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This question is about backports again, but is specific to the difference in availability of packages.

A specific example of this would be the two gcc packages in 10.10's repos: gcc (which is 4.4), and gcc-4.5 (which is gcc 4.5).

While this change is in 10.10's repositories, such optional packages aren't included in the 10.04 LTS repositories, and the option to have a gcc-4.5 compiler in 10.04 might help several people (such as myself, who needs the 4.5 compiler for University, and I can't upgrade to 10.10 because it doesnt operate correctly on my system).

Is there a reason a lack of such optional packages is in the 10.04 repositories?

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So, the short answer really isn't short at all. From the kernel perspective, there shouldn't be many issues using gcc-4.5 on a machine that was compiled with gcc-4.4. The exception to that rule would be if you are needing to do any DKMS compiles as the compiler must be the same.

If you don't need to do any dkms compiles, then it may be possible for you to use 4.5 on your machine, but if I were doing this myself, I would try to run a VM with 10.10 to get the advantage of that compiler, but that is without knowing if you can do virtualization on your current machine.

Edit: After speaking with the Foundations team, it is a lack of time and resources keeping the backports from happening.

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Virtualization isn't hard, i've got a system that I dedicate for virtual testing of operating systems, but its not a system I can easily carry around (sometimes i need portability with a laptop, and my laptop cant handle virtualization, nor can it accept > 10.04 installed to the drive, hence the need for such an optional package backported). –  Thomas W. Mar 14 '11 at 17:36
    
that is what I was afraid of. What is keeping it from handling 10.10? –  Jeremy Foshee Mar 14 '11 at 17:41
    
I think its the fact the system is like 3 years old :/ In the world of laptops, 3 years of age is like dinosaur era :/ –  Thomas W. Mar 14 '11 at 17:47
    
Any idea where the Foundations team is? –  Thomas W. Mar 16 '11 at 3:30
    
So I spoke with them about this issue. As I suspected this really boils down to a lack of time and resources. The same factors that kept them from responding to this question also. They are unable to provide the time needed to keep watch over these questions like they would like to. So, short answer again, "There is no time to do the backports." –  Jeremy Foshee Mar 22 '11 at 14:32

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