I find myself with a use for GNU Make's grouped target feature which made its appearance in 4.3. I am only running Ubuntu 20.04 though, so I still have 4.2.1. Is it possible to find that version of make without upgrading to 21.04?

2 Answers 2


You can simply download newer deb-package from 21.10 repository and install it by using commands below:

cd ~/Downloads
wget -c http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/main/m/make-dfsg/make_4.3-4ubuntu1_amd64.deb
sudo apt-get install ./make_4.3-4ubuntu1_amd64.deb
  • Does Ubuntu have something like Debian's backports? If so, that would do something like what you're describing, but updating it would be easier.
    – cocomac
    Jan 12, 2022 at 18:40
  • 1
    @cocomac, see packages.ubuntu.com/focal-backports/allpackages .
    – N0rbert
    Jan 12, 2022 at 18:56
  • Thanks. That's kind of what I hoped for. I had a small issue when referencing the deb file via relative name. Using the absolute path worked.
    – smontanaro
    Jan 12, 2022 at 18:59
  • 2
    That wget location is now dead. Aug 5, 2022 at 23:25

You should be able to install it on any modern system using the source files:

  1. Open Terminal (if it’s not already open)
  2. Download the version you want from the GNU site:
    wget https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/make/make-4.3.tar.gz
  3. Extract and build:
    tar xfz make-4.3.tar.gz
    cd make-4.3
  • 3
    Thanks. I know building from source is always an option, but for something like this I'd prefer to a) install in the canonical location, and b) not install in the canonical location in such a way that the system's dependency handling machinery is blind to what I've installed.
    – smontanaro
    Jan 12, 2022 at 19:02

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