from kubuntu-desktop final iso with zsync?

    Reply
  3. Christer Edwards Post author

    I haven't tested that, but I'm sure at least some of the packages will be the same. My guess is that it will work, but the initial match percentage won't be too high.

    Reply
  4. Dan

    What an amazing piece of software. Now I can synchronize a daily-live release of Ubuntu whenever I wish without having to download the entire file again. Time and bandwidth saved (x2 if you include the servers hosting the file). This is great for those daily-live releases that turn out not to function on my system and I have to attempt numerous daily downloads.

    Reply
  5. Thorne

    What does this error mean: bad status code 302

    I get this very time I try and download the lucid iso..

    Reply
  6. John Kim

    Thanks very much for this tutorial! I was confused about using zsync until I read this post.

    Now I could use daily builds without the hassle of full installation downloads.

    Reply

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