May 142011

mirrorIn this article i’ll show you how to select the best mirror for your favorite distribution.

Debian Netselect-apt is very helpful to find which Debian mirror is the fastest one to download the latest packages or to install ones very quickly.
To install it :

root@localhost:~# apt-get install netselect-apt

This package needs netselect to work successfully. neselect-apt will download the list of Debian mirrors and will ping them in a special manner thanks to the netselect command.


Some useful options can be used :

-f : replace HTTP mirrors by FTP mirrors.

-n : will add non-free section to the fastest mirror found

a source.list file is generated in your home directory. If you want to use it instead of the current one :

root@localhost:~# mv  /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/

root@localhost~#cp  $HOME/sources.list /etc/apt/

root@localhost:~# apt-get update

$HOME : it stands for your own home directory where the sources.list file has been generated by netselect-apt.

More information :

Debian package description for netselect-apt

Official website for the netselect program

Original article:


In Gentoo you can use mirrorselect this tool helps you find the fastest mirror for you.
Very useful for fetching lots of stuff when installing or upgrading Gentoo.

The tool is located in the app-portage/mirrorselect package. It’s included in the livecd’s.
To install it on your system:

emerge app-portage/mirrorselect

During installation use:

mirrorselect -i -o >> /mnt/gentoo/etc/make.conf

to select mirror or

mirrorselect -i -r -o >> /mnt/gentoo/etc/make.conf

to select rsync-mirror
If you would like to find the fastest available servers use:

mirrorselect -s3 -b10 -o -D >> /etc/make.conf

This command will download a 100K chunk from each server in the servers list and then choose 3 fastest, writing them to make.conf


To select the fastest ubuntu mirror near to your location we’ll use a graphical interface.Ubuntu mirror

First you need to launch Synaptic package manager from  System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager

Now go to select Settings -> Repositories.

Select Ubuntu Software tab In the Download From drop down, choose Other ->

Click the Select Best Server button in the resulting dialog.Wait until all the tests are done.

Once that the test are finished the fastest server found will be highlighted, so just click on choose server to select it, now you can close everything and click on reload on the main screen or use the command line commands : aptitude update, apt-get update.

mirror ubuntu

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  2 Responses to “How to choose the best mirror in Debian, Gentoo and Ubuntu”

  1. There are no such tabs as shown in your screen shots in, Synaptic 0.63.1, on my Kubuntu 10.10 system. Is Synaptic under Ubuntu that different, ir are you using a different version?

    • I’ve Synaptic 0.70 for Xubuntu 11.04.
      But that’s weird i thought that these option were there from many versions ago.

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