Use Debian jessie or xenial-proposed as backports in trusty?

Karl Auer kauer at
Mon Apr 4 08:23:50 UTC 2016

On Mon, 2016-04-04 at 09:53 +0200, Lukas Erlacher wrote:
> I am pretty frustrated with the age of most packets in trusty, but my
> organisation has standardised on Ubuntu LTS version. trusty-backports
> is pretty meh, so - is there an easy and sensible way to install
> newer packets, e.g. from Debian jessie or xenial-proposed, into
> trusty without breakage?

Are you a system administrator with your organisation?

Organisations generally go with LTS versions because they want to
exchange currency for stability. Working around such a policy if you
are responsible for other people's computers has the potential to be a
career-limiting move, especially if you introduce data
incompatibilities or cause a security breach. But deliberately
bypassing policy like that would normally be considered a pretty
serious failure all on its own, even if it caused no immediate harm.

Even if you are only concerned with your own personal workstation, you
should still think twice. If there are particular programs you feel you
need that are not offered by the organisation's SOE, you should try to
get them cleared by your management, especially if your work with those
programs relates to other people's work. A reasonable management will
accede to such a request if you can show that your work would be
improved by the newer versions (or that the older versions pose real

An alternative that your management may find more acceptable might be
to run a virtual machine with a more recent version running on it, and
to run the programs you need in seamless mode.

Bear in mind that a new LTS is imminent, and will probably be being
deployed in organisations like yours in six months or so.

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at

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