My home internet connection, for various reasons, tends to alternate
between the two quality levels of "blows balls" and "blows giant
balls". This makes downloading and installing new snapshots an
exercise in frustration. I noticed that binary patches, as made by
bsdiff (thank you Colin Percival), could reduce the download time
significantly, if only there was patch generating machine in the sky
(sorry, cloud). So I made one. Link below.
I've been using this with i386 for a while now. At first I more or
less hand generated the updates, but now it's all automatic. Even
Basically, it's a perl script that downloads a database of patches and
applies them. There's a little bit of labor involved in setting it
up, but after that, you can run the script whenever you like and it
will take care of business. I generate snap diffs up to every day,
but the script will download batches if you care to only update on
weekends or something.
The only real requirement (besides a few packages) is that you start
off running a snapshot I have diffs for. This goes back about a week
for i386, and about 2 days for amd64. And you need to have all the
sets installed (including X), or there will be bitching and whining.
Please pay attention to the part about creating
/var/db/bluesnapper/etc and xetc directories.
Note that these are not official, and about the only promise you'll
get that I'm not secretly inserting trojans into everything is that
it's not worth my time to do so.
Anyway, more detailed instructions and a link to the actual script are
below. I think it works.