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I have Ubuntu 10.04 server and want to update a package to newer version (update rrdtool from 1.3.8 to current 1.4.5). What should I do? Download and build sources or get package from newer distribution? And how to do that?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could add the repositories of the newer release to sources.list, then configure apt-pinning to give priority to the current release despite it being older. (See docs on Debian wiki, elsewhere.)

You will then be able to specify the newer repository when installing packages, but the system will remain at its current release.

However, newer packages often pull in more newer packages (libraries, other dependencies) which in turn may pull in even more, and you might soon wind up upgrading things like 'glibc' just to satisfy the dependencies of a single program, at which point upgrading the entire system to the newer release would be the only way to un-break the system.

Alternatively, you could download the sources – either directly from the developers, or from Ubuntu packagers using apt-get -t newer-repo source rrdtool, then compile it locally (using dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc if you downloaded the Ubuntu source package). This will be easier on the dependencies, but will have to be updated manually.

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