Ubuntu fails to select the closest mirror

Written by
Date: 2012-11-22 13:18:33 00:00

I have installed Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal (server edition).

While installing it, it asked me about my location I'm in Bolivia, so the mirror chosen for me was bo.archive.ubuntu.com which is actually an alias of a server in Brasil.

nslookup bo.archive.ubuntu.com

The output was:

Server:		8.8.8.8
Address:	8.8.8.8#53

Non-authoritative answer:
bo.archive.ubuntu.com	canonical name = ubuntu.c3sl.ufpr.br.
Name:	ubuntu.c3sl.ufpr.br
Address: 200.236.31.4

And if we do a traceroute

traceroute bo.archive.ubuntu.com

The output is:

traceroute to ubuntu.c3sl.ufpr.br (200.236.31.4), 64 hops max, 52 byte packets
 1  10.1.1.1 (10.1.1.1)  110.143 ms  2.726 ms  3.475 ms
 2  200.87.61.81 (200.87.61.81)  4.135 ms  3.888 ms  2.981 ms
 3  172.17.161.129 (172.17.161.129)  66.871 ms  59.763 ms  63.922 ms
 4  scz-asr-02.entelnet.bo (200.87.251.161)  80.988 ms  66.989 ms  84.650 ms
 5  scz-crs1-02.entelnet.bo (200.87.251.113)  70.946 ms  59.432 ms  64.540 ms
 6  scz-peer-01.entelnet.bo (190.129.252.105)  70.327 ms  58.361 ms  99.851 ms
 7  mia-peer-01.entelnet.bo (200.87.252.246)  192.025 ms  199.756 ms  221.262 ms
 8  xe-0-6-0-7-56.r05.miamfl02.us.bb.gin.ntt.net (157.238.179.45)  197.386 ms  196.573 ms  235.639 ms
 9  te4-5.ccr02.mia03.atlas.cogentco.com (154.54.11.245)  393.865 ms  252.780 ms  243.769 ms
10  38.104.94.74 (38.104.94.74)  225.058 ms  196.940 ms  215.749 ms
11  ampath-sp-10g-gblx.bkb.rnp.br (200.143.254.233)  303.538 ms  323.038 ms  300.004 ms
12  sp-pr-10g-oi.bkb.rnp.br (200.143.252.62)  311.280 ms  326.603 ms  310.093 ms
13  lanpr-mxpr-10g-int.bkb.rnp.br (200.143.255.154)  309.725 ms  311.120 ms  332.263 ms
14  c3sl-ge-1-5-r2.pop-pr.rnp.br (200.19.74.158)  309.735 ms  331.000 ms  324.565 ms
15  ubuntu.c3sl.ufpr.br (200.236.31.4)  321.038 ms  335.952 ms  323.321 ms

We can see, that the request had to travel from Bolivia, to US (Florida) and then go back to Brasil, and then the traffic from Brasil to US and to Bolivia.

Brasil is maybe the closest server to Bolivia, geographically talking, but not from the network point of view.

It would have been better to choose a US server, one in Florida would be great. I always change this by hand when I finish installing Ubuntu.

But it should works automatically, this way we are only adding traffic to networks. And someone is paying for that traffic.

Also the reply has more delay, and more possibilities to be saturated in any of the ways.

I think Ubuntu should try to solve this, and I'm sure is the same thing if you are in Africa, lots of Africa's countries, connect directly to Europe, while not interconnecting between them. The same is true in South America. All of us go to U.S. not too much interconnection between us.