Ubuntu: how to get apt working over slow and latent connection



Question:

I manage many nodes whose only internet connection is via satellite internet. Most of the time things like apt-get update and apt-get install run fun. However, sometimes things just time out. The latency won't necessarily be any higher than on nodes that are running just fine.

Sometimes I can change mirrors and get some success for the main repos, but ppa's and other third party repos have no such mirrors.

An obvious solution is to use something like rsync to make a mirror of package repos on the remote node. However, this isn't always practical, and sometimes is impossible (on a small remote node for example).

Are there other ways to improve the reliability of apt over slow, latent links?


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