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I need to update 100+ workstations that run ubuntu.

The problem is that i want them to download the packages from a local server so that they don't use to much internet bandwidth.

I net a kind of caching proxy for this that downloads a specific package only once an than distributes it to all the workstation.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are many available tools

You can even simply install a simple cache like squid and simply adjust the maximum_object_size so it will cache larger files like the package updates.

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Yes, I think putting a cacheing proxy like squid in place is an all-round beneficial solution. – Brent May 4 '09 at 3:30
I have used apt-proxy and it hangs from time to time – nicudotro May 4 '09 at 16:07

I recommend approx over the alternatives, as it tends to fail the least.

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I haven't used approx before, how well does it handle clients using different releases? – Zoredache May 4 '09 at 2:32
It looks, from the client side, like apt-proxy (acts exactly like a regular Debian/Ubuntu repository, just on a different port by default), so it handles different releases perfectly. It's been a lot more reliable for me, though (no need to restart it every couple of days, like I had to with current apt-proxy releases). – womble May 4 '09 at 3:12

I'd recommend apt-cacher, it won't create a full mirror of the entire repository but instead will download and retain anything someone requests though it. It will also stream directly to the first user, so there's no unnecessary wait. It's also a lot more stable than apt-proxy.

Also has a nice web reporting interface so you can check its actually working and how much bandwidth you're saving.

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A slightly alternative system is to use debmirror to make a complete mirror of the distributions you want. It takes more disk space and the initial download is a little heavy, but you can keep it up to date over night and then you won't have to wait when you want to download new packages in the future. I've also found it slightly more reliable than using the proxy server.

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