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What do you all think about the 11 to 14 MBs of data during updating the repository index files (with sudo apt-get updates) of the installed Ubuntu or other Linux OS to just get a piece of software for the system?

Whatever you all guys think it is very bad thing about Ubuntu and other Linux os's. Many people hate this thing (updating) their system due to the reason of slow bandwidth.

So I think it will better for Ubuntu and other Linux OS's to improve it as soon as possible. I suggest idea of developing any script by which people can only update for particular repository instead of whole one. thanks and please tell me if it only happening with my system .

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closed as not constructive by Eliah Kagan, Bruno Pereira Aug 7 '12 at 13:49

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is not a place for bug reports and feature suggestions. Use launchpad for the first one and Ubuntu brainstorm for the second one. – Aleksandar Aug 7 '12 at 7:42
To add to what Aleksandar says, please note that you can file feature requests on Launchpad as well, so long as they are precise, detailed, and properly scoped. Before filing any bugs or feature requests about Ubuntu on Launchpad, please read this guide. – Eliah Kagan Aug 7 '12 at 10:19

Thanks to the traditional Linux's system of installing software through official distribution specific repositories!! This system is called Package management system.

As described in the Wikipedia artcile: It is

a collection of software tools to automate the process of installing, upgrading, configuring, and removing software packages for a computer's operating system in a consistent manner.

It typically maintains a database of software dependencies and version information to prevent software mismatches and missing prerequisites.

There is two point:

  1. Consistent manner in installing, upgrading, configuring and removing software packages.
  2. Can maintains database of software dependencies and version information to prevent anomaly

Why is it required?

Linux softwares are typically opensource and those kinds of softwares update very frequently. So, a management system is required to give OS consistent support of having updated packages.

Some of the functions of package management software is: (quoting from Wikipedia)

  • Verifying file checksums to ensure correct and complete packages;
  • Verifying digital signatures to authenticate the origin of packages;
  • Applying file archivers to manage encapsulated files;
  • Upgrading software with latest versions, typically from a software repository;
  • Grouping of packages by function to reduce user confusion;
  • Managing dependencies to ensure a package is installed with all packages it requires. This resolved the problem known as Dependency Hell.

Benefits of this system

  • You can instantly install,upgrade software from your repository by only doing a search
  • You can get updates without hassle, searching for updates in Web and going to the specific websites and downloading is not easier than just marking a package to update
  • Consistent system. There will be no conflict between packages
  • Distribution of software is easy in this system. Saves money and time to distribute those softwares
  • Better protection from malicious software, because there are strict chain of trust maintained in this system for package identification.
  • "eliminate the need for manual installs and updates". Just imagine how many clicks do you need to do to prepare a new Windows installation for your custom needs. But, In Ubuntu, if you have a list of packages of your choice, just feed the list to the system and all is installed with minimum user interaction.

Note that, Microsoft is going to implement such kind of centralized software management in upcoming Windows version trough app-store. (though the system is not exactly like Linux package management system)

Do I really need to do apt-get update for every piece of software?

As you said, you need to do sudo apt-get update for installing every piece of software. When the index file in your computer is matched exactly with the index file in online repository, apt-get do no update or download the index file, because, it first checks to see, whether an index file online has changed or not. So, it is not true that, you need to do apt-get update every time you install software. It is only needed when repository is updated online (which is not very frequent also. Most of the time, only "updates" channels are updated).

What is the problem then?: I assume, you are using Ubuntu 12.04. Unfortunately, 12.04 has a bug which causes apt-get to download index files every time, even it is not updated. This bug is reported and will be fixed soon. You are advised to go to the bug link and check the appropriate checkbox to say, "You too are affected for this bug"

This problem is discussed in this question the size of apt-get update lists is too big. and the bug link is here

Any workaround? I do a trick to minimize my download size. I wrote this workaround in that answer. You can go to this link to check.

The trick is, temporarily disable a repository whose index file is already download and then do a sudo apt-get update to update the interested repository list. And then enable the old repo. As you have told apt not to delete the disabled repo's index file, you can install, download from all repos now.

Hope this will be helpful.

You may want to check these links:

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