If I need Sun Java, Adobe Flash Plugin or anything else that comes from Canonical Partners the package downloads are painfully slow even small sized packages like the Flash plugin, to speed things up I have to go here: http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/pool/partner/ to find what I want, download the packages with a download manager (which is usually about 20 times faster than the package manager) and then place them in my /var/cache/apt/archives folder I run the package manager afterwards, as long as the right versions of the packages I ask to install are detected in the /var/cache/apt/archives folder they will be installed immediately. I would like to stop doing this, so I am wondering if anyone else has this problem, what could be the cause and if there is a fix. I am located in the Western Caribbean region.

I think it would be helpful to note that all other packages coming from the repository I have selected with synaptic download at acceptable speeds.


Ubuntu attempts to select a local mirror of the repositories that are geographically close to you. The partner repo doesn't have any mirrors because of copyright issues (AFAIK -- it's non-free software) so you end up using the London-hosted copy. PPAs are probably the same.

As you're in the Caribbean, I imagine traffic UK-bound would have to hop through the US before going trans-Atlantic to London. That's a long way for something to travel and if any of the links are bad or lossy, traffic can grind to a slow speed. At the least, response time is very slow.

If you want to test this further you can run ping archive.canonical.com and see what you get for a response time (I'm in England and get ~26ms). And as a general speedtest to London, you can run wget http://london1.linode.com/100MB-london.bin (1.3MB/s here).

As for fixing the problem... Canonical either need more, geographically-distrubuted servers for the partner repo, or you need to move closer to London.

  • Thanks, I thought as much, that it was likely a mirror problem. – Sabacon Nov 9 '10 at 17:24
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    slow/bad internet links doesn't explain why it's faster when using a download manager than when using Synaptic? Sounds more like some form of traffic shaping or so... – JanC Nov 9 '10 at 20:34

Use apt-fast. It is a replacement for apt-get that speeds up download greatly as it uses axel download accelerator for downloading and is a brilliant front end for dpkg. For more information refer to this page.


  • This deserves more upvotes! My download speed went from 40 to 800 KiB/s (the max on my connection). – Gerhard Burger May 16 '13 at 7:46
  • apt-fast downloads from multiple threads. – noobninja Oct 27 '16 at 6:00

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