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The latest xorg update was a big regression for me on a dual display setup.
Is there a simple way to revert to the previous version?

I'm on Lucid Lynx.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted
  1. Please write a comprehensive bug report against the xorg package on launchpad. Updates should never break things. If it happens, it's important to notify developers, so they can fix it. (Even if you suspect they will not fix it because it may be an edge case, I does not harm to report the bug.)

  2. Apt does not support reverting an action once completed. And Ubuntu/Apt does not (officially) support downgrades.

  3. Ubuntu can get packages (updates) from different repositories. In synaptic (or other apt front ends), you will see that different version of xorg related packages from different repositories are available. Using the "Package" -> "Force Version" menu, you can request the downgrade. (The original verison that shipped with lucid comes from the repository "lucid" given in parentheses. The offending upgrade probably came from lucid-updates.)

  4. Downgrading one xorg related package will trigger downgrades of several other xorg related packages. It may take some tries before synaptic gets it right.

TL;DR: Use Synaptic to downgrade xserver-xorg-core to the version from lucid. Solve potential dependency problems until all xorg related packages are downgraded.

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Is there a simple way to revert to the previous version?

No - you need to know what to downgrade and what version to pick.

Downgrading/forcing version links

The Ubuntu Community Documentation has Downgrade Howto:

From the Kubuntu Forums (How to downgrade packages (forcing version)):

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Many times I have done an upgrade to find certain packages broken. I tend to remember these packages and peruse the upgrade list. If any of them are present I remove them before upgrade. Not a complete response to your question.

The upgrade process in Ubuntu is borked since it doesn't allow re-grading to the correct and stable state you once had.

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