With the recent release of Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, repository mirrors have been slowly chugging through the onslaught of requests. Here are two images I captured from the Argonne National Laboratory’s mirror just a few moments ago (20:50 local time, or 01:50 UTC). The top image plots IPv4 traffic while the bottom image shows IPv6 traffic. You can clearly see the massive spike in traffic as the Ubuntu release went public.

ANL IPv4 Traffic on 2010-04-29
Argonne National Laboratory IPv6 traffic 2010-04-29

In this kind of bum-rush, trying to update, upgrade, or otherwise work from these servers takes a painfully ridiculous amount of time. One way to alleviate this pain is to encourage downloaders to use torrent files. While an options for users who don’t need to download an entire distro release is to let Ubuntu select the best server for you. This is extremely easy for anyone to do, requiring no command line work, yet sadly, few people are aware of how to do this.

Screenshot demonstrating how to select your optimal Ubuntu software server.

Begin by going into SystemAdministrationSoftware Sources. Now select the menu beside Download from: and choose Other…. A new window will pop-up and from here, press the Select Best Server button. It will then take a few minutes to go about pinging various download servers until finally one server will be selected for you and you can press Choose Server and you’re done.

Your mileage may vary, but every little bit helps.