I’ve blogged about this in the past but it seemed to be overlooked. I blame the poor choice of title. In any event, I figure it would be worth revisiting as I’ve had a few suggestions on it being a good topic.
note: Your mileage may vary. I’ve seen these steps suggest a much faster repository and in other cases they can end up being slower. Perhaps try two or three until you find a good one.
Updating Your Repository Server
Software packages and security updates are made available in Ubuntu by way of a software repository. These repositories are mirrored all over the world, many times very close to where you live. I, for example, have three mirrors within 50 miles of my house. These are generally much faster than the core Ubuntu repositories.
To find a repository near you, or have your system scan for the fastest (which may or may not be local to you), you will need to launch the Software Sources tool. This can be found in:
System > Administration > Software Sources
This administrative menu will allow you to change the location of your repository, and which items within the repository you want to subscribe to. You will have the most software available if all boxes are checked.
From here we’ll want to select “Other” from the drop-down menu and we’ll be provided with a list of available servers.
To have your system try and find the fastest server you can select the “Select Best Server” option, which will try to connect to each repository mirror and track the fastest responses. The location selected when this process is done should be the fastest available mirror at that time.
Remember, repository mirror speeds can fluctuate based on traffic and other factors. For best results you might try this scan periodically and find which mirrors are consistently the best for your location. Enjoy!