I want to setup a CTAN mirror but didn't get far after reading https://www.ctan.org/mirrors/register/ . I'd like to post something like Idiots guide to setting up a CTAN mirror as a question on tex.stackexchange.com

An answer to my question would probably revolve around current web server practices best suited for such a mirror, and so potentially be off-topic. But since the main audience would be LaTeX users, this seems a more natural fit. The question would be answerable: I would know upon successfully setting up such a mirror that the answer given was right.

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    From hosting about 10 different accessible, if not strictly public, mirrors at my workplace, there's not much to setting up a CTAN mirror that's any different than the other mirrors. If you have a Unix-like operating system with rsync, you can get the upstream CTAN files mirrored to a local directory. If you can set up a web server, you can point it at that local directory to serve those files. It's basically a sysadmin-type question, but that audience is already relatively well-served by the existing document. – Mike Renfro Sep 21 '17 at 23:06
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To answer your true meta question: Yes, such questions are on-topic. The fact that they revolve around operating TeX rather than using it does not disqualify them. What is not on-topic are trivial questions (even in this area, there are trivial questions) and questions irrelevant to the TeX side of the problem (like asking how to install/setup an Apache server or a cron job).

There are some insights in Establishing a new LaTeX repository in the university (as pointed out by Paul Gaborit), make sure your question is significantly different.

  • Why would questions be off-topic if they are trivial? That notion doesn't make sense to me – clemens Sep 28 '17 at 8:31
  • @clemens "Trivial" may be an unfortunate word here. I mean that their answer is very easy to find. Any ideas how to describe it better? – yo' Sep 28 '17 at 14:19
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    I would argue that triviality is no criterion for being on-topic or not. I'd consider the question “How to make text bold?” on-topic even if the solution (use \textbf{text}) is trivial – clemens Sep 28 '17 at 14:43
  • I would, however, not consider things like "how to upload a package to CTAN" when the answer is simply at ctan.org/help – yo' Sep 28 '17 at 14:50
  • Then we disagree at this point :) – clemens Sep 28 '17 at 15:00

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