In this editorial, we take a look at a great and powerful utility called
apt-fast that you can use to speed up downloading packages by APT or Aptitude.
apt-fast is an open-source shell script wrapper for the popular APT and Aptitude package managing tools that helps to speed the downloading of packages on Debian systems.
It’s main function is to remarkably speed up the downloading of packages by apt-get or aptitude by downloading packages in parallel, with numerous connections per package.
Read some of the following articles, that discusses about APT and Aptitude along with their usage with examples:
- What’s Difference Between APT and Aptitude
- 25 Useful Commands of apt-get for Package Management
- 15 Useful APT Commands for Package Management
- Learn Package Management with Aptitude in Ubuntu
Requirement for running apt-fast utility, is to have aria2c or axel download managers.
- How to Install Aria2 Command-Line Download Manager
- How to Install Axel to Speed Up FTP/HTTP Downloads
How to Install apt-fast on Ubuntu 16.04-14.04 and Linux Mint 18/17.x
Firstly add the the PPA for apt-fast package as follows and then update your system.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:saiarcot895/myppa $ sudo apt-get update
Thereafter, run the command below to install apt-fast tool:
$ sudo apt-get -y install apt-fast
During the apt-fast installation process, you will be prompted to perform some package configuration as follows.
In the screen below, you can set the number of connections allowed, remember, you can also configure it later in the apt-fast configuration file using the
Next, you can also choose to suppress the apt-fast confirmation message every time you want to install a package. But leaving the default value is okay, therefore, choose
<No> and hit Enter to advance.
How to Use apt-fast?
After successfully installing apt-fast, simply use it the same way you run
The apt-fast configuration file is:
/etc/apt-fast.conf, you can further increase your download speeds by adding multiple mirrors and distribute load, make sure to add nearest mirrors.
Official mirror lists for Debian and Ubuntu/Linux Mint:
You can add them to whitespace and comma separated mirrors in the configuration file as follows:
MIRRORS=( 'http://ftp.debian.org/debian, http://ftp2.de.debian.org/debian, http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian, ftp://ftp.uni-kl.de/debian' )
For Ubuntu/Linux Mint
MIRRORS=( 'http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu, http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu, http://ftp.halifax.rwth-aachen.de/ubuntu, http://ftp.uni-kl.de/pub/linux/ubuntu, http://mirror.informatik.uni-mannheim.de/pub/linux/distributions/ubuntu/' )
Important: To use mirrors in /etc/apt/sources.list or /etc/apt/sources.list.d/, you also need to add them to /etc/apt-fast.conf as well.
$ sudo vi /etc/apt-fast.conf
You also view the man page for apt-fast and apt-fast.conf as follows:
$ man apt-fast $ man apt-fast.conf
Let us dive into how apt-fast works by installing
git package as follows:
$ sudo apt-fast install git
You will be asked to confirm whether to download package or not, enter
Yes/Y to continue. The image below shows apt-fast working – downloading
git package using several connections.
After downloading the
git package, you will again be asked to install it by entering
Yes/Y and press Enter to proceed with the installation process.
Some important apt-fast commands:
$ sudo apt-fast update $ sudo apt-fast upgrade OR $ sudo apt-fast dist-update
In case a downloading process stops or breaks, run the command below:
$ sudo apt-fast clean
For more information, visit the apt-fast Github repository.
Here, we reviewed a powerful shell-script front-end for apt and aptitude that helps you to boost download speeds while installing packages on your Debian-based systems such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint and many more.
What is you experience with apt-fast? Do you think it works well for you? Then give us your thoughts plus any other questions you would like to ask, via the feedback form below.