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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: askubuntu.com/questions/37753/… –  Jorge Castro Jul 8 '11 at 12:04
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up vote 14 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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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

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