Using the aarnet mirror for cygwin updates
UPDATE: aarnet does not seem to host a cygwin mirror any longer.
If you are in Australia, especially if you are inside a university (or perhaps a government lab or similar) the aarnet mirror is your friend. Not a terribly reliable friend, but a friend none the less (it seems to be down more often than some other mirrors).
It mirrors a whole host of major Linux distributions, and some minor ones, plus various major software projects (LibreOffice, for example), CTAN, CRAN, CPAN and so on. Hence it is, if you are in an tertiary institution in Australia, a good place at which to point your software updater (downloads from it are fast and cheap). It may well be quite serviceable even if you’re not in such an place. It can be a source for your /etc/apt/sources.list file on a Debian-based Linux distribution, or your setup-x86_64.exe (or similar) for cygwin.
When you run the cygwin setup application, it will not list the aarnet mirror as one of the options. You need to add it manually. You do it like this:
Fire up setup-x86_64.exe (or setup-x86.exe for 32-bit) and step through till you get to the mirror selection screen:
Then type (or cut and paste from here)
in the empty box at the bottom and click ‘Add’, and make sure it is the only entry highlighted.
That is all.
The only ‘trick’ is that you will type the whole path but when it is added to the list you’ll only see the server address (http://mirror.aarnet.edu.au) not the directories (/pub/cygwin). But you need to have the directories. What the setup program actually wants is the directory off which the directories x86 and x86_64 branch.