I need the update manager to only download a single package at a time and not try to download multiple packages at once.

My slow internet cannot handle multiple connections; slows the download to a crawl and some packages will reset themselves halfway through when they time-out.


When using apt-get update multiple repositories get checked: Multiple repositories checked at once using apt-get update

When using apt-get upgrade multiple packages are downloaded: Multiple Packages downloaded at once using apt-get update


You have two options here.

The Queue-Mode configuration option

The default, "host", creates one outgoing connection for each host. If you set it to "access" it will create one connection per URI type (which I understand to mean, one for http, one for ftp, and so on - since most connections are http, this means it'll access each server sequentially).

One way to do this that will also apply to update-manager is to:

echo 'Acquire::Queue-Mode "access";' >/etc/apt/apt.conf.d/75download

if you want to try it with apt-get once to see if it helps:

apt-get -o Acquire::Queue-mode=access update

The Acquire::http::Dl-Limit option

This is similarly to reduce the bandwidth used to something your connection can handle (and as per the manpage, "this option implicit deactivates the download from multiple servers at the same time").

echo 'Acquire::http::Dl-Limit "70";' >/etc/apt/apt.conf.d/75download


apt-get -o Acquire::http::Dl-Limit=70 update
  • These are very helpful suggestions! I am going to try it out tonight when I upgrade to 11.10 and will mark as correct if successful.
    – SaultDon
    Dec 21 '11 at 16:55

Rather than using the update manager try sudo apt-get update&&sudo apt-get upgrade in the terminal

It would get the job done and also does not use parallel connections

  • I tried this and it will also grab up to 2 packages at once. I can see separate progress bars for each. I can't find anything in the man pages for apt-get showing a flag to control this. That would be ideal.
    – SaultDon
    Dec 18 '11 at 17:36

Right click in the window area that lists the updates > Deselect All, then enable individually. Some packages will require more than one at once, U-M will auto-select when needed

  • Even though a package requires other packages, they should still be able to download one at a time without corrupting anything because they are not installing.
    – SaultDon
    Dec 20 '11 at 19:17

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