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There are 4 packages I am using on 12.04 which are not available on 12.10:

Is there any way of more-or-less automatic reverse-backporting?

(I know, that one "solution" is to wait. But unless I know for how long I should do it, it doesn't solve anything.)

Update: The process involving the packportpackage illustrated below on example "xkcd-browser" doesn't work for none of the 4 packages; however the error report seems to be different for each item.

backportpackage -b -d quantal -w . http://ppa.launchpad.net/brianrobles204/xkcd-browser/ubuntu/pool/main/x/xkcd-browser/xkcd-browser_12.08.4.dsc

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What I did is adding the ppa from software sources, and then edit the Ubuntu version to precise. Cuttlefish works in 12.10. –  mg-ngapyin Dec 18 '12 at 10:10
    
@mg-ngapyin At least the xkcd-browser doesn't work that way due to unmet dependencies (it needs gir1.2-gwibber-gtk-0.2, but I have only gir1.2-gwibber-gtk-0.3) –  Adam Ryczkowski Dec 18 '12 at 11:32
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1 Answer

Sometimes, you can just install straight from the PPA, or even a .deb file. However, if that doesn't work, then it's likely that it won't work at all, especially if the package relies on GTK or anything in the GNOME stack. If you do manage to get something installed, it's pretty likely that it will not work as expected (and may even cause issues in other applications). This is due to incompatibilities between GTK and GNOME versions.

A quick search shows that the XKCD browser may not be updated for a while. The linked AU question does provide a possible solution, but again, it may cause other issues. Cuttlefish is reported to work on 12.10 if you use the .deb file.

Blubphone and xserver-xorg-input-synaptics are worth trying, as they probably have their own interface, or aren't dependent on the Gnome/GTK stacks.

To find out if a given piece of software works on a given version of Ubuntu, I generally have good luck with searching Google with something like "ubuntu [version] [software name]".

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