Creating and using a local repository v23

If you create a local repository within your cluster directory, TPA will make any packages in the repository available to cluster instances. This is an easy way to ship extra packages to your cluster.

Optionally, you can also instruct TPA to configure the instances to use only this repository, i.e., disable all others. In this case, you must provide all packages required during the deployment, starting from basic dependencies like rsync, Python, and so on.

You can create a local repository manually, or have TPA create one for you. Instructions for both are included below.


Specific instructions are available for managing clusters in an air-gapped environment.

Creating a local repository with TPA

TPA includes tools to help create such a local repository. Specifically the --enable-local-repo switch can be used with tpaexec configure to create an empty directory structure to be used as a local repository, and tpaexec download-packages populates that structure with the necessary packages.

Creating the directory structure

To configure a cluster with a local repository, run:

tpaexec configure --enable-local-repo …

This will generate your cluster configuration and create a local-repo directory and OS-specific subdirectories. See below for details of the layout.

Populate the repository and generate metadata

Run tpaexec download-packages to download all the packages required by a cluster into the local-repo. The resulting repository will contain the full dependency tree of all packages so the entire cluster can be installed from this repository. Metadata for the repository will also be created automatically meaning it is ready to use immediately.

Creating a local repository manually

Local repo layout

To create a local repository manually, you must first create an appropriate directory structure. When using --enable-local-repo, TPA will create a local-repo directory and OS-specific subdirectories within it (e.g., local-repo/Debian/10), based on the OS you select for the cluster. We recommend that this structure is also used for manually created repositories.

For example, a cluster running RedHat 8 might have the following layout:

`-- RedHat
    |-- 8.5 -> 8
    `-- 8
        `-- repodata

For each instance, TPA will look for the following subdirectories of local-repo in order and use the first one it finds:

  • <distribution>/<version>, e.g., RedHat/8.5
  • <distribution>/<major version>, e.g., RedHat/8
  • <distribution>/<release name>, e.g., Ubuntu/focal
  • <distribution>, e.g., Debian
  • The local-repo directory itself.

If none of these directories exists, of course, TPA will not try to set up any local repository on target instances.

Populating the repository and generating metadata

The steps detailed below must be completed before running tpaexec deploy.

To populate the repository, copy the packages you wish to include into the appropriate directory. Then generate metadata using the correct tool for your system as detailed below.


You must generate the metadata on the control node, i.e., the machine where you run tpaexec. TPA will copy the metadata and packages to target instances.


You must generate the metadata in the subdirectory that the instance will use, i.e., if you copy packages into local-repo/Debian/10, you must create the metadata in that directory, not in local-repo/Debian.

Debian/Ubuntu repository metadata

For Debian-based distributions, install the dpkg-dev package:

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -y dpkg-dev

Now you can use dpkg-scanpackages to generate the metadata:

$ cd local-repo/Debian/buster
# download/copy .deb package files
$ dpkg-scanpackages . | gzip > Packages.gz

RedHat/SLES repository metadata

First, install the createrepo package:

$ sudo yum install -y createrepo

Now you can use createrepo to generate the metadata:

$ cd local-repo/RedHat/8
# download/copy .rpm package files
$ createrepo .

How TPA uses the local repository

Copying the repository

TPA will use rsync to copy the contents of the repository directory, including the generated metadata, to a directory on target instances.

If rsync is not already available on an instance, TPA can install it (i.e., apt-get install rsync or yum install rsync). However, if you have set use_local_repo_only, the rsync package must be included in the local repo. If required, TPA will copy just the rsync package using scp and install it before copying the rest.

Repository configuration

After copying the contents of the local repo to target instances, TPA will configure the destination directory as a local (i.e., path-based, rather than URL-based) repository.

If you provide, say, example.deb in the repository directory, running apt-get install example will suffice to install it, just like any package in any other repository.

Package installation

TPA configures a repository with the contents that you provide, but if the same package is available from different repositories, it is up to the package manager to decide which one to install (usually the latest, unless you specify a particular version).

(However, if you set use_local_repo_only: yes, TPA will disable all other package repositories, so that instances can only use the packages that you provide in local-repo.)