I recently upgraded my Ubuntu version to the latest 20.04 release. Some of my earlier projects (developed on 16.04) were compiling just fine with a gcc version of 5 (gcc-5.4.0).

The default version in Ubuntu 20.04 is gcc-9. I'm trying to switch my gcc version down to 5. I've gone through several posts such as How can I build and install gcc-5.4.0 on Ubuntu 18.04? and How to choose the default gcc and g++ version?, but the fact is that gcc-5 packages aren't even available for 20.04 (see https://packages.ubuntu.com/search?keywords=gcc-5).

As expected, the command

sudo apt install gcc-5  

does not work. Is there a way I can install gcc-5 (and gcc-4) on the latest release of Ubuntu 20.04? It seems like I will somehow have to install packages that are available only in earlier releases such as 16.04 or 18.04.

  • 4
    Does this answer your question? How to use an older version of GCC
    – Kulfy
    May 5, 2020 at 19:43
  • 3
    GCC 5 is in xenial's repository, You can use 16.04's repository temporarily to install gcc-5.
    – Kulfy
    May 5, 2020 at 19:46
  • 2
    I tried using the command - echo "deb old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xenial.list , but I receive the error - "The repository 'old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial Release' does not have a Release file."
    – V-Red
    May 5, 2020 at 20:19
  • 3
    Xenial is still supported. Replace old-releases with archive
    – Kulfy
    May 5, 2020 at 21:18
  • 2
    Okay perfect, I was able to install gcc-5. Thanks!
    – V-Red
    May 5, 2020 at 22:06

2 Answers 2


As mentioned in the comment section, GCC versions lower than 7 are still available in xenial repository. You can follow the following steps to install gcc-5:

  1. Add xenial to /etc/apt/sources.list

Open sources.list with sudo

sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following lines in the sources.list file

deb http://dk.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ xenial main
deb http://dk.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ xenial universe

  1. sudo apt update
  2. sudo apt install g++-5 gcc-5

Reference answer: Install gcc 4.9 at ubuntu 18.04

To change default gcc version to gcc 5 you can follow this link. Below I am adding the steps for completeness.

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-5 5
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-5 5

And then select the correct version manually as below:

sudo update-alternatives --config gcc
sudo update-alternatives --config g++

If you find this answer helpful, please also consider upvoting the reference answer from which most of my answer is borrowed.

  • I'd like to try his solution. What I do not want is to use a different default gcc/g++. Is this the case after install gcc-5 and g++-5? May 24, 2023 at 18:17
  • 1
    In that case, you could just skip update-alternatives command. Just installing new gcc/g++ won't change the default.
    – ayush jain
    May 26, 2023 at 16:51

The only solution that worked for me is:

Manual installing of .deb packages

(sad programmer noises)

  1. Go to http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/g/
  2. Download all .deb packages for gcc compiler version you want, f.e.:
cpp-3.4_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb       lib32g2c0_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb
g++-3.4_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb       libg2c0_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb
g77-3.4_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb       libg2c0-dev_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb
gcc-3.4_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb       libstdc++6-dbg_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb
gcc-3.4-base_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb  libstdc++6-dev_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb
  1. Manually install them by running command, f.e.:
sudo dpkg -i ./gcc-3.4-base_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb 
sudo dpkg -i ./cpp-3.4_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i ./gcc-3.4_3.4.6-6ubuntu5_amd64.deb

and so on...

Check the console output errors about package dependencies to figure out the package install order.

  • If you encounter error (bug probably) about crossdependency of "g++..." package to "libstdc++..." package and v.v. then run install command to update libstdc++ package with exact version number, f.e.:
sudo apt-get install libstdc++6
  1. Hooray! Use installed gcc (g++) version by, f.e.:
g++-3.4 -v

P.S.: of you're getting missing libs errors try

export LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu:$LIBRARY_PATH

before the build

  • 1
    In my case I had to install differents lib (maybe not all was needed) : cpp-4.9_4.9.4-2ubuntu1_amd64.deb libcloog-isl4_0.18.4-2_amd64.deb libisl15_0.18-4_amd64.deb libmpfr4-dbg_3.1.4-1_amd64.deb g++-4.9_4.9.4-2ubuntu1_amd64.deb libcloog-isl-dev_0.18.4-2_amd64.deb libisl-dev_0.22.1-1_amd64.deb libstdc++-4.9-dev_4.9.4-2ubuntu1_amd64.deb gcc-4.9-base_4.9.4-2ubuntu1_amd64.deb libgcc-4.9-dev_4.9.4-2ubuntu1_amd64.deb libmpfr4_3.1.4-1_amd64.deb Jan 25, 2021 at 0:52

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