Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

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Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby xenopeek on Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:58 pm

Update: A problem was found with the main download server, which has been fixed in January. You should no longer be experiencing problems updating from the Linux Mint repositories, though depending on your geographical location you will likely still get a better performance with using a mirror server. We have mirror servers for a reason and we do appreciate you using them :wink: Topic unstickied.

If you are having trouble updating the Linux Mint repositories (packages.linuxmint.com) in the Update Manager, you are recommended to switch to another download server (a so-called "mirror"). Whether your problem is that the Linux Mint repositories are slow to update, or fail to update ("Unable to connect to packages.linuxmint.com:http:"), in both cases switching to a download server that is geographically more close to you will most likely solve your problem.

If you are having trouble updating the GetDeb repositories (archive.getdeb.net), that is a different problem. Please see here: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=118999. If you are having trouble updating other repositories, please make a new topic for that.

(For LMDE you have the mint-debian-mirrors to do this, see here: viewtopic.php?f=185&t=112047.)

Switching to another server is easy. The steps described below, including screenshots (it will look slightly different if you are using Linux Mint KDE). You can click the screenshots to zoom in, if needed.

  1. Open the Software Sources program from the menu. If you are using Linux Mint KDE you will be asked to authenticate by providing your password. Other editions of Linux Mint do this in step 6, so you will not be asked to authenticate here.
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  2. On the "LinuxMint Software" tab, select "Other..." in the "Download from" selection box.
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  3. In the window that opens, click the "Select Best Server" button.
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  4. It will show the progress of testing all the download servers. Wait till this is done.
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  5. Once it is done testing all the download servers, it will have selected and highlighted a suggested best one for you. To proceed, click the "Choose Server" button. (If you so desire, you may yourself browse and select another download server first. For example one in your country.)
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  6. You will be asked to authenticate by providing your password (unless you are using Linux Mint KDE, in which case you already did this in step 1).
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  7. After you have authenticated yourself, the download server will be enabled and shown in the "Download from" selection box. Updating the Linux Mint repositories should now be fast and failure free. You can close the window now.
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby palo on Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:32 pm

Thanks for posting this. I am not currently having problems with updates but would like to understand...If the main Linuxmint repository is down and the other servers are updated from it to mirror wouldn't it be possible that there is nothing to update from the mirrors even when there is a good connection?

Tia
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby xenopeek on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:45 am

The main Linux Mint repository is not down, but some users have reported it being slow or them being unable to connect at peak hours. Hence this guide :wink: The mirrors are kept in sync outside peak hours also, so that is not a concern. Even you may find that if you are updating that fetching the Linux Mint repositories can be slow at certain times. It's recommend to use a mirror server in any case, to spread load across Linux Mint's server network and improve your update speed.
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby acw89 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:25 pm

Thank you very much for this post. I was considering doing this but really was not sure how.
Have saved this helpful link :)

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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby Yiannis on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:39 pm

When I try to open the software sources it says that I need to open it with administrative rights. I then type in the terminal kdesudo software-properties--kde, it asks for password, I type it and apart from a sound , nothing really happens. So, I am stuck in the first step of your guide.

UPDATE: Ok, I just added the icon to the desktop and opened it as admin. It seems that everything went smoothly. Many thanks for the guide.
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby xenopeek on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:08 pm

I've updated the guide to include the difference for Linux Mint KDE; I wasn't aware the Software Sources program there was different from the other Linux Mint editions in this respect.
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby Yiannis on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:32 pm

xenopeek wrote:I've updated the guide to include the difference for Linux Mint KDE; I wasn't aware the Software Sources program there was different from the other Linux Mint editions in this respect.


Many thanks for that. Also to add that in kde steps 5 & 6 do not occur (or at least in my case). For step 5 there is no button "choose server" and for for step 6 I was not asked to authenticate. Again many thanks for the useful guide. As a newbie I thought all this time that I did something wrong with the repos.
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby /Zoran\ on Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:56 am

Thanks for this, these download servers have the same packages that the main server does, none of them are missing, right? And they are safe to use, are there some sort of security check's in place to make sure the packaged weren't tampered with by third parties?
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby xenopeek on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:26 am

Good questions Zoran. Yes, the alternative download servers will have the same packages as the main download server. These download servers are so-called "mirrors", and they automatically synchronize themselves with the main download server daily. These are all officially recognized Linux Mint repository mirrors; http://www.linuxmint.com/mirrors.php.

As to whether you can trust the packages haven't been tampered by third parties, yes you can trust that. This will step a bit into the theory of cryptography, but I'll keep it high-level and have included links to Wikipedia for more background.

  1. From your Linux Mint installation DVD or USB stick was installed the package linuxmint-keyring, which has the public key of the Linux Mint repository.
  2. When a new version of a package is put on the main download server, the package index files are updated with this information and will include the cryptographic hash values of the package. These package index files are then digitally signed with the secret key of the Linux Mint repository. Only the Linux Mint developers have this secret key, and it is paired with the aforementioned public key (both of which are made by them).
  3. When your download server synchronizes with the main download server, it will get the new version of this package and package index files.
  4. Your Update Manager periodically checks whether your download server has new package index files, which it will now have. Recall that these package index files were signed by the secret key of the Linux Mint repository. The public key of the Linux Mint repository that you have on your system is now used to authenticate the digital signature, which also confirms that these package index files originate from Linux Mint, have been downloaded intact, and haven't been tampered with.
  5. The package index files in turn have the cryptographic hash values of each package, and so before a new version of a package is installed on your system it's hash values are calculated and compared to those listed in the authenticated package index files. When the hash values match, it means the package originates from Linux Mint, has been downloaded intact, and hasn't been tampered with.
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby /Zoran\ on Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:47 pm

Thanks a lot for your response. I've already changed the download servers before I asked and everything works, but this question kinda bothered me, It doesn't hurt to ask.....
Cheers....
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby palo on Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:23 pm

Just wanted to give a double dose of thanks for this as updating turned sour on me so I tried it. Three speed checks in a row and the results seemed questionable - first time fastest was in US, then France, then Greenland. I had started mintupdate in the terminal and noticed that the top 6 or 7 speed result times were actually displayed in the terminal with times so it was easy to see that the horse I thought should be first was sometimes just a few msec behind. Updating is so much faster now :D

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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby hunkirdowne on Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:05 pm

xenopeek wrote:These are all officially recognized Linux Mint repository mirrors; http://www.linuxmint.com/mirrors.php.
[/list]


Side note:

Please note that the links on the aforementioned mirrors page are likely valid for mirroring (via rsync) but not necessarily for package updates. The graphical solution mentioned in a previous post by the same author worked for me. But what I tried first did not. Here are the two 'calls' I used in my mint.list file. The one that is commented out ('#') is the one that failed. Note the difference in directories.

Code: Select all
deb http://mirror.umd.edu/linuxmint/packages/ maya main upstream import
# deb http://mirror.umd.edu/linuxmint/images/ maya main upstream import


Here are two other mirrors I tried with no success for likely similar reasons. I do not know what the successful directory would look like without testing but I got what I needed so I'm done for now.

Code: Select all
http://mirror.yellowfiber.net/linuxmint/
http://mirror.quintex.com/linuxmint/iso/linuxmint.com/


yellowfiber.net gave a 404 error when hitting with the browser, but came back with successful ping results. mirrors.secution.com failed ping but so did mirror.umd.edu so these results are rather inconclusive.
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby xenopeek on Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:21 am

If you are going to manually add a mirror server through your sources.list, note that on the http://www.linuxmint.com/mirrors.php page you need to pick a server from the "Mirrored repositories" list. The download mirrors are for downloading the ISOs, and the "Mirrored Debian repositories" is for LMDE.
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby hunkirdowne on Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:00 pm

xenopeek wrote:If you are going to manually add a mirror server through your sources.list, note that on the http://www.linuxmint.com/mirrors.php page you need to pick a server from the "Mirrored repositories" list. The download mirrors are for downloading the ISOs, and the "Mirrored Debian repositories" is for LMDE.


Oops. :lol: Guess I never scrolled down that far -- all these years and never knew that was there. But I've never been compelled to change repos until now. Probably a testament to Mint's gaining popularity.

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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby Briand18 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:50 pm

I've been having the problem for a few days. I've not tried all the mirror sites but those I have tried haven't fixed the problem (unable to get repositories etc). If the software updates have loaded ok (which as far as I can tell they have) do I need to worry, or can I assume that at some time one of the mirror sites will work, and I'll get the familiar comforting green tick in the update icon?
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby xenopeek on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:09 pm

That doesn't sound good. I'd suggest you do a speedtest at http://www.speedtest.net/ to check your upload and download speeds. Most of the mirror servers in your own country should be fast for you.
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby Briand18 on Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:34 pm

xenopeek wrote:That doesn't sound good. I'd suggest you do a speedtest at http://www.speedtest.net/ to check your upload and download speeds. Most of the mirror servers in your own country should be fast for you.


Download 22.26 mbps, upload 0.86 mbps. i don't think that is particularly slow?
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby Mr. B on Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:25 am

No matter what mirror is taken on Mint 13, 14 or even LMDE, it doesn't download all packages. Afaik it has been going on since December and still isn't solved yet? (packages.linuxmint.com that is)
If it goes that way and continues i'm off to use another distro.
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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby kf4krv on Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:08 pm

I have been having this problem for some time now. I just read the Jan 15th update then followed the visual process listed below the updated post and changed to a mirror server and things seem to be working MUCH BETTER now!!!! :D :D

I gotta hand it to the smart people here (you know, the ones that do the programming, debugging, listening to our gripes, etc.,.).....they do a bang-up job keeping Mint rolling along!!! I get on the forum every couple of years (ok, so I'm not a big contributor) looking for a solution to a problem that I have. I've never left here empty handed!!!

THANKS!!!!!!

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Re: Trouble updating? Solution provided here.

Postby DB1 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:54 pm

I'm a newbie Linux user - what is the "Software Sources" package used above. I don't have it installed, unless it's under an obscure name (a bugbear of mine - the packages you download don't have a name which matches to what you have to type to find it). Can someone tell me what name I should look for it under (on my system) or what package I should download?

Thanks
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