apt should install packages whilst downloading.

Bug #313680 reported by Ben James
This bug affects 10 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
apt (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Installation of programs is often a three step process:

 1) Dependencies are calculated - a list of required packages is generated with all requirements that are already met excluded.
 2) Required packages are downloaded from the appropriate repository.
 3) Packages are installed in the required order.

Large applications may require a significant amount of time to complete steps (2) and (3), leading to unnecessarily long install times.

These two steps can be performed in parallel - downloading packages in the required install order and installing each as the download completes. This suggested change would require a modified interface, most probably a split-screen with, for example, the top half showing download progress and the lower half showing install progress for the current package.

Also proposed on Brainstorm: http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/1931/

Revision history for this message
Christoph Schmied (schmiedc) wrote :

Since what you submitted is a Feature Request to improve Ubuntu, you are invited to post your idea in Ubuntu Brainstorm at [WWW] https://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/ where it can be discussed, voted by the community and reviewed by developers. Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion!

Markus Korn (thekorn)
Changed in apt:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Revision history for this message
Harry Sufehmi (harry-sufehmi) wrote :

It's possible with the help from a few software already included in Ubuntu :

sudo su - root
cd /var/cache/apt/archives/
apt-get -y --print-uris install ubuntu-desktop > debs.list
egrep -o -e "http://[^\']+" debs.list | xargs -l3 -P5 wget -c
apt-get -y install ubuntu-desktop

Just replace "ubuntu-desktop" with whatever packages that you'd like to install

Found this solution after I was told by apt-get that installing 3 GB of packages would take 4 days.
With the commands above, it will be done in several hours.

Credit :

Revision history for this message
Nowaker (nowaker) wrote :

Much appreciated.

Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in apt (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Robie Basak (racb) wrote :

This bug tracks installation of packages that can be installed while downloading of other packages is still in progress. I have been working on the apt source recently and based on apt's internal architecture I think it is very unlikely that this will ever happen given how much work it would take.

Functionality to have parallel downloads from the same host is much easier though, and is tracked in bug 275994.

Revision history for this message
hexafraction (rarkenin) wrote :

Certain types of internet connections seem to choke on multiple large downloads, so I feel this should be implemented as it stands.

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