Speeding up APT

Ok peeps.. Listen up. There’s this ultra high bandwidth data connection service that I use to connect to the internet. It’s called GPRS – General Packet blah blah. Speeds range from 0.0 b/s to 4 kB/s (rare). With download acceleration and all the bells and whistles turned on, it may go upto 6 kB/s. And that’s the best case scenario, mind you. I won’t mention how blazingly fast it is on weekends. Sigh. Talk about living in the Stone Age.

In case you’re wondering why I let out the “secret”, wonder no more! You see, I realized that apt-get has an option called dist-upgrade. Made me wonder.. how many centuries (eons would be better) would it take for that command to execute to completion? Maybe I should write a song: “How many eons would an apt-get take, before I press Ctrl-C”. Ok ok enough.

The other day, my friend mentioned a little-known tool called apt-axel. Well the smarter ones among you must’ve figured out the whole purpose of this post already. But anyway.. 🙂

Axel is a download accelerator for linux. Works pretty well. Has support for multi-part downloads and blah blah.. So they came up with this ingenius shell script, apt-axel. It basically causes apt-get to download its packages using axel instead of wget, which is the default. Brilliant.

So there you have it, a little 5 kB script that considerably speeds up apt. Not of much use to me (who cares if that 4 kB/s becomes 6). Nevertheless, thought I’d share it. After all, everyone isn’t on GPRS..

sudo aptitude install axel

Download apt-axel

Extract the tarball somewhere and go through the INSTALL file. All the best!


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