How can I downgrade a package to an older version via apt-get?

Other tools are also acceptable but apt-get is preferred.

If you have the version number, or the target release, apt-get supports choosing a particular version or target release. More details can be found on manual page of apt-get. It can also be accessed from terminal by typing man apt-get

sudo apt-get install <package-name>=<package-version-number> OR

sudo apt-get -t=<target release> install <package-name>

is the command to be run. This can be used to down-grade a package to a specific version.

It has been helpfully pointed out in the comments that

  • apt-cache showpkg <package-name> lists all available versions. (h/t Sparhawk)
  • apt-mark hold <package-name> "holds" the package at the current version, preventing automatic upgrades. (h/t Luís de Sousa )
  • 48
    Also, use apt-cache showpkg <package-name> to list available versions. – Sparhawk Apr 2 '13 at 20:42
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    And afterwards you might also wish to run: apt-mark hold <package-name> in order to avoid automatic upgrades. – Luís de Sousa Apr 17 '15 at 7:42
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    I found that aptitude downgraded the dependencies better than apt-get. – krispy Mar 1 '16 at 17:25
  • 5
    apt-cache policy <package-name> shows just the installed and available versions – Michael Lawton Aug 13 '16 at 20:56
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    And what if showpkg does not show the version you are interested in? – demongolem Jun 20 '17 at 15:41
up vote 97 down vote accepted


apt-get install «pkg»=«version»


sudo aptitude install «pkg»=«version»

Where «pkg» is the name of the package, and «version» is the version number.

  • 2
    when i type apt-get install pkg=version apt-get offers removing almost half of all installed packages which of course not what i want to do – Dfr Jul 15 '15 at 8:38
  • As pointed in the (otherwise identical) answer with more votes, this seems to be one of the key cases where aptitude does a much better job than apt-get. In my case apt-getflatly refused the downgrade request, whereas aptitude pointed out that there were other pkgs which depended on the newer version (and thus needed downgrading at the same time). – sxc731 Apr 12 at 18:02

If you have upgraded software using ppa you can downgrade it by using ppa-purge. First you have to install ppa-purge using this code:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge

Then you can remove the ppa using command

sudo ppa-purge ppa:user/ppa-name

this will automatically downgrade the software to its original version which shipped with Ubuntu.

  • 1
    This solution is just unmatched in case the package has dependencies which also have to be downgraded. Thanks! – and Aug 10 '17 at 10:27

To downgrade you have to do a command like

 sudo apt-get install pkg_name=version

in your terminal.

In the place of version put the previous version you want to downgrade to.

In my opinion, you should first uninstall or purge the package, like:

sudo apt-get remove <package>


sudo apt-get purge <package>

Then, you may download the version you would like to install and keep it in a folder, say abc.deb in Downloads. Open terminal, move to the folder using cd command and install the previous version using dpkg:

sudo dpkg -i abc.deb

Or else, there is a small utility called ppa-purge if you mean to downgrade packages updated via PPAs.

See this thread:

  • 3
    removing a package may remove many dependent ones, resulting in an unusable system. ppapurge sounds interesting though. – type May 20 '12 at 19:04
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    Can you explain why you believe we ought to first uninstall packages (as a separate step) before installing older versions of them? – Eliah Kagan Oct 4 '12 at 20:48
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    @temoto that link is for downgrading releases unstable -> testing -> stable not to downgrade individual packages. – Braiam Oct 9 '13 at 17:50

protected by RolandiXor Feb 2 '14 at 4:41

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