As far as a I know, apt only records when either you or it i.e. apt did an apt hook to update the apt database. Is there a way for e.g. to know the time-stamp of the mirror or a way to know when a mirror will be updated ?

To be more clear, let me share an actual example -

As can be seen below the date and time is as per IST -

$ date
Mon May  6 05:28:09 IST 2019

I just ran an apt update and in /var/cache/apt/ the time it took to update the index is shown -

/var/cache/apt$ ls -lh 
total 85M
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 360K May  6 04:11 archives
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  43M May  6 05:32 pkgcache.bin
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  42M May  6 05:32 srcpkgcache.bin

Now of course, the time taken is of various reasons, speed, how much delta is there or full inrelease files needed to downloaded and so on and so forth.

There doesn't seem to be a way to know the mirror from which you are updating or how current the mirror is and some kind of data/number that you could relate to with Debian archive . ?

Just to be clear though, I'm using cdn-fastly.deb.debian.org and it works great. Am curious though as at times it doesn't respond as much as we would like. For e.g. like the issue in firefox-esr and by extension torbrowser-launcher.

See https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=928415 for more.

1 Answer 1


The Release or InRelease file from the repository you're using will contain the date of the last update in a "Date" line. You can check these by running:

# grep Date /var/lib/apt/lists/*Release
/var/lib/apt/lists/deb.debian.org_debian_dists_stretch_Release:Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2019 09:29:22 UTC
/var/lib/apt/lists/deb.debian.org_debian_dists_stretch-updates_InRelease:Date: Sun, 05 May 2019 20:21:24 UTC
/var/lib/apt/lists/security.debian.org_dists_stretch_updates_InRelease:Date: Sun, 05 May 2019 21:21:18 UTC

Keep in mind that releasing new versions of packages is not a fully automated process. New versions of must be packaged by Debian volunteers, and must go through a testing process before they become available in the repository.

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