How to speed up package updates using apt-fast (Debian & Ubuntu)

apt-fast downloads repositories (package sources) and packages in parallel, which can greatly shorten the time it takes to update a system.  In contrast, the default package manager (apt-get or aptitude) downloads repositories and packages sequentially.


Step 1 – Install apt-fast

Add the apt-fast repository to your package sources.


If you don’t have the add-apt-repository tool, install it by running  sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

If the package configuration asks which package manager to use, choose apt-get if you are running Ubuntu, or aptitude if you are running Debian.

When asked for how many connections to use, enter a reasonable number based on your connection.  If you have a fast connection, the default of 15 will most likely suit you.  If you’re on a slower connection, consider entering 5 or 10.  Try different values to find what works best.

You can reconfigure at any time by running  sudo dpkg-reconfigure apt-fast


Step 2 – Create an alias

Add the following to the end of your  ~/.bashrc file to perform a normal upgrade by typing uu


Note the  -y argument.  This causes any prompts (such as the download confirmation) to be answered yes automatically.

If you want a more thorough upgrade (which installs new kernels) use  dist-upgrade rather than  upgrade


lonniebiz on reddit writes:

If you’d like to see this in the main repositories and Ubuntu Software Center, add some heat to this bug by indicating that it affects you: