I want to add SOCKS proxy settings to /etc/apt/apt.conf. What is the syntax for it? Is it same as http and ftp syntax?



A possible solution can be to use tsocks, an application that can redirect the network traffic through a socks proxy. Install tsocks package, modify /etc/tsocks.conf to set address and port number of your socks proxy, and run:

$ sudo -s
# tsocks apt-get update
# tsocks apt-get dist-upgrade
# exit


$ sudo -s
# . tsocks -on
# apt-get update
# apt-get dist-upgrade
# . tsocks -off # not really necessary, given the exit
# exit

You can think to a number of options, to simplify and automate its use.
Don't forget the leading dot, the Manpage has more deatails on this.

Edit: a shorter way to use it:

$ sudo tsocks apt-get update
$ sudo tsocks apt-get dist-upgrade
  • 9
    It seems tsocks is not installed by default, so I need to run sudo tsocks apt-get install tsocks. Hahahahahaha... – fikr4n Apr 12 '16 at 7:21
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    You can use curl to download tsocks, install it and then use :) – neutrinus May 20 '16 at 20:38
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    Also: As of apt 1.3~rc1 (Debian version, not sure exactly which Ubuntu version, though my guess is not until Zesty), you can use Acquire::http::Proxy "socks5h://hostname:port/". See the changelog at anonscm.debian.org/gitweb/?p=apt/apt.git;a=blob;f=debian/… – derobert Feb 21 '17 at 22:12
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    Well... that's funny. To make apt-get work you need to... apt-get something! – Equidamoid Jul 5 '17 at 17:48
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    a little correction to @derobert line: Acquire::socks::Proxy "socks5h://hostname:port/"; does the trick. Http does not - try it with Tor and you'll see a standard response "Tor is not a http proxy", so the http goes replaced by socks - and it works! – Alexey Vesnin Aug 20 '17 at 11:30

Using the next config line works for me:

Acquire::socks::proxy "socks5://server:port";

To keep apt.conf clean and avoid problems at Linux upgrade I created a new file (/etc/apt/apt.conf.d/12proxy) and added the config file to it.

  • what's the begin number mean in the foler – Kris Roofe Dec 29 '16 at 2:14
  • It's just the script execution order – Bit-Man Dec 30 '16 at 11:48
  • This is wrong. This doesn't work. – dedunumax Sep 7 '18 at 2:08
  • What failed to you @dedunumax? Any error? Any clue? – Bit-Man Sep 7 '18 at 15:35
  • Nothing happens. – dedunumax Sep 7 '18 at 17:52

Or tou can put in your /etc/apt/apt.conf something like this:

Acquire::socks::proxy "socks://user:pass@host:port/";
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    This doesn't seem to work in Ubuntu 12.04 – Shnatsel Oct 16 '13 at 17:38
  • Works in 13.10. – isaaclw May 2 '14 at 4:11
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    I'm pretty sure this is wrong syntax, it means "proxy all URLs that begin with socks:// through socks://user:pass@host:port/". Really, it should be this: Acquire::http::proxy "socks://user:pass@host:port/"; – Hans-Christoph Steiner Jul 18 '14 at 16:03
  • @Hans-ChristophSteiner: This makes a connection to the indicated host and port, but the connection does not use the socks protocol. It looks like a http proxy protocol, but I did not check with an actual http proxy. – Seth Robertson Apr 16 '15 at 0:02
  • At this point, I'm sure that Acquire::socks is for setting the proxy for URLs that start with socks://. So that means you don't need a proxy to access the internet, and apt is not using any proxy for ftp://, http://, or https://.. apt only supports HTTP proxies, i.e. Acquire::http::proxy "http://localhost:8118. – Hans-Christoph Steiner Sep 8 '15 at 19:38

I couldn't find anything on Acquire::socks::proxy in the apt.conf manual of Ubuntu Xenial. You could fix this by running a local http proxy that supports upstream socks proxy, for example Polipo. You need to configure Polipo as follows:

proxyAddress = "::1"
proxyPort = 8118
socksParentProxy = "sockshost:socksport"
socksProxyType = socks5

and then set the http proxy in your apt.conf file:

Acquire::http::proxy "";
Acquire::https::proxy "";
Acquire::http::proxy "socks5h://server:port";

This works for me on Ubuntu 18.04. As the man page says, socks5h, not socks5, is supported by apt, which means socks5 proxy with DNS resolving ability.

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