I have some software packages customised for Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10 and 12.10, but now I have to install them on Debian Squeeze. I have been unable to Google for a mapping between specific Ubuntu and Debian versions. Can someone here help?

Specifically I want to know which Ubuntu version corresponds to Debian Squeeze.


3 Answers 3


You can find the Debian version on which your Ubuntu version is based in the file: /etc/debian_version

Ubuntu Version Ubuntu Codename /etc/debian_version Debian Version
24.04 LTS Noble Numbat trixie/sid 13
23.10 Mantic Minotaur trixie/sid 13
23.04 Lunar Lobster bookworm/sid 12
22.10 Kinetic Kudu bookworm/sid 12
22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish bookworm/sid 12
21.10 Impish Indri bullseye/sid 11
21.04 Hirsute Hippo bullseye/sid 11
20.10 Groovy Gorilla bullseye/sid 11
20.04 LTS Focal Fossa bullseye/sid 11
19.10 Eoan Ermine buster/sid 10
19.04 Disco Dingo buster/sid 10
18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish buster/sid 10
18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver buster/sid 10
17.10 Artful Aardvark stretch/sid 9
17.04 Zesty Zapus stretch/sid 9
16.10 Yakkety Yak stretch/sid 9
16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus stretch/sid 9
15.10 Wily Werewolf jessie/sid 8
15.04 Vivid Vervet jessie/sid 8
14.10 Utopic Unicorn jessie/sid 8
14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr jessie/sid 8
13.10 Saucy Salamander wheezy/sid 7
13.04 Raring Ringtail wheezy/sid 7
12.10 Quantal Quetzal wheezy/sid 7
12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin wheezy/sid 7
11.10 Oneiric Ocelot wheezy/sid 7
11.04 Natty Narwhal squeeze/sid 6
10.10 Maverick Meerkat squeeze/sid 6
10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx squeeze/sid 6

Sid is the development distribution of Debian. That's how, for example, Ubuntu 20.04, released in April 2020, can be based on Debian 11 "Bullseye", which was released in August 2021.

You can find out the contents of the file without installing an entire system by view the sources for the package basefiles on Launchpad.

  • 1
    Thanks a lot. Just to be clear, you checked this by booting up live CDs of different versions of Ubuntu and then looking into /etc/debian_version?
    – xkcd
    Apr 10, 2014 at 10:40
  • 1
    @xkcd Only 10.04, the others I had either installed or on VM. Apr 10, 2014 at 11:20
  • My 13.10 Ubuntu Gnome says wheezy/sid when I cat /etc/debian_version...
    – Rmano
    Apr 10, 2014 at 19:38
  • @Jacob --- ok, now I got it. It's a kind of wheezy+...
    – Rmano
    Apr 10, 2014 at 20:41
  • 4
    Firstly a "development release" isn't really a "release". What was in the wheezy repo the day after squeeze was released is a very different thing to what was in the final release of wheezy. Secondly ubuntu normally pulls from sid which is never released, packages from sid may or may not make it into testing before the next Debian release. Thirdly ubuntu updates core packages (especially glibc) to versions ahead of those in Debian. Fourthly if a package has been modified in ubuntu then changes from Debian won't be imported until/unless someone manually merges them. Apr 20, 2016 at 17:24

Unfortunately there is no direct mapping /etc/debian_version as mentioned in Jacob's answer gives a rough idea but it only really reflects one package and said package is a package that is locally modified in Ubuntu so won't be automatically pulled in from Debian.

In particular Ubuntu is often ahead of Debian on core packages like libc6. Trying to install a package built on Ubuntu on a contemporary version of Debian is likely to end up with version errors on libc6.

According to https://superuser.com/questions/407745/wrong-libc6-version-in-debian-squeeze-can-i-go-back Debian squeeze had libc6 2.11 . According to http://web.archive.org/web/20110705212424/http://packages.ubuntu.com/search?keywords=libc6 ubuntu 10.04 lucid also had libc6 2.11 . So the packages for 10.4 lucid are IMO the most likely to work on Squeeze.

Depending on what other libraries your program needs you may well find that a specific build for Debian squeeze is needed.


In addition to what was said,

Note that a package from an APT-based distribution (e.g. Ubuntu) should not be installed in another APT-based distribution (e.g. Debian), as default. Also vice-versa.

This question is still useful if you are a package maintainer, but not for end-users. End-users should just don't install packages from alien distributions.

When you need cross-platform packages, see instead these solutions that were designed for that purpose:

  • Flatpak
  • Snap
  • AppImage

Again, apt packages are not designed to be cross-distribution and should not be used for that purpose. That is, if you are interested in avoiding to create Frankenstein.




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