Having trouble while updating or installing packages in your system? No worries. This brief tutorial will show you how to find the fastest mirror in Debian and it’s derivatives Ubuntu, Linux Mint etc. We can do this either from GUI or command line mode. Pick any one of your preferred method.
Find The Fastest Mirror In Debian And Derivatives
Method 1: Using Synaptic package manager
Finding fastest mirror from the graphical mode is very easy. All you to do is open Synaptic package Manager, go to Settings -> Repositories. From the Ubuntu Software section, Select “Other” in the “Download From” drop-down box, and click on Select Best Mirror.
This will automatically find and select the best mirror for your Debian systems.
After finding your best mirror, select Choose Server.
Finally, reload the repositories list. Now, you’ll notice that the downloading speed is significantly increased a bit.
Method 2: Using netselect-apt
A command line tool called “netselect-apt” is available to find the fastest debian mirror. It automatically creates a sources.list file for using with apt for the specified distribution by downloading the list of Debian mirrors using wget and choosing the fastest servers (both US and non- US) using netselect. The output file is written to OUTFILE.
Simply, run the following command to install it,
sudo apt-get install netselect-apt
Unfortunately, netselect-apt is not available in Ubuntu 14.04 and recent versions in the default repositories. But, we can download and install the .deb package from here. Go to the download location and install it as shown below.
sudo gdebi netselect_0.3.ds1-25_amd64.deb
If you any dependencies error like below,
Dependency is not satisfiable: netselect (>= 0.3.ds1-17)
Then, download and install the netselect package first. Download netselect from here.
sudo gdebi netselect_0.3.ds1-25_amd64.deb
Finally, install netselect-apt package again.
netselect-apt [OPTIONS] [stable|testing|unstable|experimental|release_codename|sid]
Specify which distribution of Debian to use. By default stable is used.
-a, –arch ARCH
Use mirrors containing ARCH. By default the architecture of the current machine is used as reported by dpkg.
While generating OUTFILE include also deb-src lines to use with “apt-get source” to obtain Debian source packages.
-i, –infile INFILE
Use INFILE instead of downloading the mirror list to a temporary file. The file must be in the same format as mirrors_full.
-o, –outfile OUTFILE
Use OUTFILE instead of sources.list.
Include also non-free section while generating OUTFILE.
Use FTP mirrors instead of HTTP and generate OUTFILE accordingly.
The OPTIONS provided are added, verbatim, to netselect when it is run. Here you can provide a (quoted) list of options for net‐select.
-t, –tests hosts
Make a short list with the number of hosts provided and use that list to test for mirror validity. By default 10 hosts are tested.
-c, –country COUNTRY
Only test the sites found under the country COUNTRY (the value can either be an ISO-3166 value or the full name of the language, in English). When this value is set the mirror list or the INFILE will be filtered and only the sites that are listed under the given country will be tested. Note that restricting the search might not give the best results, as the “fastest”
mirror might not even be in the same country as the system the program is running in.
Find Fastest Debian Mirror
Enter the following command to find fastest debian mirror list.
At the end, you might have an output like below.
This command will automatically select the fastest mirror according to your geographical location and it will save the output in sources.list file in your current directory.
Update Sources.list file
Append or move the sources.list file contents generated by netselect-apt command to /etc/apt/sources.list file as shown below.
First backup the current sources.list file.
sudo mv /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.bak
Then, append the new sources.list.
sudo mv sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list
Now update or upgrade or install software’s in your debian system. You will notice the speed difference.
Find Mirrors Depending Upon Your Distribution Version
We will find fastest mirror depending upon our distribution. For example, to find the fastest mirror for Debian 7 Wheezy, run the following command:
sudo netselect-apt wheezy
Suppose if you want to find only the fastest ftp mirrors instead of http, then the command should be:
sudo netselect-apt -f wheezy
If you want to include non-free repositories, enter the following command:
sudo netselect-apt -n wheezy
You can also include parameters for stable, non-stable and testing etc. If you didn’t include any parameters, then this command will list the fastest http mirror list for the stable version.
Please note that the speed of this mirrors may vary often, so I suggest you to run this command atleast once in a week and update the sources.list accordingly.
For more information about ‘netselect-apt’ command, please refer the man pages.