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Is there any equivalent out there of jigdo? I ask partly because this app is in maintenance mode, and its GUI has been abandoned.

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There is zsync, described as “rsync over HTTP”; it requires that someone creates the .zsync file for the download, and a standard HTTP/1.1 server providing the needed file. Ubuntu already offers zsync downloads for ISO images.

There is also an older and established program rsync, which can be used to update a file to the current version without downloading it again completely (just rsync the new version over the old existing file; for an ISO image --block-size=2048 should work best). However, it requires a special server (but many free software mirrors offer rsync access now), and there might be some difficulties with access through a proxy server (due to non-HTTP protocol; connecting through an HTTPS proxy is possible if the CONNECT method with TCP port 873 is allowed).

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Ubuntu also has .zsync files and a page on its use. help.ubuntu.com/community/ZsyncCdImage –  Alister Bulman Dec 12 '10 at 18:11
    
Looks good, but it has no GUI :( –  Tshepang Dec 12 '10 at 19:10
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It essentially seems to be a variation of BitTorrent?

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It's something else completely. Let's say you are downloading an ISO (say v1.0) with BitTorrent. If there is an updated one (say v1.1), you'll have to start the download from scratch. With jigdo, you'll download only the changed files (plus some metadata). –  Tshepang Dec 8 '10 at 1:00
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@Tshepang A, I didn't know that jigdo does that as well. Sorry, not aware of anything that combines BitTorrent-distribution with Delta-Patching :( –  Michael Stum Dec 8 '10 at 1:16
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Pyjigdo was supposed to replace Jigdo using Python, but was also abandoned for lack of interest. However, the original Jigdo is still in use.

I suppose that with today's Internet speed, and with repositories guaranteed to return the latest version, Jigdo is no longer necessary. Binary patches are no longer interesting when download can be so fast for most people.

So as far as I can see, the answer depends on your Linux distribution : yum, apt, zypper, dpkg, or any other Package management system.

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If you consider something like a DVD-size iso, binary patches do start to become interesting. Oh, and I stay in South Africa, where 10Mbit is state-of-the-art! –  Tshepang Dec 8 '10 at 21:21
    
I can download a DVD in 1.5 hours from home, MUCH less at the office, so a DVD is no big deal. I believe most Linux developers would look at it the same way. Your line speed will surely improve in 2011, as it does everywhere. –  harrymc Dec 9 '10 at 7:16
    
And then we move on to BR-size discs... then it starts to matter. –  Tshepang Dec 11 '10 at 3:43
    
By then downloading a DVD will take a couple of minutes, and a BR will take less than today's DVD. Some lucky people already have connections that rapid. –  harrymc Dec 11 '10 at 6:17
    
I'm not one of those lucky people. And BR-size discs are already distributed. –  Tshepang Dec 12 '10 at 19:08
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