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I have used ubuntu for a long time, and have collected a lot of Ubuntu .deb packages which I may need for future installs. Most of these are grabbed from outdated or obsolete PPAs or from outside official sources.

I have a old system lying around, too old to run Ubuntu, and I am mulling installing Debian Squeeze with LDXE or something to convert it into a file/print server.

I know it is possible to install Ubuntu debs on Debian, but some will simply not install because of dependencies. Is there a easy way to install Ubuntu debs on Debian? How can I determine which will safely install and which have the potential to break the system? Is there a script for this?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Dependencies are stored in the .deb. Try to install it dpkg --dry-run -i file.deb. It will preview what is missing. If you are lucky, it will be only missing dependencies and no conflicts. In this case, really install the package:

dpkg -i file.deb
apt-get install -f
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Thanks for the --dry-run option.Exactly what i want. – tinhed Mar 10 '11 at 13:54

Generally it is quite unlikely that programs built for Ubuntu will work on Debian, as Ubuntu builds with stack smashing protection (SSP) by default, which requires a set of helper functions that are ordinarily found in libssp, but included with libc on Ubuntu.

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