Have you experienced slow downloads, connectivity problems and Update Manager errors in Linux Mint when checking for updates? The reasons are well known and additions have been implemented to address this problem but users need to do their part too and sadly they aren’t currently helping; likely because they aren’t aware that switching from the default packages.linuxmint.com mirror to another mirror is all they need to do.
Linux Mint servers (think about them as Master Servers) are getting increasingly hammered with requests due to Mint’s steady popularity growth. The problem is as easily explainable as it is the solution: to encourage users in the community to use mirrors other than packages.linuxmint.com. Linux Mint counts with approximately seventy (yeah that’s 70) up-to-date mirrors around the world, yet they are mostly unused on daily basis or not used at all! My own mirror (Unlockforus Linux Mint Mirror) is a collection of six (6) servers geographically distributed that has seen no load. That’s an Anycast mirror, a “CDN” network which puts packages closer to users yet it goes completely unused:
Unlockforus mirror – Region: North America
Unlockforus mirror – Region: Asia
Unlockforus mirror – Region: Europe
In the same way there are, again, SEVENTY mirrors that go vastly unused every day while Master Mirrors are seeing loads hard to keep up with because every user in the community is querying master servers. If you are a Linux Mint user you should consider switching your installations from packages.linuxmint.com to a different mirror today! It takes literally seconds to do it and you will be not only helping in reducing the load on the master servers but also getting faster downloads from non overloaded servers, closer to you!
Selecting a Linux Mint Mirror
Switching to a different Linux Mint Mirror is easy. Open Software Sources, select your new mirror and update the cache. Do not be misled by the currently displayed speeds even if you see just 1kb/s, seriously!, just select a mirror in your country if available or one in neighbor countries around you. Every Mint mirror currently listed is capable of delivering speeds in the MB/s; again, don’t be mislead by the currently displayed speeds.
Linux Mint Dev Team is currently testing a ‘soon to be released’ update for mintsources and mint-mirrors packages, which includes several improvements to the current listing by mirror name, geolocation, speed measurements, up-to-date mirrors checkups and user notification if a selected mirror is out of date at any point.
For now, just switching from the default packages.linuxmint.con mirror to one of the other available mirrors is what our community needs to do for the benefit of us all! Please do!