yum (RHEL/CentOs/SL/etc) has an option which allows you to limit the download rate/amount of bandwidth used to download packages. Here’s how you do it:

Edit the /etc/yum.conf file and add the following line:

 
throttle=50k

The above entry will limit the download rate to 50 kilobytes per second (note, not kilobits) when you do any yum command such as yum install or yum groupinstall , etc.

For Ubuntu/Debian users that use apt, please see this post

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It seems there are already some bugs logged (and closed) regarding this issue. See https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=632391 and https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=628963

In the meantime however, if you want to safely clear up the useless data in /var/cache/yum, you can just run the following command:

yum clean all

For me it went from 8Gb of useless sqlite files to none in 2 seconds.

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