Old packages on Launchpad

Launchpad can be a hassle to navigate at times, so I figured I’d share a little gem with you. Every once in a while, there’s a bug in an Ubuntu package. Yes, hard to believe, but it’s true. To figure out exactly when it broke it sometimes helps to be able to install previus versions of a package to determine when the issue arose, but what if the package has been removed from the archives? Here’s the trick:

  1. Figure out the name of the source package. http://packages.ubuntu.com/ can help you there. The bottom of each binary package page lists — among other things — the name of the source package.
  2. Go to Ubuntu’s Launchpad page (remember, Launchpad is not only for Ubuntu).
  3. In the search field, enter the name of the source package. E.g. “firefox”.
  4. This gives you a list of possible matches. Select the right one. :-)
  5. Find the version you’re interested in in the table and click the version number (the far right column).
  6. You’ll see a list of binary packages generated by this source package. On the left, there’s a box that says “Builds of sourcepackagename – version” with each of the relevant architectures’ build results. Click the architecture you’re running.
  7. You’ll see some info relating to the build of the package (which server built it, how long did it take, when was it done, etc.). On the right, there’s a box containing a list of the resulting binary package. Select the one, you’re looking for.
  8. There! At the top, there’s a download link for the deb. Mind you, you’re on your own with regard to managing dependencies.
  9. Oh, and per request I’ve added myself to the planet. Yay!

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