use mirrorselect or something similar

Bug #10856 reported by Lalo Martins on 2004-12-02
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
choose-mirror (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

when installing apt, Ubuntu asks us if we want to download packages from the
'net. It would be nice if it would then use mirrorselect to choose one from a
list of mirrors. Even better if the list of mirrors is also fetched from the net
so that it's up-to-date ;-)

Lalo Martins (lalo.martins) wrote :

just realized mirrorselect is a gentoo thing and you possibly never heard of it
:-) although the name is pretty much self-explanatory.

It's something that you optionally run during a Gentoo install. It traces the
latency to all Gentoo mirrors it knows about and finds which one is faster for
you. Sorry, I don't have an URL for it, but you can fetch the sources from a
Gentoo archive at foo/distfiles/mirrorselect-0.87.tbz2 (eg

There are certainly other tools that do the same job too...

And now as I write this I find this is already a Hoary goal :-D ah ok, now you
have a bug to point to...

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

Debian contains a similar tool, called netselect, but in my experience, low
latency does not imply high throughput, so I don't use it myself

KarlGoetz (kgoetz) wrote :

This bug has been silent over 12 months - has the initial bug been fixed? If this bug has a new status can someone update it? thanks.
If its not updated in a few weeks i'll close it as dead.

Changed in choose-mirror:
status: Unconfirmed → Needs Info
Colin Watson (cjwatson) wrote :

This still seems to be a perfectly legitimate wishlist request, although I don't necessarily expect to do anything about it any time soon (at present we're using, which is sort of an OK arrangement although not perfect). I don't believe in closing legitimate wishlist requests just because I don't have the time or inclination to deal with them in the near future, though.

Changed in choose-mirror:
status: Needs Info → Confirmed
assignee: kamion → nobody
Scott Beamer (angrykeyboarder) wrote :

"I don't necessarily expect to do anything about it any time soon (at present we're using, which is sort of an OK arrangement although not perfect)."

What is ""? Is that a round-robin bouncer of some sort? I've never noticed it in a sources.list file.

Do all the * mirrors use this?

All I know is when I take a look at the extensive list of Ubuntu mirrors (on Launchpad or the wiki) that many out there are taking the time, money and resources to voluntarily maintain for us, we should put them to use. :)

I suspect the overwhelming majority of *Ubuntu users stick with the defaults they get at at the outset.

I personally change mine to one of the mirrors that is (luckily) located in the same city as I am. Needless to say it's much faster than any * site (more often than not).

In addition, the default sources.list file keeps the default archive regardless of what official Ubuntu mirror is used (at least in the case of those otherwise with anyway). I find is often quite slow. And (as well as the other mirrors - those I've seen anyway-) mirror the security archive as well.

For example, (at the very least) those who indicate they are in the United States at the initial Ubuntu install should have something like.:

deb xxxx-security ..........
deb-src xxxx-security ..........

instead of...

deb xxxx-security ..........
deb-src xxxx-security .......... their sources.list file.

That way security updates would come from the same site as the default, backports, proposed and updates archives and they would very likely have quicker downloads.

One thing I've noticed though, is that when I switch everything from an * domain they are treated as "third party archives" in synaptic/gnome-app-install/update-manager/software-properties-gtk. This implies these aren't sources of official Ubuntu packages.

Perhaps that should be a separate bug (if it's not already)?

Lalo Martins (lalo.martins) wrote :

this bug is a bit outdated, and at least partially fixed.

In the previous comment, "" stands for "country code" -- eg, if I install Ubuntu and tell it I'm in China, it will default to

Then, if I go to "software sources" and want to change it, there is a button that allows me to ping all mirrors and select the fastest -- which is what I originally requested.

Arguably, this pinging could be done automagically on install time. But whether or not to do it is a strategic decision; as the original requester, I'm quite satisfied that we simply have the option of doing it from the UI.

Hey guys in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS you can change the mirror. Is it this you wanted?

Dimitri John Ledkov (xnox) wrote :

@thotz not sure, since it was possible to change mirrors even way before 12.04 LTS

So Martin is this bug fixed for you?

Changed in choose-mirror (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Lalo Martins (lalo.martins) wrote :

The bug was about the Ubuntu installer, not regular package installation on the course of system usage. And although I have installed Ubuntu three times in the last year, I haven't actually paid attention to whether it picks the nearest/fastest mirror during that process. So, I have no idea, but hopefully this should be enough information for someone who knows the installer more intimately, to verify.

Changed in choose-mirror (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
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