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Tips for a better Ubuntu download

By   |  October 30, 2008

At some point in the next 24 hours Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex will be released. And as soon as that happens the many download mirrors around the globe are going to be jammed with fans. Not to worry. Here are a couple of tips to make your life a little easier.

If you have already downloaded an earlier testing release of Ubuntu Intrepid then you may be in luck. Instead of downloading the final release all over again, you can use rsync to update your install CD .iso image with just the parts you need. Of course, depending on which version you have it may be that you still need to download a significant amount of data. But, once you’ve done this the incremental downloads are likely to be a lot smaller. The Ubuntu Rsync page has good instructions on getting this to work, so even if it doesn’t help you this time around you’ll be better prepared for the next release. [Via Morgan Collet, Ubuntu-ZA]

Local is best
Whether you’re on the wrong end of a monthly capped Internet account with only local servers available to you, or you’re just looking for the best performing server for your Intrepid download, Ubuntu has built-in tools for just this. To change your download server or to find the best server open System -> Administration -> Software Sources. Then select to download from either your country’s local server – if you only have local access – or select “Other” to find the best performing server for you. In the that dialogue you can either manually select a country server or click on “Select Best Server”, which will run a number of tests and then suggest your best possible download point.

That last tip came from TorrentFreak which also has a detailed guide to using BitTorrent to upgrade to Intrepid Ibex. Rather than battling overloaded servers to get a copy of the latest release, consider BitTorrent to pull down the bits you need to get Intrepid going. The technique may be a little long and complex but there are good suggestions in the comments about simplifying it. The simplest approach would be to simply grab the torrent file for the Intrepid .iso and away you go.

Get in early
And finally, there is a surefire way to beat the crowds: Get in early. It’s worth checking out some of your favourite mirrors ahead of the final announcement to see if they have a copy of the final release yet. Most mirrors have been syncing over the course of the past day and some of them already have a copy of Intrepid available, like But pay attention to what you download. You don’t want to be downloading an early beta version by mistake.


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