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Unfortunately I am a total newbie when it comes to Ubuntu package installation and dependencies.

I wonder: Can I install a certain version of a pre-compiled software package in Ubuntu version Y, if the package is for X version of Ubuntu?

Is it actually feasible? What does it depend on? What are the obstacles for doing this?

For example, can I install the CUDA toolkit for Ubuntu 10.10 on Ubuntu 11.04?

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You may have more luck on the Unix & Linux or Ubuntu StackExchanges than here. – me_and Feb 17 '12 at 11:17
up vote 0 down vote accepted

As long as the target version of the software is lower than the version of Ubuntu you are currently running, there shouldn't be a problem.

It's the same as installing a program that is intended for Vista on a Windows 7 machine.

If the version is higher than the version of Ubuntu you're running, that's most likely a problem. You can still try and install it, but success is unlikely.

Usually Ubuntu takes care of selecting "just the right version" of a software package for you (through package management). Applications like the one you mention in your question, which aren't supplied through the official package repository, are the exception rather than the norm (at least that's how I feel).

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