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After installing Debian 9.1, the sources.list entry for security updates used this URL:

http://security.debian.org/debian-security

According to SourcesList and Security Information, the URL is:

http://security.debian.org/

Are these URLs equivalent for the purpose of getting security updates? Any difference? Why does the installer add the debian-security path?

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Both URLs work. The server serves the same content at http://security.debian.org/PATH and http://security.debian.org/debian-security/PATH.

The URL with /debian-security has to exist because it's the only one that works with mirrors¹. /debian-security is also required if you use FTP, or if you run a release that's no longer maintained and download from archive.debian.org.

I don't know why the shortcut without /debian-security was created, but it's been mentioned in so many documents that you can count on it not to go away.

¹ Public mirrors are discouraged for debian-security, because security updates should be distributed as fast as possible. But private mirrors are useful for an organization that has many Debian machines.

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