I am trying to install an older version of libfreetype6. Specifically I found the version that I want here: https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/freetype/2.8.1-2ubuntu2

When I do sudo apt install libfreetype6=2.8.1-2ubuntu2 then I get:

E: Version '2.8.1-2ubuntu2' for 'libfreetype6' was not found

I want to install the binary; don't want to build. And also this is important: I want to make sure that none of the packages that depend on libfreetype6 get uninstalled, nor altered in any way, during the process.

I also see a bunch of package files on the above mentioned launchpad.net page, but I'm not sure which to choose, and not sure how to install from package file either. Please help. Thanks.

  • 1
    If I'm understanding correctly, you want this? If so, scroll down and you'll see what architecture it's for. Click on the architecture (like AMD64) and click a mirror of your choice at the following page. This, for example: mirrors.kernel.org/ubuntu/pool/main/f/freetype/… (This doesn't mean it will work - you may end up in dependency-hell - but that's where you get started.
    – KGIII
    Aug 24, 2020 at 1:09
  • Yes, that looks like what I want, and I found it in a few places. Now that I've got the .deb file on my machine, what do I do next? By the way, this Ubuntu is WSL, so I don't have the graphical installer. Everything is command line. Thanks. Aug 24, 2020 at 1:14
  • OK. I think I got this to work. I did: sudo dpkg -i --force-depends <debfile> Aug 24, 2020 at 1:23
  • Yup. That's what I was typing. Hopefully it won't have dependencies you can't satisfy. I'll write up a formal answer, just so it's here for posterity.
    – KGIII
    Aug 24, 2020 at 1:24

1 Answer 1


The problem is that you want to install an older version of a file. This is not always a good idea, but it is possible to at least attempt it.

Once you know the name and version you want, you can search for it at Ubuntu's packages site. It's located here:


Once you find the version you want, you need to find the architecture. Most often, this is AMD64. Either way, it's down on the left and will be under downloads. Make sure you click the right architecture.

If you don't already have this information, run this in your terminal:


It'll look something like this:

64 bit architecture

With that data in hand, you can click on the correct architecture and the following page will have a list of mirrors. Any of those should work and you can download them in the usual way, from browser to wget. Once downloaded, they'll be in .deb format, you can install them as you would any other package.

Notes: This won't always work. There will be files that have unmet dependencies and following them deeper and deeper will eventually mean you run out of options and you'll have made your system unstable and difficult to maintain.

If you're having issues finding the file, you can use a regular search engine and just add +.deb to the filename. Then, exercising caution you may more easily find the links to the file(s) you're after.

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