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Is there some easy way to get access to earlier releases on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS? Not looking for bleeding edge, just a channel with software that is not 6 months old.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

First look at the backports, which are packages from the unstable repository recompiled for released versions of Ubuntu.

Next, maybe the authors of the program make an Ubuntu binary available. Otherwise you can also look if someone has compiled the new version of the program for your release of Ubuntu and made it available in a PPA.

Other options to getting a newer version of a program are installing the binary from the Ubuntu unstable repository, or recompiling the unstable source package, or recompiling the upstream source package.

All of this, except for the backports, is not recommended for packages that are in Ubuntu's main repository, because you'll lose the high level of integration that Ubuntu provides for these packages. For packages in the universe or multiverse repository, the loss is not so great. But remember, newer versions mean newer features and newer bugs.

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Thanks, but I couldn't really find anything in backports for 10.04 on – grm Aug 9 '10 at 12:40
If the program you want isn't in the backports repo, request it by filing a bug. – maco Aug 14 '10 at 2:45

Well, if it's OSS you could always look at the source repository and grab something from there that's in your "ok" time frame. Kinda hard to answer this if we don't know what exactly you're looking for... Are you looking for stability or features? Sometimes you can't get both until the package has a certain amount of --- well, let's just call it "maturity".

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Thanks, but what do you mean by OSS? I'm looking for features and more updated software. It seems like software is about 3-6 months delayed on Ubuntu. One good example is rails 2.3. – grm Aug 10 '10 at 7:04
OSS or FOSS A good place to look for FOSS is on – hotei Aug 10 '10 at 11:36

First I use Ubuntu Tweak which allows you to add other software sources for about 300 applications very easily using the "source center":


Later you can add the "Ubuntu Tweak" source i a clean way form "Ubuntu Tweak" ;-), so you will also get the PGP key for this source.

An other source for applications I use is for applications and for games.

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Adding 300 different sources can lead to a security and stability nightmare. Best way is still to pick them by hand, and only those you need. – Bobby Aug 9 '10 at 15:23
I remember the story of a guy who had set up a small repo for the german community and suddenly found his server nearly taken out because someone had compiled an 'ultimate sources.list' with his server in it. The sources.list contained over 300 different and not really checkable repos...not to mention the traffic problems he suddenly had. He then decided to warn the handful of users he knew of and simply added an update package to his repo which changed the background of every PC which received it to something like "You've been hacked". – Bobby Aug 9 '10 at 15:25
@Bobby How can adding the repository for a specific application be a security risk? If anything I think that would be a better idea as the developer's repository will have more up-to-date versions than what the Ubuntu repositories have. And I don't believe that it will do anything to stability of packages. apt-get and aptitude should be smart enough to know that if it sees 2 applications with the same name to install only the latest version. And if both are the same version, ask the user what to do. – Nathan Adams Aug 9 '10 at 15:30
@Bobby Ubuntu Tweak has only a list of sources and the user must pick from this list to add a source. But Ubuntu Tweak keep this list up to date. – kleidt Aug 9 '10 at 15:36
@Nathan Adams: I meant the amount. Adding two, three or even five is no problem, but 'blindly' adding 300 can be. @Kleidt: Mh, I still wouldn't check every single one. – Bobby Aug 9 '10 at 17:55

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