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This is the output of aptitude update:

Ign http://archive.canonical.com natty InRelease
Ign http://extras.ubuntu.com natty InRelease
Ign http://dl.google.com stable InRelease
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security InRelease
Hit http://deb.torproject.org natty InRelease
Get:1 http://dl.google.com stable Release.gpg [198 B]
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty InRelease
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates InRelease
Hit http://archive.canonical.com natty Release.gpg
Hit http://extras.ubuntu.com natty Release.gpg
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security Release.gpg
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty Release.gpg
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security Release
Hit http://archive.canonical.com natty Release
Hit http://extras.ubuntu.com natty Release
Get:2 http://dl.google.com stable Release [1,338 B]
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates Release.gpg
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/main Sources
Hit http://archive.canonical.com natty/partner amd64 Packages
Hit http://deb.torproject.org natty/main amd64 Packages
Hit http://extras.ubuntu.com natty/main Sources
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty Release
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/restricted Sources
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/universe Sources
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/multiverse Sources
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/main amd64 Packages
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/restricted amd64 Packages
Ign http://archive.canonical.com natty/partner TranslationIndex
Hit http://extras.ubuntu.com natty/main amd64 Packages
Ign http://extras.ubuntu.com natty/main TranslationIndex
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/universe amd64 Packages
Hit http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/multiverse amd64 Packages
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/main TranslationIndex
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/multiverse TranslationIndex
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/restricted TranslationIndex
Ign http://deb.torproject.org natty/main TranslationIndex
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/universe TranslationIndex
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates Release
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/main Sources
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/restricted Sources
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/universe Sources
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/multiverse Sources
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/main amd64 Packages
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/restricted amd64 Packages
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/universe amd64 Packages
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/multiverse amd64 Packages
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/main TranslationIndex
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/multiverse TranslationIndex
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/restricted TranslationIndex
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/universe TranslationIndex
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/main Sources
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/restricted Sources
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/universe Sources
Get:3 http://dl.google.com stable/main amd64 Packages [469 B]
Ign http://dl.google.com stable/main TranslationIndex
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/multiverse Sources
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/main amd64 Packages
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/restricted amd64 Packages
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/universe amd64 Packages
Hit http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/multiverse amd64 Packages
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/main TranslationIndex
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/multiverse TranslationIndex
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/restricted TranslationIndex
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/universe TranslationIndex
Ign http://archive.canonical.com natty/partner Translation-en_US
Ign http://extras.ubuntu.com natty/main Translation-en_US
Ign http://extras.ubuntu.com natty/main Translation-en
Ign http://archive.canonical.com natty/partner Translation-en
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/main Translation-en_US
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/main Translation-en
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/multiverse Translation-en_US
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/multiverse Translation-en
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/restricted Translation-en_US
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/restricted Translation-en
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/universe Translation-en_US
Ign http://security.ubuntu.com natty-security/universe Translation-en
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty InRelease
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty InRelease
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty InRelease
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty InRelease
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty InRelease
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty Release.gpg
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty Release.gpg
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty Release.gpg
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty Release.gpg
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty Release.gpg
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty Release
Ign http://dl.google.com stable/main Translation-en_US
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty Release
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty Release
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty Release
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty Release
Ign http://dl.google.com stable/main Translation-en
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Sources
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main amd64 Packages
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main TranslationIndex
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Sources
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main amd64 Packages
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main TranslationIndex
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Sources
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main amd64 Packages
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main TranslationIndex
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Sources
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main amd64 Packages
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main TranslationIndex
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Sources
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/main Translation-en_US
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/main Translation-en
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main amd64 Packages
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main TranslationIndex
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/multiverse Translation-en_US
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/multiverse Translation-en
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/restricted Translation-en_US
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/restricted Translation-en
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/universe Translation-en_US
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty/universe Translation-en
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/main Translation-en_US
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/main Translation-en
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/multiverse Translation-en_US
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/multiverse Translation-en
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/restricted Translation-en_US
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/restricted Translation-en
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/universe Translation-en_US
Ign http://us.archive.ubuntu.com natty-updates/universe Translation-en
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Translation-en_US
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Translation-en
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Translation-en_US
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Translation-en
Ign http://archive.getdeb.net natty-getdeb InRelease
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Translation-en_US
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Translation-en
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Translation-en_US
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Translation-en
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Translation-en_US
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net natty/main Translation-en
Hit http://archive.getdeb.net natty-getdeb Release.gpg
Hit http://archive.getdeb.net natty-getdeb Release
Ign http://deb.torproject.org natty/main Translation-en_US
Ign http://deb.torproject.org natty/main Translation-en
Hit http://archive.getdeb.net natty-getdeb/apps amd64 Packages
Ign http://archive.getdeb.net natty-getdeb/apps TranslationIndex
Ign http://archive.getdeb.net natty-getdeb/apps Translation-en_US
Ign http://archive.getdeb.net natty-getdeb/apps Translation-en
Fetched 2,005 B in 45s (44 B/s)
Reading package lists...

Is there any way I can get rid of the Translation stuff? I'm tired of it resulting in tons of repository checks rather than it checking far less repositories (69 actual repos vs. 169 checks)

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 43 down vote accepted

To disable downloading translations, create a file named /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/99translations & put the following in it:

Acquire::Languages "none";

You may also need to remove existing translation files in /var/lib/apt/lists/

For more information see the man page to apt.conf (5).

share|improve this answer
    
That worked to get most of the items, but entries with TranslationIndex are still showing up. Any idea how to remove those? –  Thomas W. Nov 2 '11 at 4:06
2  
This looks to be bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=624218 which should be fixed in the version of apt in 11.10 –  ajmitch Nov 2 '11 at 4:10
1  
any backports of it? –  Thomas W. Nov 2 '11 at 4:12
    
perfect..... those translation things are not showing up in apt-get update anymore –  syedrakib Apr 30 '12 at 0:10
1  
is this for apt_preferences or apt.conf? it looks like this answer is a bit mixed up. –  Jayen Mar 9 '13 at 22:03

Just for the record (since some will trip on this ..) the 99Translations file above will cause apt to barf - remove the "Packages: *" line - just the one line is enough:

Acquire::Languages "none";

Also, apt will still retrieve the files for your locale/language.

share|improve this answer
    
If you're using Ubuntu 12.x, this is what you want to disable apt from retrieving pkg translations –  Flint Dec 15 '12 at 4:52
    
Don't forget to issue sudo rm -r /var/lib/apt/lists/*Translation* command to remove all existing translation index files after that –  Flint Dec 15 '12 at 4:58

Enable pipelining to batch these requests, which is much faster:

Acquire::http { Pipeline-Depth "200"; }

But in my experience it can result in broken downloads; http error codes seem to cascade or something. It should be safe enough if you are talking to apt-cacher-ng (either mirror mode or proxy mode). Otherwise, be prepared to disable it if your mirror breaks.

I would advise against setting languages to none, because it breaks apt-cache search (none means none, when useful searches would need descriptions in at least one language). The locale-based default includes unnecessary regional variants, but something like this:

Acquire::Languages { "fr"; "en"; };

is reasonable.

share|improve this answer
    
For me it does not break apt-cache search (Ubuntu 13.10). –  blueyed Feb 1 at 22:15

Found this as I was searching for a solution too. Was a fresh install of Debian testing. The following command (as suggested above) fixed it:

sudo rm -r /var/lib/apt/lists/*
share|improve this answer
    
Tested on the Natty system. This didnt fix the problem in Natty. However, since I've upgraded my primary system to Precise, I dont have this issue :P –  Thomas W. Jun 29 '12 at 12:38

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