Two Simple Tips To Speed Up Program Downloads / Upgrades in Fedora

I’ve been playing with the latest version of Fedora since the past few days. Much like how Ubuntu has a command-line based software installer called apt-get, Fedora comes with yum.

I was trying to update my Fedora install to the latest version of packages and noticed that all my downloads were incredibly slow.

Slow Downloads in Fedora

No doubt, this was a result of the mirrors selected being overloaded/ saturated or just too slow. Here’s 2 tips to improve your download speeds.

Yum Plugins – FastestMirror And Axelget

In addition to Yum’s support for delta RPMs(which is awesome) yum also supports plugins. Two incredibly helpful plugins that help improve download speeds are

  • FastestMirror
  • AxelGet


FastestMirror connects to each mirror, times the connection and sorts the mirrors that yum can use thereby improving the download speeds. Installing fastest mirror is quite easy, type in

yum install yum-plugin-fastestmirror

To install the plugin. You’ll need to have root privileges, else this will fail. Once installed, confirm that it is enabled by checking for presence of below files in  /etc/yum/pluginconf.d/fastestmirror.conf

verbose = 0
socket_timeout = 3
enabled = 1
hostfilepath = /var/cache/yum/timedhosts.txt
maxhostfileage = 1

You can even explicitly set to exclude specific mirror by adding,

to the above file, replacing with your specific mirrors.


Axel is a pretty well-known command line download tool. Much like how IDM/FDM work, Axel uses the same concept of splitting the current file into multiple pieces and downloading them simultaneously, instead of one download at a time. Axel is the same tool which powers apt-fast, a tool to speed up program downloads / upgrades in Ubuntu. Setting up axelget is a bit more involved process.

sudo cp axelget.conf /etc/yum/pluginconf.d/

sudo cp /usr/lib/yum-plugins/

To confirm that the plugins are working, do a yum update. Yum should list out all the plugins in use

[[email protected] sathya]# yum install git
Loaded plugins: axelget, fastestmirror, langpacks, presto, refresh-packagekit

That’s about it. With these two plugins, your downloads should be much faster.

Note: This should work for all distros supporting yum, I’ve tested this only on the current version of Fedora though.