Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a slow Internet connection and every time I add a new ppa to install software I need to run apt-get update.

This takes about 10 minutes or so, I was wondering if there was a way to initiate a partial update for the newly added ppa's.

share|improve this question

While I don't suffer from the same issue, I did once and I used Apt-Fast. Below is what the author claims it does with instructions how to install and use it. I haven't used this since 11.04 however I did notice a considerable difference in speed when I did.

Apt-fast is a simple command line utility that can make installation and upgrading of software in Ubuntu/Debian much faster.

Apt-fast make use of Axel app which accelerates HTTP/FTP downloads by using multiple sources for one file. Author claims that, apt-fast could make your installations and upgrades up to 26x faster!

Do the following in Terminal to install it.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tldm217/

As of April 2, 2012, apt-fast doesn't have a Precise repository. You have to edit your Software Sources as the author has not made a package for Precise. So you have to launch it from the terminal.

Go to the Other Software tab and click on precise main.

Then click Edit.

Change the field that says "precise" to "oneiric" and click OK. Also do this on the line that says (source code).

Close Software Sources and put these lines in the terminal:

sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install apt-fast

Close and re-open terminal once again and try to use apt-fast instead of apt-get. You should see the difference.

This is an edit: I came across What is apt-fast and should I use it? after I answered yours which maybe helpful.

share|improve this answer
Even with the recent high load it didn't take 10 minutes for me to update. We must assume the bottleneck is at the OP's end, so multiple download connections will not speed up anything. When this technique does speed up downloads it is at the cost of making other users' connections slower which is an antisocial thing to do imo. – z7sg May 11 '12 at 15:42
I learned something from your comment, I knew there was a catch and eluded to in the comment in my answer. Thanks for sharing, very informative. – stephenmyall May 11 '12 at 15:46
It is the author of the software that didn't make a Precise package. Not the Canonical's fault. – jokerdino Aug 19 '12 at 7:40

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.