How To: Use apt-get behind proxy

If you run your Ubuntu system behind a firewall and have to use proxy server for http and ftp access, then your apt-get on a newly installed Ubuntu system will probably not work.

To make it use proxy, simply set the http_proxy environment variable. Once you get it working (try something like apt-get update), you'll probably want to add it to your .bashrc file.

Setting the http_proxy variable

Here's how you set the variable:

bash$ export http_proxy=http://proxy:8080

If you're required to use your username and password for your proxy, they can be specified this way. Obviously, port 8080 can and should be replaced with the valid port for your proxy server (sometimes it's 3128):

bash$ export http_proxy=http://username:password@proxy:8080

Related books

If you want to learn more, here's a great book:


Ubuntu Kung Fu

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  • This did not work for me.

  • The author of this article was very kind to help me resolve this, which was so nice! My install of kubuntu didn't accept web based updates to apt-get, because I was behind a proxy, and commented them out of /etc/apt/sources.list, which the author helped me figure out. Cool!

  • Gleb Reys

    Always a pleasure to help, Dean!

  • Thushara

    It's working. Thnx. Ummmmmmmmah

  • Gleb Reys

    Such a simple fix, and such a relief when it finally works. Glad your problem is sorted!

  • Shrik

    Doesn't work for me; i get the error 407 Proxy Authentication required

  • Hi Shrik,

    This is because your proxy server is password protected – not much you can do unless you specify your credentials.

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  • Lanre


    I am really grateful for this fix. just a simple code and it does all the magic.

    Thanks a Lot!!!

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