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Downgrade Ubuntu/Debian using apt preferences
Sun, 12 Aug 2012 22:26:13 +0000

There are people who prefer bleeding-edge software versions, other prefer stability over new features. I'm an advanced Linux user, however I fall into the latter category of users. Recently I discovered my current mixed-version Ubuntu is not as stable as I would like and I decided to revert to older version of Ubuntu (lucid).

Debian apt system allows to set preferences for packages and this method can be used to downgrade packages. First of all you have to declare sources of software of desired distro (lucid) in my case:

$ grep ^deb /etc/apt/sources.list
deb http://pl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid main restricted
deb http://pl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-updates main restricted
deb http://pl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid universe
deb http://pl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-updates universe
deb http://pl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid multiverse
deb http://pl.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-updates multiverse
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu lucid-security main restricted
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu lucid-security universe
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu lucid-security multiverse

Then we can declare we prefer lucid even if current package in the system if newer:

$ cat /etc/apt/preferences.d/downgrade-to-lucid
Package: *
Pin: release a=lucid
Pin-Priority: 1010

Package: *
Pin: release a=lucid-updates
Pin-Priority: 1011

Package: *
Pin: release a=lucid-security
Pin-Priority: 1012

As you can see I added updates and security source pacages into account to have such updates already in my system.

Tags: debian.


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