Can I install an older version of a specific package from a ppa? Specifically, I want to get an older version of xserver-xorg-video-intel (and dependencies) from xorg-edgers ppa. The reason is that the older version seemed to work with my hardware. The present version seems to feature (I would like to found out if it is really the source) severe crashes as the present stable releases of this package do. I tried

apt-get install pkg=version

but didn't succeed. I am afraid that the packages in the cache are lost after

apt-get clean

I do not even know the precise version number of the previous version, assuming that it doesn't have to be exactly one less. The current version is xserver-xorg-video-intel-2.20.15 Alternatively: Is there a place, e.g. at launchpad, where I can manually download the previous version of the package?

  • I don't think that old ppa-packages are available at all. If you don't find the deb-Package you have to build it yourself from source.
    – FSMaxB
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 18:17
  • That's bad news ... The package had a lot of strict dependencies - including the kernel, I think.
    – highsciguy
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 18:22

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can install a specific version of a package with apt-get install pkg=version but the version you want needs to be available from one of your APT sources.


$ apt-cache policy dpkg
  Installed: 1.16.12
  Candidate: 1.16.12
  Version table:
     1.17.1 0
        800 http://localhost:3142/debian/ unstable/main amd64 Packages
 *** 1.16.12 0
        900 http://localhost:3142/debian/ testing/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

in this case, both 1.17.1 and 1.16.12 are available to APT. 1.16.12 is installed.

Like the main Ubuntu archive, PPAs remove superseded packages. So, only one version is available for each, Ubuntu release, in a PPA.

  • 12
    and what if I would like to install an older version from a "superseded" package?
    – user366546
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 11:40
  • Looks like you have to manually download and use dpkg to install older packages.
    – pbhj
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 20:52
  • 4
    I think it's crazy that they remove older packages. Where would we manually download the older ones?
    – Paul Knopf
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 18:38
  • @user3892683: Very simply, you can't, they're gone. Unless they're still published for an older release.
    – tumbleweed
    Commented Nov 16, 2019 at 19:28
  • @PaulKnopf Or if they have been archived by the Wayback Machine. Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 11:41

You can retrieve old versions of packages from the Ubuntu Archive, and from PPAs, but they are not available directly via apt. You have to follow the launchpad build links, look for 'Superseded' builds and you can download the .deb files. This is automated with 'pull-lp-debs', 'pull-ppa-debs', etc from the 'ubuntu-dev-tools' package.

Then you can use apt install ./deb1 ./deb2 ./deb3 etc.. you have to install all the matching debs at the same time. For a list of matching debs, install 'dctrl-status'

  • Unfortunately, pull-ppa-debs does not seem to help when the PPA no longer contains older versions of the package.
    – balu
    Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 21:59
  • can you please explain how to use dctrl-status... because I cannot find this tool nor how to use it! many thanks for your answer BTW
    – Dreamcat4
    Commented Oct 2, 2022 at 9:50

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