How-To Geek

How to Speed Up Package Downloads and updates with Apt-fast

By Default, Ubuntu uses apt-get to install packages and updates. Apt-get is a good tool but you can get much faster download speeds using Apt-Fast when downloading and updating your Ubuntu box.

Apt-Fast is a script created by Matt Parnell that allows for up to 26x faster downloads. So how does it work? It is a script which uses Axel, a command line application which accelerates HTTP/FTP downloads. Well, the magic behind this is simple; it opens multiple connections to the server or multiple servers to download from. So basically it works like torrent client, downloading different pieces of the same file from different places simultaneously. Thus, reducing/eliminating the effect of server being overloaded.

To get Apt-Fast on your system, download the file “” from the link at the bottom. Once downloaded, open a terminal window to continue from there. Start by navigating to the file’s directory and rename it using this easy command:

mv apt-fast

Now you need to move the file to “/usr/bin” to make it executable. Do so by using:

mv apt-fast /usr/bin/

One last command to add execution permission to the file:

chmod +x apt-fast

And we are done. Apt-fast is now installed and ready to run. For all future installing and updating operations substitute “apt-get” with “apt-fast” in the command line. For example:

apt-get install chromium

Will be:

apt-fast install chromium


apt-get update

Will be:

apt-fast update

Enjoy your supercharged downloading speeds and don’t forget to come back for more interesting Ubuntu stuff.

Download apt-fast [via Mattparnell]


Omar Hafiz is a geeky Linux user who loves customizing Ubuntu to fit his personal style. Whether it's the login screen or his Gnome panels, he's got them tweaked to perfection.

  • Published 08/25/11

Comments (9)

  1. trm96

    Will this work in Fedora?

  2. Josh B.

    Thanks for this

  3. Daniel

    Dont forget you could probably alias this and make it so you dont need to keep remembering to type fast instead of get.

  4. Omar Hafiz

    @trm96 – I’m not sure, I never tried it on Fedora. Try it and let me know.

    @Daniel – That’s a great tip.

  5. ras

    works! tnx, another useful tip from lifehacker

  6. Demonkunga

    alias apt-get=’apt-fast’ added to ~/.profile
    in case anyone needs to know. =P

  7. Terrence

    Can someone help me make this work for synaptic

  8. Omar Hafiz

    @Terrance: You’ll have to use the terminal for installing packages and updates. It won’t work with synaptic.

  9. whynnot

    tx. great tip

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