Use apt-cacher to save on bandwidth on multiple PCs
BY webmaster
11 years ago
comments comment

When you have more than one system with Ubuntu installed, and you have to install same or similar set of packages on all your PCs, you can save on a lot of bandwidth if you had some ways of sharing the downloaded packages and updates. There is an easy way to do this in Ubuntu. This is done using apt-cacher a proxy server for your package repositories. It is very easy to set up and configure apt-cacher on a PC with Ubuntu inside your LAN.

When fully installed and configured, apt-cacher runs as a server on your intranet and all the PCs in your LAN will query the apt-cacher for any kind of package requirements and apt-cacher will in turn get the package from its local cache, if the package was already downloaded in a previous request, or from the internet repositories if the package is a new package not already requested. The bandwidth savings are directly proportional to the number of PCs in the network running Ubuntu (or any other debian variant)

The following set of information will assume that you have a network of PCs with Ubuntu installed on them and that you have internet access from your network.

First select a computer with enough disk space and which you would like to set up as your local package repository. On this PC install apt-cacher
sudo apt-get install apt-cacher
This will install apt-cacher on the PC. Now the next task is to configure this. The configuration file is located at /etc/apt-cacher/apt-cacher.conf. Create a backup copy and open the file for editing
sudo cp /etc/apt-cacher/apt-cacher.conf /etc/apt-cacher/apt-cacher.conf.bak
sudo gedit /etc/apt-cacher/apt-cacher.conf

By default apt-cacher allows access from any IP address. But if you want to restrict access only to the PCs in the intranet (which is a safe option) set the allowed_hosts parameter to
There are two parameters 'group' and 'user' which sets the group and user for the apt-cacher application. If you comment these the application will run as the native user. In any case make sure that the application has write access to the cache directory set by the cache_dir parameter in the file. If you would like to keep all the packages downloaded you can set clean_cache parameter to 0 to prevent automatic deletion of unreferenced packages.

The last and the most important setting in the configuration file is the path_map parameter. This parameter maps the online repositories to local virtual repositories. These have to be given meaningful names so that the repository can be easily identified from the client machine in the intranet.
path_map = ubuntu; ubuntu-updates; ubuntu-security; wine; medibuntu;

If you want to add any other repository other than what is mentioned above you can very easily add it to the above parameter. For example if you want to add the skype repository which is at you can append
to the end of the above path_map parameter to do that.

Now edit /etc/default/apt-cacher and set AUTOSTART to 1 to enable apt-cacher to boot at system startup.
Restart apt-cacher by running
sudo /etc/init.d/apt-cacher restart
Test your apt-cacher installation by accessing
in your browser. If apt-cacher is running you will see the report when you access this URL.

You can now use a Ubuntu CD/Ubuntu DVD and copy all the packages from the CD/DVD into the apt-cacher cache. Replace '/media/UbuntuCD' with whatever is the correct path where the CD or the DVD is mounted.
sudo /usr/share/apt-cacher/ /media/UbuntuCD

Once apt-cacher is configured on the local package repository machine it is time to update the sources.list on all the client machines in the intranet to use the local cache. On each PC create a copy of the original sources.list and edit the file to add the local repository.
sudo cp /etc/apt/source.list /etc/apt/sources.list.bak
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Copy and paste the following code into sources.list and replace <YourLocalRepositoryMachineIP> with the IP address of the local package repository that you have configured

## Ubuntu Packages
deb http://[YourLocalRepositoryMachineIP]:3142/ubuntu/ gutsy main restricted multiverse universe
deb-src http://[YourLocalRepositoryMachineIP]:3142/ubuntu/ gutsy main restricted multiverse universe

## Ubuntu Major Bug fixes
deb http://[YourLocalRepositoryMachineIP]:3142/ubuntu-updates/ gutsy-updates main restricted multiverse universe
deb-src http://[YourLocalRepositoryMachineIP]:3142/ubuntu-updates/ gutsy-updates main restricted multiverse universe

## Ubuntu Backports
deb http://[YourLocalRepositoryMachineIP]:3142/ubuntu/ gutsy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src http://[YourLocalRepositoryMachineIP]:3142/ubuntu/ gutsy-backports main restricted universe multiverse

## Ubuntu Security
deb http://[YourLocalRepositoryMachineIP]:3142/ubuntu-security/ gutsy-security main restricted multiverse universe
deb-src http://[YourLocalRepositoryMachineIP]:3142/ubuntu-security/ gutsy-security main restricted multiverse universe

## Other Repositories
deb http://[YourLocalRepositoryMachineIP]:3142/wine gutsy main
deb http://[YourLocalRepositoryMachineIP]:3142/medibuntu gutsy free non-free

Test the apt-cacher setup by running
sudo apt-get update
on the client machine where the sources.list have been updated. If everything is fine copy the modified sources.list to all the client machines in the intranet which has Ubuntu on them.

If you have any problems in setting this up, please use the comment form given below to submit your questions and we will try to help you in whatever way we can.



on 30th March 2007 / by webmaster
Ever since we started our pc sales and services division we have been trying to get a system with 100% linux supported hardware. One of the pieces which had been the stumbling block till now had been the internal modem. We had tried all the internal modems available in the Trivandrum local market and we had failed, ... well not all. We have found the missing link! We recently tried out the WeP (Wipro e-Peripherals) Spider 56K V.92 PCI Modem with the Conexant HSFi CX11252-412 0610y1DB chipset (PCI ID 14F1:2F30 - from running lspci from Linux). This modem is supported in Linux and it costs only around Rs. 375. Up till now we were hesitant in offering to install linux on PCs with internal modems because of the dreaded unsupported winmodem issue. No longer so. New PCs are seldom bought with an internal modem but there are quite a lot of people with PCs who still depend on dialup as their primary means of accessing the internet. So this has opened up a whole new market for us and Linux. The Conexant HSFi CX11252 driver installation is pretty straigtforward and is given below Setting up Conexant HSFi CX11252 on Linux provides drivers for modems with conexant chipsets. They provide two versions of the driver one is a fully free version and another is the paid version. The fully free version works perfectly fine but the modem speed will be limited to 14.4kbps. The paid version costs only around 19$ and those of you who can afford it should just go ahead and buy it. Linuxant is following a model that should be a good example for other driver development companies and hardware manufacturers. The driver installation has been simplified through an easy to use installation program. The installation is available at Just download the application and follow the instructions. If you are already connected to the internet through a DSL or a Cable modem connection or through your LAN then the installer will automatically detect your chipset and settings and download the required driver and install it for you. Otherwise you will have to download the driver from and set it up manually using instructions in the following page Hardware Linux Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker * Cherry (not verified) access_time 27 May 2019 - 10:05 Is that true ? Are there many people who still use modems to dialup internet ? I was thinking of helping out with some limited internal modem support for NetBSD, but wasn’t sure what the user base is like. Anoop John (not verified) access_time 27 May 2019 - 10:05 Yes I have come across quite a few customers who still use dialup as the only means of accessing net. For people who just use internet to check mail, dialup is the cheapest way to go. shankar (not verified) access_time 27 May 2019 - 10:05 I have read your above article. I have the same problem. I want to use the new Bharatiya Operating System Solution (BOSS) which is linux based. My dial up modem of D-Link is not detected in linux/BOSS neither I can get a driver for linux. D-Link company have informed that they do not have any modem supporting linux. Please inform whether you can send it by post, cost and methods available for payment. regards, shankar Pagination Current page 1 Page 2 Next page Next › Last page Last » Add new comment

on 04th April 2007 / by webmaster
Linux is the epitome of the FLOSS model. For a developing country like India, the FLOSS paradigm works out to be an optimal solution. This is not just because FLOSS philosophy means free software, although it is one of the crucial factors. We at Zyxware would like to offer our services for free for people interested in trying out Linux. Currently we will be providing this service only to people in Trivandrum. If you would like to install Linux on your PC we will be more than happy to send one of our service engineers and install it on your PC. Dont worry about trying it out - your old operating system will be maintained as it is. All you would need is around 5GB of free hard disk space and you are ready. If you would like to know more about linux or, to see how it works or, to try it out on your PC, give us a call at 0471-4063818 or drop by our office. FLOSS is not just about free stuff but it is more about the freedom - a freedom to choose. There is always the much touted cost factor. It is true that the software is free but there are operational costs. There has been aspersions cast about the TCO(Total Cost of ownership - purchase cost + maintenance cost + efficiency cost) being higher for FLOSS solutions. However several independent studies over large sample sets have indicated that it is in the contrary. FLOSS promotes local industry and local businesses through the software support model. Add to it the fact that there is no cash outflow from the country for software purchases, FLOSS is a dream-come-true solution for developing countries. GNU Linux as an operating system has come a long way since it started out. It has been seen that there is a wrong notion among people, who are ignorant about Linux, that the system is not user friendly. This was true some time ago but not anymore. The GUI has all the features that normal users are used to on a Windows desktop. Additionally most Linux distributions comes with most of the popular applications that a normal PC user would require. This would include office applications, web browser, chat applications, graphics editors, multimedia players for the basic user. For the power users the system can be preloaded with database servers, web servers and hosts of other application servers and applications. Our preferred Linux distribution is Ubuntu and its variants - Kubuntu (with the KDE desktop), Edubuntu (preloaded with educational applications), Xubuntu (with the much lighter XFCE desktops targeting older systems). Ubuntu is one of the fastest growing Linux distribution available in the market. It is very easy to install and even easier to use. The installation is so much more simpler than a Windows installation and takes less than half the time too. The default installation comes with almost all applications that a normal home or office user would require. Any additional application can be installed in a few clicks using the built in package manager - apt + synaptic. Ubuntu has a very dynamic community that is willing to support people for any and all issues. Commercial or Governmental establishments can get paid support from any of the Linux Support Companies - including Zyxware. We also give away free Original Ubuntu CDs. We get our Ubuntu CDs in bulk from You can also request for free CDs from . However we feel that it would be cheaper for Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, if you get the CDs from us. If you like any other distribution or other flavours of Ubuntu we can download it using our high speed connection and write CDs for you Linux Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker * Dewey J. Corl (not verified) access_time 27 May 2019 - 07:44 Linux is not ready for the general public! (I am a Ubuntu user). For proof, 1. try to simply print labels on a Dymo label printer. It takes a LOT of work to get to the ease of label printing already available in Windows and Mac. 2. try syncing a modern Palm based PDA. Yes, jpilot and others will sync the main data, but pictures and midi files do not get transferred without a lot of extra setup. These are examples of applications that are not ready for the general public. Since an operating system only supports applications, Linux is not ready to be a common desktop for the general public. While we are waiting for the applications to catch up, keep up the good work!! Anoop John (not verified) access_time 27 May 2019 - 07:44 Dewey Yes you may be right. But these are not applications that a common man would use. A common man would use one of these applications - Internet browser, Chat Client, Email Client, Document Writer, Presentation Creator, Spreadsheet Editor, Movie Viewer, Music Player, CD/DVD Writer. Both examples you cited are more specific applications that only a small percentage of the whole population uses. It will take time before those hardware vendors identify the need from their perspective to address the Linux community. Krishnadas (not verified) access_time 27 May 2019 - 07:44 Dear Mr Anoop, Thank you very much for the free installation of LINUX done in my PC. I am getting immersed in the LINUX and seeing the versatility. To my surprise, I am able to read one of my old backup CD(wherein lot of my valuable file exist) done in DIRECT CD wizard (a custom cd writing software of Easy Cd creator in WIN98) which could not be read in XP. Installation of old version of easycd creator/direct cd program was not possible in XP. I thought that possible i lost all data. Very pleasant start! Srikanth N. S. (not verified) access_time 27 May 2019 - 07:44 Hi Anoop, My friend is thrilled with Ubuntu. One of his grouses with windows was that after OS installation, everything else is to be installed separately which is a real headache. WHereas if u install Linux, everything is installed as a package and he is thrilled to bits! Let linux installation spread in Trivandrum and your service in this direction is highly appreciated. Kepp up the good work Regards. PDA Freak (not verified) access_time 27 May 2019 - 07:44 Is it possible to install linux on a packardbell notebook ? Add new comment

on 20th April 2007 / by webmaster
Linux has been growing in leaps and bounds in terms of internationalization. Setting up a Linux box for Reading and Writing in Malayalam has become pretty straightforward, thanks to passionate promoters like Peringodan, Cibu and Suresh and the countless others who have contributed through their efforts. The idea of webpages in Malayalam is rather common place to most online Keralites as a lot of them would have at some point of time been to any of the popular Malayalam newspaper sites. However the idea of keying in Malayalam would be unfamiliar territory to most of them as they are yet to try anything other than English keyboards. So can you write Malayalam using an English keyboard? One obvious solution is pretty straightforward - assign Malayalam characters to different keys and key-combinations. Though this sounds simple, think of the hassles of learning by-heart all the keys and their combinations and their corresponding Malayalam characters. There is however a more elegant solution for this, what if we could type Manglish (typing malayalam using english characters; eg - namaskaram) and see the corresponding malayalam characters. This is exactly what is achieved using the Mozhi Keyman transliteration application. It is however a pity that the site does not have instructions on how to use the application in Linux. Peringodan has however a detailed explanation on how to do this in Linux on his blog at If you follow his instructions you should be able to set up Malayalam reading and writing on a Ubuntu box. However there are two small points that needs to be kept in mind. One is the shebang issue. Ubuntu 6.10 onwards follows a strict adherance to the POSIX shell interpreter specification and uses dash as the default for #! /bin/sh. So make sure that you change /bin/sh to /bin/bash in the scripts that are run as part of the installation [for that matter - keep this in mind when you see your old scripts failing left and right :)]. In this case the for the KMFL runtime installation. Another thing is regarding pango. Firefox by default disables pango and you have to disable this disabling by setting disable = false in the firefoxrc file inside /etc/firefox folder. More specifically you have to add a line MOZ_DISABLE_PANGO=0 to the firefoxrc file. During the KMFL installation if you use Distro="Ubuntu 7.04" instead of the Distro="Ubuntu 6.10" then you are all set to install the application on Ubuntu Feisty Fawn. However there seems to be some problem in typing text. Viewing Malayalam seems to be working fine but not writing in Malayalam. We are still trying to figure out how to get it to work on Feisty Fawn. We will be posting an update as soon as we figure out a way to do it. In the meanwhile you can use Ilamozhi to write in Malayalam. Linux Malayalam Open Source Ubuntu Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker * Ranjith Antony (not verified) access_time 27 May 2019 - 10:25 Everything is fine an dandy. However, to read those websites which doesn't support unicode fonts you have to install padma firefox extension . Those websites include all malayalam newspaper websites including, deepika, manorama, keralakaumudi etc. These websites only support truetype fonts. TrueTypes are glyphs matching a malayalam character but doesn't have a hex code assigned to it. They use ASCII character set but with a different glyph. Just to read malayalam, you only need to perform the first 3 steps in Peringodan's blog, in addition to the hacks thats been explained in this blog post. PS: Its so funny; a tutorial to explain how to install malayalam read and write support is written in malayalam. Thats what called a chicken and egg problem. Cherry (not verified) access_time 27 May 2019 - 10:25 I’d like to point out a couple of things: a) Malayalam support is not an Ubuntu thing or a Linux thing… I am running NetBSD -current on my laptop with and I can type malayalam. Learning the key combinations is very easy and intuitive… it just requires attention and commitment. I learnt it in about a week and something. b) Mangleesh support for TeX has been around for a while. The TuX group in Trivandrum and specifically A.J.Alex have worked on very good quality latex support for malayalam. See: Just to set the record. Cheers, Cherry. vimal access_time 27 May 2019 - 10:25 Ready to use packages to support malayalam in Ubuntu 7.10 and Debian GNU/Linux Etch is available at . Add new comment
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Sameer G (not verified)
access_time 27 May 2019 - 12:45


This seems to be very promising.... Would save me a lot of headache :). What i am wondering though is whether apt-cacher supports multiple versions. I have a few machines running gutsy and while others run feisty. Are there any special configurations to support multiple versions???


Yes. You can use one installation of apt-cacher for all the releases of Ubuntu. In our office we have releases from 6.06 to 8.04 running smoothly on one apt-cacher. When you set the configuration in the apt-cacher just remember to not use the release names as part of the urls. You can just pass them via the deb line in the sources.list. For example in the apt-cacher.conf set the path map as ubuntu; ubuntu-security
and then in the sources.list set of a hardy machine
deb hardy main restricted universe
deb hardy main restricted universe
while for a gutsy machine you can use
deb gutsy main restricted universe
deb gutsy main restricted universe
Anoop John
Team Zyxware

Stewart (not verified)
access_time 27 May 2019 - 12:45

Does the following (from your description) actually work:-
sudo /usr/share/apt-cacher/ /media/UbuntuCD

From my understanding, is is non-recursive, so will find nothing with your example (as there are no DEBs in the route of CD.
Also I did a find ./ -name '*.deb' on an ubuntu ISO and found very few debs, the rest I think are compressed into *.gz ??

I have been unable to import a CD into apt-cacher.

Tom Kent (not verified)
access_time 27 May 2019 - 12:45

To get the files off the CD, you actually need to recurse into sub-directories, since the .deb files aren't in the root, use the "-R" option. (Also, I just make a copy of them, so the script won't try doing any links to a CD that may go away, use the "-r" option).

Here's how my line looks:
sudo /usr/share/apt-cacher/ -R -r /media/UbuntuCD

If you have the CD image, and don't want to burn it, you can also mount the CD first:
sudo mount -o loop /home/ubuntu-9.10-rc-alternate-i386.iso


Salvia (not verified)
access_time 27 May 2019 - 12:45

Does is work with Windows? Because I only have windows and that would be of great help. I'm not talking about windows at my house but the one of the computers.