India had no FreeBSD mirror sites ?!?

N. Raghavendra raghu at
Thu Apr 14 10:22:08 PDT 2005

At 2005-04-14T14:35:49+02:00, Anthony Atkielski wrote:

> All the more reason to have a mirror in India.  The shorter the
> distance to cover, the faster the transfer is likely to be, and the
> lower the cost.

Traffic between two hosts located in India is usually routed through
US or European networks.  For example, here is the output of
`traceroute' from a host in Allahabad in the North, to Bombay in the
West of India.

[unicorn:/usr/home/raghu]% traceroute -n
traceroute to (, ...
 1  0.685 ms  0.508 ms  0.257 ms
 2  1.270 ms  1.103 ms  1.054 ms
 3  3.132 ms  3.075 ms  3.147 ms
 4  234.942 ms  245.254 ms  230.948 ms
 5  384.842 ms  484.036 ms  433.154 ms
 6  739.762 ms  612.132 ms  650.285 ms
 7  518.586 ms  411.083 ms  434.881 ms
 8  551.193 ms  567.015 ms  487.806 ms
20  874.091 ms  885.075 ms  1082.661 ms
21  877.544 ms  738.263 ms  787.024 ms
22  547.869 ms  564.489 ms  548.837 ms
23  755.060 ms  808.728 ms  893.595 ms

A `whois' lookup for, says that the address belongs to
UUNET Technologies, Inc., VA, US.  The address belongs
to Reach Networks HK Ltd, Hong Kong.  As I understand it, this means
that traffic from Allahabad goes to the US, and then to Hong Kong,
before it reaches Bombay.

Therefore, the geographical proximity of two hosts within India does
not imply their proximity on the Internet.  In addition to such
routing troubles, most Indian sites suffer from severe bandwidth

A few years ago, an Indian research institute set up a mirror of the
electronic preprint repository `'.  However, because of
routing anomalies --- and because the Indian site does not have as
much bandwidth as the master `' site in the US --- many users
find that it is faster to download papers from the master site, than
from the Indian mirror.  

I think that would be the case also with a FreeBSD mirror in India.
This could be one reason why there are no such mirrors.  Another could
be the fact that very few Indians use UNIX, or its clones --- and
those who do mostly use GNU/Linux.

> Additionally, a mirror site in India could burn CDs locally and hand
> them out

There are a few Indian shops which do sell inexpensive FreeBSD and
GNU/Linux CD-ROMs --- costing about USD 4.00 for three CDs.


N. Raghavendra <raghu at> | See mail headers for contact
Harish-Chandra Research Institute   | and OpenPGP details.

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