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In Terminal that is possible by using apt-fast (using Axel).

But is it possible to put to work Axel and apt-fast in Synaptic Manager?

I found this suggestion, but I would not attempt it without the assistance from Ask Ubuntu :)

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If you are afraid some procedure might break your system, just set up a virtual machine of ubuntu in virtualbox. Try the things there and if they work ok, you can then safely make it on your pc – LnxSlck Aug 25 '12 at 17:23
Why edit synaptic when you can just use and apt-mirror. Initial population of the mirror with apt-fast. – RobotHumans Aug 25 '12 at 17:37
+1 for not attempting and seeking help :) – atenz Aug 25 '12 at 18:12
Cipricus: this method will not work with Ubuntu's Synaptic even if you tried -- see my edited answer. – izx Aug 25 '12 at 19:30
@ aking1012 this is new for me. would you be so kind to provide some more info on apt-mirror, i have no idea what that is :) – cipricus Aug 25 '12 at 20:43
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The method in the forum thread (tricking Synaptic by renaming apt-fast to apt-get and vice versa) will not work with Ubuntu, because our Synaptic does not use apt-get. I've verified this by quickly looking at the source code, and also by moving /usr/bin/apt-get elsewhere -- Synaptic still works fine. Synaptic does reuse bits of code from apt-get, and it does use the actual dpkg binaries to perform installation, configuration, etc., but it does not use the apt-get binary.


  • I would first recommend trying to find a fast, "networkically"-close mirror to try to max out speed. Please see the command-line method in this answer for a very reliable way to do so.

  • The second is to mark packages to install in Synaptic and then generate a download script from the File menu. This is a bash script with multiple wget -c entries, one for each deb file. Simply use sed -i -e 's/wget -c/axel/g' scriptname to use axel instead, run the script in an empty directory, and then do sudo dpkg -i *.deb.

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@EliahKagan: See edit, this whole thing is a diversion ;) because Synaptic (on 12.04 at least) does not use the apt-get binary at all. – izx Aug 25 '12 at 18:56

Personally, I would do what LnxSlck said in his comment, set up a VM with Ubuntu and test there. That would allow you to test without any real issue. If it breaks, don't do it. If it works, you can be semi-safe in the idea that it will work correctly without any true incident.

I tend to do this with every "test" i do with Ubuntu, so its a good practice if you dont want to explode your installation by accident.

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izx said Synaptic does not use apt-get. well, if that is so, what is said on that forum I mentioned in the question is false because all that is based precisely on tweaking/twisting apt-get. therefore i would not bother testing that i guess. – cipricus Aug 25 '12 at 20:38

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