*Install old packages with Debian Snapshot *

:: snapshot.debian.org is a wayback machine that allows access to old packages based on dates and version numbers. It consists of all past and current packages the Debian archive provides. I found out about this service when a customer needed to use an older version of PHP, and I couldn't find a way to cleanly do this. Thanks to Debian Snapshot, it's now done & running.

I began by finding out the exact version of PHP and Apache packages that needs to be installed.

===
The client asked for PHP version 5.3, so I browsed to http://snapshot.debian.org/package/php5/

Found that the most up to date version is 5.3.10-2,
so I browsed to its folder : http://snapshot.debian.org/package/php5/5.3.10-2/

It shows date & time of 2012-02-21 04:16:01
so I added the following line to /etc/apt/sources.list :

—-
# PHP 5.3.10-2 packages
deb http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20120221T041601Z/ unstable main
—-

Note the date & time format on that line.

Now we need to install Apache version 2.22.2-1 – why this particular version?
Answer: because this is the version required by PHP 5.3.10-2 package; it will complain if any other version are installed. So yeah that's pretty easy to figure out 🙂

Using similar technique, I found out the line for Apache2 packages :

—-
# Apache 2.22.2-1 packages
deb http://snapshot.debian.org/archive/debian/20120202T040408Z/ unstable main
—-

Now let's do the installation process itself :

===========
# remove current PHP packages
sudo apt-get remove –purge `dpkg -l | grep php | grep -w 5.5 | awk '{print $2}' | xargs`
# remove current Apache packages
sudo apt-get remove –purge `dpkg -l | grep apache | grep -w 2 | awk '{print $2}' | xargs`

# update package database
apt-get update

# this is the setting required to be able to use Debian Snapshot
apt-get -o Acquire::Check-Valid-Until=false update

# now we can specify the exact version
apt-get install php5=5.3.10-2 libapache2-mod-php5=5.3.10-2 php5-cli=5.3.10-2 php5-common=5.3.10-2 php5-gd=5.3.10-2 php5-mcrypt=5.3.10-2 php5-mysql=5.3.10-2 php5-pgsql=5.3.10-2 apache2=2.2.22-1 apache2-mpm-prefork=2.2.22-1 apache2-suexec=2.2.22-1 apache2-utils=2.2.22-1 apache2.2-common=2.2.22-1 apache2.2-bin=2.2.22-1

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart
===========

If the commands does not work, maybe it's formatting problem – you can refer instead to my Pastebin here : http://pastebin.com/r2qBtbs4

Hope you find these useful (y)

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18 thoughts on “*Install old packages with Debian Snapshot *

  1. Very informative article. Thanks.
    All the points mentioned in this article are going to help in the growth of my

    websites.
    Thanks again and keep up the goo work.

  2. Interesting article about php and snapshot.debian. did not even know that this existed. I am still unsure how I can grow my site with this. I think there is scope to improve the article without being disrespectful. I hope you do not mind me saying so.

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