All other connection speeds are normal, average download speed is about 2mbps but my updates are lucky to get to 100kbps. Updates and this website are the only things running any ideas what the problem could be?

  • Thats what I did and my computer wont start! I am in the middle of retrieving my old files and then fresh installing ubuntu.
    – user57448
    Apr 27, 2012 at 20:53
  • You're certain you cancelled during "Getting new packages" and no other phase, such as "Installing the upgrades"?
    – Nick
    Apr 27, 2012 at 21:01

4 Answers 4


It might be your local mirror being slow from the 12.04 attention. You might want to switch mirrors temporarily:

  • 1
    I have had local mirrors slow down for a number of reasons. In addition to external factors, there is an apt option which rate limits downloads speed. You may want to check if Acquire::http::Dl-Limit has been set.
    – BillThor
    Apr 24, 2012 at 4:08

Been using ubuntu a long time now and can tell you its the mirror. Back in the day the canadian mirrors were so slow it was almost impossible to install (with download updates while installing option). So most of us just got in the habit of selecting "New York" as our time zone during install so that it would default to us.archive.... (the american faster mirror at the time which is in same time zone so no harm no foul). Now days though I have noticed the same problems you are describing. During a week day you will be lucky to get 100K/s. On the weekend around 3am it seems to get up around 800K/s (as fast as my modem goes so might be faster for others). So what I did to test is open up the sources and change the country code from "us.archive...." to "ca.archive....". The first thing it did was educate me that the canadian mirrors have been upgraded and fly pretty good now (during the afore mentioned weekend time). Alas it still suffers during the week days, though in my experience is still faster then the US servers (around 100-200 K/s). Just keep changing the mirror until you find one that works. I havn't tested any but "us" and "ca" so I cannot offer any insight there.

Edit sources file: sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list


Apart from what Jorge suggested (about choosing best servers), you can actually remove some extra third-party repositories (like launchpad ones which you might have installed for some extra themes etc) to make the process a LOT faster.

You can read about it here: How to remove a repository?

Let's say you want to download and install some extra plugin - say Gmail video chat one. Having just that repository selected in this list, before you do a

sudo apt-get update

will make it drastically fast because you don't have to download all other unnecessary lists.

This list file is kinda big one (about 24 MB minimum -for default packages - and removing unwanted repositories will save you say one minute or something.). You can read about this more here: the size of apt-get update lists is too big

At the same place (where you select these repositories), you can "Select best server" to make download as fast as possible. Sometimes, when mirrors near you go down, this will automatically select the best server at that time. You can read the second answer here: How can I get apt to use a mirror close to me, or choose a faster mirror?

All those settings are under "Update Manager", so take a look at it, and happy tweaking!


I just read that apt-fast is able to make the download faster than apt-get using multiple connections by using aria2 as the default download manager.

Here is the link to the article.

  • Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Could you edit your answer and provide more information in the answer instead of just linking off-site? (copy-paste the Ubuntu instructions)
    – Fabby
    Feb 20, 2016 at 20:35

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.