Jigdo and Debian DVD/CD

by કાર્તિક

Kumar, a dedicated Debian dude has written following and I’m sponsoring the first ever Sponsored Post to my blog:

Thanks to Kartik Mistry for `sponsoring’ this blog post. I wanted him to do this because I don’t blog, and his blog has wide reception on Planet India FLOSS and Planet Debian. So, here goes!

Jigdo is a wonderful way of constructing CD/DVD ISOs by dowloading smaller units (like deb packages) to construct an image on your machine, rather than download a 4.3 GB monster over internet only to realize that the connection stops half way or some such thing.

I would also take this opportunity to publicize IIT Madras’ mirror, which mirrors quite a bit of free software. It has a (somewhat) offical Debian (x86, amd64) mirror at


And am x86 mirror for Ubuntu as well:

It is also (most of the time) http://ftp.in.kernel.org and http://www.in.kernel.org, since it is an official Linux kernel mirror (the only one I know of in India).

Anyway, let’s jigdo now! We are to prepare the DVD for Etch 4.0r1 (i386) using jigdo. Here are the steps:

0. Get Jigdo. You can get the “lite” version for any GNU/Linux distribution or Windows here:

But Debian/Ubuntu users just need to apt-get install jigdo-lite.

1. Visit http://cdimage.debian.org and go to the “Download CD/DVD images with Jigdo” section.

2. I need the official i386 “stable” DVD image for i386, so I click that. That takes me to a page with a directory listing with many “.jigdo” files and “.template” files. While the jigdo file is a gzipped and formatted list of files in the CD/DVD, the template file is one with a description of the image itself. See TechDetails.txt in the jugdo distribution (or /usr/share/doc/jigdo-file) for details.

3. I download debian-40r1-i386-DVD-1.jigdo and debian-40r1-i386-DVD-1.template to a directory on my computer, and run this:

jigdo-lite debian-40r1-i386-DVD-1.jigdo

4. First, I am asked for files to scan. Since I don’t have any files on my disk already (or don’t want to use them), I just press Return.

5. I am then asked for a mirror. I specify the fastest mirror available:

And that’s it. It is supposed to write a blank image and start populating it with Debian packages! Simple, huh?

Depending on the speed of your connection, it should take a few hours (or days) to get a DVD image done. A CD would be much quicker. For people inside IIT Madras, we get 5-7 MBps to the mirror, so it takes around half an hour for the DVD image. So, now you know whom to ask for those Debian DVDs and CDs, if you’re near Chennai, right?

Troubleshooting suggestions are available on the Debian CD-Image
website here: http://www.debian.org/CD/jigdo-cd/

So, hope this was useful.

Kumar Appaiah