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Feature #17263

Set Acquire::Languages to "none" to speed up APT downloads

Added by snail about 2 months ago. Updated about 1 month ago.

Status:
New
Priority:
Low
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-
Category:
-
Target version:
-
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% Done:

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Description

Setting Acquire::Languages { "none"; }; in /config/chroot_local-includes/etc/apt/apt.conf.d/12nolang will reduce the amount of time needed to run apt-get update

History

#1 Updated by intrigeri about 1 month ago

Setting Acquire::Languages { "none"; }; in /config/chroot_local-includes/etc/apt/apt.conf.d/12nolang will reduce the amount of time needed to run apt-get update

That's right.

The only drawback I can think of is that long package descriptions would not be available anymore.

For example, with current Tails, apt show gdm3 tells me:

Description: GNOME Display Manager
GDM provides the equivalent of a "login:" prompt for X displays: it
asks for a login and starts graphical sessions.
.
It supports multiple seats and switching between multiple users.
.
The greeter is based on the GNOME libraries and applications, and its
look and design are the same as those of a GNOME session.

… while with the proposed change applied, it tells me only:

Description: GNOME Display Manager

@sajolida, what do you think is better UX-wise? Faster updates of APT indices or having long descriptions?

#2 Updated by sajolida about 1 month ago

  • Subject changed from speed up apt-get update fetch time to Set Acquire::Languages to "none" to speed up APT downloads

Renaming this ticket to be more specific.

I understand that we're talking about download time here, right? I'm also bothered by the cache creation time of APT in Tails which slows down the installation of Additional Software quite a lot but I guess that this is off-topic here.

Seeing the name of this option, I also guess that it also disables translations of package description, correct?

If so, then having no long description and no translations sounds harsh to people who might be trying to figure out which packages to install and we should reject this ticket.

#3 Updated by intrigeri about 1 month ago

Hi,

I understand that we're talking about download time here, right?

Yes.

I'm also bothered by the cache creation time of APT in Tails which slows down the installation of Additional Software quite a lot but I guess that this is off-topic here.

Good point! Indeed, a bigger cache takes longer to write to persistence, so IMO we should look at the big picture here, and consider both the cost of download + writing to disk, vs. giving the user more useful info about packages in package management tools.

Seeing the name of this option, I also guess that it also disables translations of package description, correct?

AFAICT, since 2011 we only download package descriptions in English. I've skimmed over the discussion about Acquire::Languages on #15807 and it seems to confirm this.

If so, then having no long description and no translations sounds harsh to people who might be trying to figure out which packages to install and we should reject this ticket.

I guess this point is moot given we already don't download translations, right?

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