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My university has a virtual HTTP repository which we can access by changing our proxy to Our regular proxy to access the internet is It incredibly speeds up download speed with apt-get update and install commands.

Now sometimes I encounter various issues with my network connectivity when trying to use apt-get update or install with the repository, and I never know how to fix it or even try to figure out whats wrong since I have no understand of how it works.

So for a networking noob, can you explain how such virtual HTTP repository systems work? Do they have a storage of all packages? That seems a bit impossible. Or is it just sort of a gateway to access the Ubuntu repositories at unrestricted speeds? What happens if I change my repository server (in update manager) from say, Main servers to some other server? It still seems to work. And what happens if I add a custom PPA?

Here's a screenshot of the page that appears if I open when behind, if it helps you guys to understand what sort of proxy I'm talking about.


share|improve this question
No explanation for now, only a hint: always prefer editing/adding /etc/apt/apt.conf over changing your /etc/apt/sources.list – guntbert Feb 16 '13 at 18:37
@user1265125: What is is that you want to know that will solve your problem, if it is 407 authentication error, then you should refer this question: If you want a script that will set proxy in this file and also in dconf, I have script that may prove handy. Just confirm whether this is the exact nature of your problem. – i08in Feb 16 '13 at 18:52
@guntbert Yes I do add to apt.conf :). – user1265125 Feb 17 '13 at 5:01

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