The Ubuntu "Software Up To Date" is now becoming painful like Windows.

Every time the update check starts, it takes ages to "update cache" and hogs all the internet bandwidth. How to reduce the bandwidth usage of the update process? Additionally, how to remove unnecessary updates of redundant software.

I need to also reduce the download volume as quota is limited (and very costly at about $1 per 100MB).

  • Just revisiting this question after it has become notable. The bandwidth hogging is not an issue for me anymore, because thankfully the Indian internet providers have become reasonably competitive, after the disruptive entry of Jio. I now get around 20 GB for $1 (₹399 for 1.5 GB per day for 84 days). – Sri Feb 17 '18 at 10:13

To limit bandwidth used by apt you can edit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades, uncomment the Acquire::http::Dl-Limitline and set the speed you want. For example:

Open the terminal: Ctrl+Alt+T
Open the file: sudo gedit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades
Change the last line to the following: Acquire::http::Dl-Limit "50";

Where the number between quotes is the speed in kb/sec.

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  • Thank you. This solves my issue partially in that it won't reduce the volume of download. Updating the question to add the volume part. – Sri Jul 23 '12 at 18:30
  • I hope the delta update option gets implemented soon. Since that is beyond the scope of existing system (to postulate a solution), I accepted this answer. – Sri Aug 11 '12 at 11:57

You need delta upgrades: When will Ubuntu include delta updates?

If you can't wait, you might consider switching to Fedora.

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  • Thanks for the delta link. I would prefer to stay with Ubuntu - embraced after chucking out 'hole in the wall' :P over 2 years ago. – Sri Jul 24 '12 at 16:40

You can help minimize the software updater's impact in two ways:

The first is to have it check for updates less often:

The 2nd is to enable automatic updates so the updates happen when you're not using the computer:

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  • Thanks, I am aware of the 2 ways you suggest. I have monitored the files that get downloaded for cache update. Files running into tens of MBs get downloaded every time - why can't Ubuntu have some incremental kind of thing. Like we do incremental backups. – Sri Jul 23 '12 at 18:25

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