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If I want security updates for Debian, I add the following line to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://security.debian.org <codename>/updates main

Is there a repository that allows the http to be ftp? I say this because other normal Debian APT mirrors allows that, and doing the same here doesn't work. That is, using the following line results in errors:

deb ftp://security.debian.org <codename>/updates main

One advantage of ftp is that it's often (or rather, in my limited experience) not put behind a proxy.

2 Answers 2

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Yes, it's cunningly called security.debian.org. Add this line to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb ftp://security.debian.org/debian-security <codename>/updates main

There are no official mirrors for security.debian.org by design, see Why is there a separate package repository for Debian security updates?.

Many places that have a mandatory HTTP proxy block FTP altogether. So there aren't many situations where there is an advantage to using FTP.

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  • Actually for me, the only two places that had a network proxy allowed ftp traffic.
    – tshepang
    Mar 18, 2011 at 19:46
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I've a debian on a VirtualBox here, at work, behind an enterprise proxy, and HTTP works fine. I don't know if security.debian.org allows FTP, but i don't really trust some other source for my security udpates.

JUST FYI: I've configured apt to use the proxy.

EDIT: Home sweet home, no proxies here so I can test ftp:

$ ftp security.debian.org
Connected to security.debian.org.
220 security.debian.org FTP server (vsftpd)
Name (security.debian.org:d4rio): anonymous
331 Please specify the password.
Password:
230 Login successful.
Remote system type is UNIX.
Using binary mode to transfer files.
ftp> ls
200 PORT command successful. Consider using PASV.
150 Here comes the directory listing.
drwxrwsr-x    6 1176     1176         4096 Mar 18 17:54 debian-security
226 Directory send OK.
ftp> cd debian-security
250 Directory successfully changed.
ftp> ls
200 PORT command successful. Consider using PASV.
150 Here comes the directory listing.
-rw-rw-r--    1 1176     1176          183 Aug 16  2000 README.security
drwxrwsr-x    5 1176     1176         4096 Feb 05 15:37 dists
drwxrwsr-x    2 1176     1176         4096 Feb 12  2009 indices
drwxrwsr-x    3 1176     1176         4096 Nov 20  2002 pool
drwxrwsr-x    4 1176     1176         4096 May 13  2008 project
226 Directory send OK.
ftp>

So, security.debian.org allows ftp anonymous login.

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