Software Sources and Update Manager in Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa get some extra love! I mentioned before that users didn’t use other Linux Mint mirrors mainly because they were unaware of the benefits of it and the speed measures prior 17.3 Rosa were really ermm… inaccurate. Having faced some issues getting update from master servers, I deployed a mirror myself to help with the load being unaware that the community counted with about 70 mirrors already. The problem was never the amount of mirrors available to start with, but the lack of information to hint users in the right direction. I made my voice heard in mint-dev channel and offered few suggestions by the end of 2015 and as usual, Mint Dev Team has this particular way to listen to its user-base that I happen to appreciate quite a lot.

Linux Mint 17.3 comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop experience more comfortable to use. Software repositories was a major point of focus in the development of Linux Mint 17.3 and its new improvements are quite noticeable. Let’s take a look at it!

As of today, Linux Mint Software repositories are mirrored in approximately seventy (yeah that’s 70) up-to-date mirrors all over the world, which makes perfect sense for Mint Dev Team to make it easy to find the best available mirror for you; so they did!

Software Sources

The latest release features mirrors listing by name, geo-location, more accurate speed measurements and automatic up-to-date mirror checkups. To find the fastest mirrors, the Software Sources tool now detects your location and starts its speed tests with mirrors near you. Mirrors from your own country are tested first, then from neighboring countries and finally from your sub-region and region of the world.

Software Sources - Update Manager mirror selection

 

Better yet, even if a mirror is working correctly, the tool is now able to detect if its content is not up to date and in such case the mirror won’t be listed in Software sources.

Update Manager

The Update Manager now also performs more checks than before. Users now receive a clear notification if the currently selected mirror repositories is out of date ♥ !

thumb_mintupdate_obsolete

It prevents you from damaging the system if that mirror (or your local cache) is corrupted:

thumb_mintupdate_corrupted

And it recommends users (even when everything is fine) to use a local mirror for better experience:

thumb_mintupdate_local

The local cache is now refreshed 10 minutes after a log in and every 2 hours there after. Both settings are configurable:

Preferences - Update Manager

 

Leaving it up to Mint

There is no doubt that Linux Mint aims for elegance and lot of simplicity. If you prefer for Mint to find, test and set the best local repositories on its own, there is a tool for that too!  Usually, the mirror set will be randomly picked from those closer to you. Issuing the command multiple times will give you a random local mirror as result on each run as long as the tested mirrors are kept up-to-date.

Launch Terminal and tell Mint to take care of this for you in a single command:

sudo mint-switch-to-local-mirror

switch-to-local-mirror

Finally, type “apt update” to update the APT cache after Mint sets the new local mirror for you. Have fun!

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