How to lower wait time for repository updates

When doing a aptitude update / apt-get update or using the Update Manager to update sometimes I get to a repository link that takes too long. The percent does not end and it takes quite a while before it ignores it.

How can I lower the time so that if a particular repository takes more than 10 seconds to connect or finish it should ignore it and move the following ones. Here is an image explaining the problem:

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It is trying to connect to but since it is taking too long it just sits there for at least 3 to 5 minutes (Haven’t measured the time) and then it shows as ignored and moves to the following. I wish to change that to seconds instead of minutes.

Here is Solutions:

We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first solution because it is tested & true solution that will 100% work for you.

Solution 1

How can I lower the time so that if a particular repository takes more than 10 seconds to connect or finish it should ignore it and move the following ones?

Mirrors are one option, as @adempewolff explained. Let me give you a direct answer though:

Setting apt-get connection timeouts

You can control these timeouts via the following apt.conf options:

  Acquire::http::Timeout "10";
  Acquire::ftp::Timeout "10";

Note that this only applies to connection timeouts, NOT “finish time” timeouts, i.e. if it connects within 10 seconds, it will continue to download a 100MB package even if it’s at 1 KB/second 🙂

To implement these options, simply create a conf file in /etc/apt/apt.conf.d; suppose we call it 99timeout.

  • Press Alt+F2, type gksudo gedit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/99timeout
  • Type/paste the above lines, with your choice of timeout in seconds
  • Save and exit.
  • Now try sudo apt-get update

And the terminal-addict’s “find best server” hack!

Expanded and moved as an answer to this more appropriate question

Additional apt-get conf options that you can try to tweak

  • Acquire::Queue-Mode: Queuing mode; Queue-Mode can be one of host or access which determines how APT parallelizes outgoing connections. host means that one connection per target host will be opened, access means that one connection per URI type will be opened.

  • Acquire::Retries: Number of retries to perform. If this is non-zero APT will retry failed files the given number of times.

  • Acquire::http::Dl-Limit: accepts integer values in kilobytes, to throttle download speed and not slow down your browsing/email/etc. when updating. The default value is 0 which deactivates the limit and tries uses as much as possible of the bandwidth. If enabled, it will disable apt-get‘s parallel downloading feature.

  • Dig through man apt.conf if you think something else might help!

Solution 2

Often certain repositories loading painfully slow is just a symptom of using a slow mirror. The default mirrors for many regions are not the fastest (I know this is the case in China).

Changing your mirror is really easily done through the Software Sources GUI, you can open this window in two ways:

  1. Open Ubuntu Software Center and click on Software Sources in the Edit menu.


  1. Open a terminal (or type alt-F2) and run software-properties-gtk

When this window comes up you’ll notice a drop down menu saying Download From: that selects your mirror. Select the Other option from this menu.


In the new window that comes up click the Select Best Server button and this will test and automatically choose the fastest server for your location.

select best server

Hope this helps!

See also:

Solution 3

apt-fast works like apt-get, but downloads repository updates and packages in parallel. See this tutorial to learn how to use it.

Note: Use and implement solution 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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