If your doing a net install of Debian, you need a fast net connection. You also need to use the fastest server to feed your downloads. Particularly if you have a lot of stuff to pull down or a large update you need to run. Fast servers are an absolute must.
Meet netselect-apt. It eliminates the guesswork and its dead easy to use with a few options.
netselect-apt identifies the fastest Debian servers available for download.
netselect-apt pings available Debian servers and compiles a list of the fastest for you to select from. First, we install netselect-apt:
aptitude install netselect-apt
Then get some results:
It takes a couple of minutes to poll available servers and write a sources.list containing the winners in your current directory.
The available options include:
-n to include non-free
-f to use ftp
You can also stable, testing, unstable, experimental, etch, lenny, woody, sarge, and sid as other options.
netselect-apt -n -f lenny
netselect-apt -n -f testing
Run netselect-apt before a major update or upgrade, as you'll notice server speeds change depending on connection speed and workload.