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4. Obtaining your local copy of the distribution

You need a copy of the distribution on a writable disk which is accessible from the computer having the CD writer (duh!). If you want to incorporate the latest updates, this directory should (also) be accessible from from a Linux machine, either from a local disk, an NFS mounted disk on a different computer, or a JAZ disk.

You could copy the distribution from a RedHat CD, or you could get it via FTP. If you choose to use FTP, the best way to get a correct copy of the distribution is to use the mirror package.

Mirror is a sophisticated perl script that compares the content of a directory on a remote site with a local directory. It will use FTP to fetch the files that are on the remote site but not the local site, and delete files on the local site that are not on the remote site. The mirror program is configured with a configuration file. The mirror package is available as an RPM from

Make your local copy mirror.redhat of the mirror configuration file, and edit the relevant fields at the top of the file. After the default section, define these packages:



The following command will download a copy of the entire RedHat tree on your local disk. *Think* before you do this, you are about to transfer approximately 500Mb of data!

mirror -pdist mirror.redhat 

This will mirror the Red Hat FTP site on your local disk. The content of a Red Hat distribution does not change between releases, so you only need to download this package ONCE. All changes to the distribution are in the updates directory. Thus, if you want to keep an up-to-date mirror of the Red Hat distribution, you only need to keep the updates directory current. This is done using the command

mirror -pupdates mirror.redhat 

You can run this regularly, say, once a week, through a cron script. The RedHat distribution is available on a great number of FTP servers around the world, which are updated daily from the master site at You should choose an FTP site close to you, see the RedHat list of mirror sites.

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