How to use multiple connections to speed up apt-get on Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS server with apt-fast

How do I speed up my apt-get or apt command to download packages from multiple repos on a Ubuntu Linux 16.04 or 14.04 LTS server or Ubuntu 17.04 desktop system? How do I use apt-fast command on a Debian Linux server?

You need to use apt-fast shell script wrapper. It should speed up apt-get command/apt command and aptitude command by downloading packages with multiple connections per package. All packages are downloaded simultaneously in parallel. It uses aria2c as default download accelerator.

Install software-properties-common for PPA

You need to install the following package in order to use PPA on Ubuntu server:
$ sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

Install apt-fast tool

Type the following command on Ubuntu Linux 14.04 and later versions:
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:saiarcot895/myppa
Sample outputs:

Fig.01: installing repository

Update your repo:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt update
Sample outputs:

Fig.02: refreshing repository

Install apt-fast shell wrapper:
$ sudo apt-get -y install apt-fast
$ sudo apt -y install apt-fast
Sample outputs:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  aria2 libc-ares2 libssh2-1
Suggested packages:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  apt-fast aria2 libc-ares2 libssh2-1
0 upgraded, 4 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 1,282 kB of archives.
After this operation, 4,786 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Get:1 xenial/universe amd64 libssh2-1 amd64 1.5.0-2 [70.3 kB]
Get:2 xenial/main amd64 apt-fast all 1.8.3~137+git7b72bb7-0ubuntu1~ppa3~xenial1 [34.4 kB]
Get:3 xenial/main amd64 libc-ares2 amd64 1.10.0-3 [33.9 kB]
Get:4 xenial/universe amd64 aria2 amd64 1.19.0-1build1 [1,143 kB]
54% [4 aria2 486 kB/1,143 kB 42%]                                    20.4 kB/s 32s

Configure apt-fast

You will be prompted as follows (a value between 5 and 16 must be entered):

Fig.03: Set maximum number of connections


Fig.04: Yes suppress apt-fast download confirmation

You can edit settings directly too:
$ sudo vi /etc/apt-fast.conf

Please note that this tool is not for slow network connections; it is for fast network connections. If you have a slow connection to the Internet, you are not going to benefit by this tool.

A note about Ubuntu Linux version 17.04 “zesty” and Debian Linux

Type the following command to install the same on Ubuntu 17.04 or Debian Linux based system:
$ cd /tmp
$ wget
$ more vokNn
$ sudo bash vokNn

How do I use apt-fast command?

The syntax is:
apt-fast command
apt-fast [options] command

To retrieve new lists of packages using apt-fast

sudo apt-fast update

To perform an upgrade using apt-fast

sudo apt-fast upgrade
To perform distribution upgrade (release or force kernel upgrade), enter:
$ sudo apt-fast dist-upgrade

To install new packages

The syntax is:
sudo apt-fast install pkg
For example, install nginx package, enter:
$ sudo apt-fast install nginx
Sample outputs:

Fig.05: Install new packages

To remove packages

$ sudo apt-fast remove pkg
$ sudo apt-fast remove nginx

To remove packages and its config files too

$ sudo apt-fast purge pkg
$ sudo apt-fast purge nginx

To remove automatically all unused packages, enter:
$ sudo apt-fast autoremove

To Download source archives

$ sudo apt-fast source pkgNameHere

To erase downloaded archive files

$ sudo apt-fast clean
To erase old downloaded archive files
$ sudo apt-fast autoclean

To verify that there are no broken dependencies

$ sudo apt-fast check

To download the binary package into the current directory

$ sudo apt-fast download pkgNameHere
$ sudo apt-fast download nginx

Sample outputs:

[#7bee0c 0B/0B CN:1 DL:0B]                                                                          
07/26 15:35:42 [NOTICE] Verification finished successfully. file=/home/vivek/nginx_1.10.0-0ubuntu0.16.04.2_all.deb

07/26 15:35:42 [NOTICE] Download complete: /home/vivek/nginx_1.10.0-0ubuntu0.16.04.2_all.deb

Download Results:
gid   |stat|avg speed  |path/URI
7bee0c|OK  |        n/a|/home/vivek/nginx_1.10.0-0ubuntu0.16.04.2_all.deb

Status Legend:
(OK):download completed.

To download and display the changelog for the given package

$ sudo apt-fast changelog pkgNameHere
$ sudo apt-fast changelog nginx


Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.