apt-fast: concurrent apt downloads

After setting up a local apt-mirror I noticed that even though the files are right around the corner now and bandwidth shouldn't be a problem, my downloads through apt still took a while. Of course once the download for a package was initiated the transfer itself was blazing fast. But what looked like to be causing the delays is the process of how apt downloads packages. apt-mirrors are simple Apache WebServers, running only a directory listing. Apt of course, downloads the packages from mirrors using HTTP. But as its doing that per package and not concurrently it's a pretty slow. Luckily someone already thought of that and built a tool that utilizes the famous Aria2 download manager to replace apt's downloader.

To install apt-fast you can either add the launchpad PPA like this:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:apt-fast/stable
or the quick install way descriped on the projects github page:
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -sL https://git.io/vokNn)"

During installation you will be asked 3 questions:

  1. Which package manager to use?
    I choose apt as I like its progress bar.
  2. How many concurrent downloads?
    Default of 5 seems fine.
  3. Use the confirmation dialog?
    I choose yes as Aria2 shows a neat little list of packages including the sizes

From now on simply use:
sudo apt-fast update; and sudo apt-fast dist-upgrade
to update your machine or:
sudo apt-fast install <package>
to install packages.