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I have some head crunch issues with updating my Ubuntu 12.04 server system. When I issue the following command (as root):

apt-get update

...nothing happens and after a while apt-get gives up with loads of errors like:

W: Failed to fetch http://nl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/precise-updates/restricted/i18n/Translation-en Unable to connect to nl.archive.ubuntu.com:http:

Below a copy of the stdout. Please note that I didn't wait for the command to finish and aborted it with CTRL-C to save some time

root@webserver:/var/log/apt# apt-get update 0% [Connecting to nl.archive.ubuntu.com (]^C

This is how my sources.list looks like:

root@webserver:/var/log/apt# cat /etc/apt/sources.list
###### Ubuntu Main Repos
deb http://nl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise main restricted 
deb-src http://nl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise main restricted 

###### Ubuntu Update Repos
deb http://nl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-security main restricted 
deb http://nl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates main restricted 
deb-src http://nl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-security main restricted 
deb-src http://nl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates main restricted 

My /etc/apt.apt.conf is empty and no proxy is in use

root@webserver:/var/log/apt# cat /etc/apt/apt.conf
root@webserver:/var/log/apt# echo $http_proxy

root@web-octoplus01:/var/log/apt# echo $HTTP_PROXY


Using the US mirrors (http://us.archive.ubuntu.com) gives the same result. Special with the US mirrors is that every third try it suddenly works! (Only the address works, the rest results in the same errors)

root@web-octoplus01:/var/log/apt# host us.archive.ubuntu.com
us.archive.ubuntu.com has address
us.archive.ubuntu.com has address
us.archive.ubuntu.com has address
us.archive.ubuntu.com has IPv6 address 2001:67c:1562::15
us.archive.ubuntu.com has IPv6 address 2001:67c:1562::13
us.archive.ubuntu.com has IPv6 address 2001:67c:1562::14

Can it be that my server is on some inconsistent black-list at Ubuntu? What do I not see?

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have you tried to use another server as source for your updates? –  Alvar Sep 25 '13 at 14:16
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1 Answer 1

Probably the download mirror you're using is slow. Try this:

  • Open Software Center > Edit > Software Sources
  • Under "Ubuntu Software" tab click on others in "Download from" menu

enter image description here

  • In next dialog box click on "Select Best Server".

enter image description here

  • It will search for best server for you, Once done click on "Choose Server" That's it!

Additional Sources:

Official Archive Mirrors for Ubuntu

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Thanks for your answer. The tooling decribed is not (default) available on our Ubuntu 12.04 server. Selecting a different Ubuntu mirror from the "Officeal Archive Mirrors for Ubuntu" did do the trick though. –  Tim van Dijk Oct 2 '13 at 8:23
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