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If you have two or more Debian GNU/Linux machines on a fast local network and you wish to upgrade packages from the Internet, you don't want to download every package several times.
apt-cacher.pl is a CGI which will keep a cache on disk of Debian Packages and Release files (including .deb files) which have been received from Debian distribution servers on the Internet. When an apt-get client issues a request for a file to apt-cacher.pl, if the file is already on disk it is served to the client immediately, otherwise it is fetched from the Internet, saved on disk, and then served to the client. This means that several Debian machines can be upgraded but each package need be downloaded only once.
To use this CGI you need a web server which supports CGI and a local directory with plenty of free space (100 - 300 Mbytes is usually adequate).
apt-cacher is no longer maintained by Nick Andrew. It has been packaged as part of the stable Debian distribution (sarge).
2006-01-28: The domain apt-cacher.org has been re-registered, probably by a spammer. Please do not visit www.apt-cacher.org.
2006-01-26: apt-cacher has been patched to support Fedora-APT. Thanks to Xavier Delaruelle (xavier at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Eduard Bloch (blade at debian.org) is the new maintainer of apt-cacher. Please contact Eduard with your enhancements and comments.
Somebody has written a traffic reporting script for apt-cacher: mcrg.uib.es.
apt-cacher is available for the Fink package management system for MacOS X: Fink Package Database - Package apt-cacher"
2005-08-03: Debian publishes a security advisory for apt-cacher: DSA-772-1.
2005-08-03: secunia.com publishes a security advisory for apt-cacher: Debian apt-cacher Unspecified Arbitrary Command Execution.
Since I released apt-cacher Jon Oxer has made further enhancements and he packaged it for Debian and setup a new website for it. Apt-cacher has also inspired the development of a new tool called aptcached which acts like an HTTP server, for retrieving cached packages.
The latest version of apt-cacher is available in the Debian sarge or unstable repositories.