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I've been trying to get vim with the breakindent patch applied, but it's only available through Quantal, and I'm running Raring. Is there a way to force-install a PPA from a previous release? I tried manually downloading all the packages and running sudo dpkg -i but I get lots of errors about dependencies, some of which don't look like they can be resolved. Am I stuck with having to compile vim myself?

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How did you add the PPA, with add-apt-repository? Or have you not added it yet? – Thomas Ward May 9 '13 at 19:51
Adding the PPA works, but since its Raring area is empty, apt-get returns W: Failed to fetch‌​-amd64/Packages 404 Not Found W: Failed to fetch‌​-i386/Packages 404 Not Found E: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead. Furthermore, adding an empty repo like that breaks apt-get upgrade, so I have to go in and manually remove the PPA entries from my sources list. – Jon May 9 '13 at 19:56
up vote 9 down vote accepted

You should choose Modify in Software & Updates > Other software from raring to quantal distribution.

other software

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Awesome. That seems to have worked. But then how do I install a version of a package older than the one currently installed? – Jon May 9 '13 at 20:04
@Jon I think it will work with sudo apt-get remove --purge [package] and again sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install [package] – Radu Rădeanu May 9 '13 at 20:08
It still seems to install the newer version from the official repos, instead of the older version from the PPA. – Jon May 9 '13 at 20:14
If you want to install an old version, you should read this: How to downgrade packages on Ubuntu? – Radu Rădeanu May 9 '13 at 20:40
For some reason, it's not recognizing anything from the quantal repo. Browsing by source in synaptic shows nothing from this PPA. – Jon May 11 '13 at 18:36

After you add the repository, you can try to change the distribution manually:

$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/eudoxos-vim-breakindent-<version>.list 
deb <version> main
deb-src <version> main

So just replace <version> on those entries with quantal, and do sudo apt-get update. It is not guaranteed it will work, but if it doesn't you can revert the canges or remove the PPA.

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