As part of upgrading / rebuilding with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and the sheer amount of packages that come with the upgrade or port fresh install, I looked into how to speed that up a bit further.

I mentioned already before apt-cacher-ng to run a local proxy and avoid downloading the same packages over and over for multiple systems.

However on 2 systems I have a huge amount of sources.lists which makes even the apt-get update process very slow / time consuming. So I looked into how to speed that one up bit.

in Fedora/CentOS/RedHat there is a tool called deltarpm which adds support for downloading the deltas to generate new or updated packages.

The there is a similar tool in Ubuntu / Debian.


“debdelta is a program suite designed to compute changes between Debian packages. These changes (deltas) are similar to the output of the “diff” program in that they may be used to store and transmit only the changes between Debian packages.

This suite contains ‘debdelta-upgrade’, that downloads deltas and use them to create all Debian packages needed for an ‘apt-get upgrade’.”

To install use:

sudo apt-get install debdelta

To use:

sudo debdelta-upgrade

This will re-read and update the repositories and prepare to install / upgrade with apt-get or apt-fast.

see here for a few more details.


Apt-fast is a shellscript wrapper for apt-get that can improve apt download times by downloading packages in parallel, with multiple connections per package.

This does not improve the application of the packages to the OS but the way the packages are downloaded to the system before applying.

To install use:

Ubuntu 14.04 and later versions

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:saiarcot895/myppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y install apt-fast

In the installation dialog choose:

Maximum number of connections: 5
Suppress apt-fast confirmation dialog? <Yes>   (I would suggest to use yes to avoid some buggying dialogs when using)

To use:

After using either

sudo debdelta-upgrade
sudo apt-get update

use instead of apt-get install or apt-get upgrade

sudo apt-fast upgrade
sudo apt-fast install

The combination of both tools left to me at least the feel of being faster.

Bonus: uCareSystem Core

There is another nice tool that is not really speeding up things but that can be used to clean up afterwards.

For those who do not remember, when you run uCareSystem it automatically and without any intervention, performs some basic maintenance processes which otherwise you would need to perform them one by one.

Briefly, the uCareSystem Core automatically performs the following processes:
Updates the list of available packages
Downloads and install updates
Checks if there are any old Linux Kernels and uninstalls them. Do not worry, though, as it keeps the current and one previous version and deletes all the previous one.
Clears the retrieved packages
Uninstall packages that are obsolete
Uninstall orphaned packages
Deletes package settings that you have previously uninstalled

To install:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:utappia/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ucaresystem-core

To use:

sudo ucaresystem-core


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