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Several times over the past couple years, I've heard of people using apt-fast for updating and installing packages, but I'm not really sure what it does. I think I've traced its origin to this forum post, and it seems to be a script that speeds up apt-get operations.

What exactly does the script do? Are there any potential downsides to using it? If not, why isn't everyone using it?

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It's not a bash script, it's an sh script. You see it by looking at the first line #!/bin/sh – geirha Jul 8 '11 at 8:33
Not an answer, but mirror:// is handy for things like choosing a fast mirror for you:… – Jorge Castro Jul 8 '11 at 12:04
up vote 17 down vote accepted

It appears to use the program axel to download the files using multiple concurrent connections to multiple mirrors. My guess is that everyone isn't using it because most people don't have connections that are significantly faster than the mirrors, and therefore, can substantially benefit from concurrent downloads, combined with the fact that most people haven't heard of it. This is the first time I've ever heard it mentioned in 5 years of running Ubuntu.

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apt-fast is a shell script wrapper for apt-get and aptitude that can drastically improve APT download times by downloading packages with multiple connections per package. Apt-Fast uses the Axel download accelerator in Ubuntu 12.04 or the aria2 download accelerator in Ubuntu 14.04 and beyond to download different pieces of a package simultaneously, lowering the total time it takes to download a package.

The apt-fast package can be installed by adding the PPA appropriate to your Ubuntu version to your software sources and installing it using these commands.

Ubuntu 12.04 ⠀(also 10.04,12.10,13.04 & 13.10)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:apt-fast/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install apt-fast

Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:amidevous/apt-fast-trusty-utopic
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install apt-fast  

Ubuntu 14.04 -> 16.04

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:saiarcot895/myppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install apt-fast
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