We need a canonical answer for "Why do the repositories not have the latest versions of software".

Anyone who can write one (if one does not already exist) will be rewarded with a +100 Rep bonus courtesy of a bounty after-the-fact.

I continue to see many questions about "Why is/are [software] in the repos older than [version]?" with differing wording, but the answer needs to be the same. A canonical question and answer would be wonderful

This was proposed, but is not what I seek: Why can't I update applications without upgrading the whole OS?

The question/answer I'm asking for is about the disparity between upstream latest and current repository versions, not upgrading packages separately from upgrading the OS.

The following is the canonical question:

Why don't the Ubuntu repositories have the latest versions of software?

Marked as completed as requested by the OP.

  • you'll get a wider audience if you bounty it now and add the above into the bounty description - a relative small audience (unfortunately) will see this meta question.
    – fossfreedom Mod
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 13:52
  • I've posted a question, and added a link to here for the comment.
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 14:25
  • related question: askubuntu.com/questions/151283/…
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Jun 15, 2012 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


Because new versions of packages have a regression risk and those should be avoided after the official release. While new packages usually fix bugs, they sometimes introduce new bugs. Aside from these involuntary bugs, there are also intended 'bugs' -- namely new features that break expected behaviour.

  • 2
    Sorry ,this meta site. Post your answer in main site
    – Tachyons
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 3:05
  • 1
    Care to migrate this answer to the question on the main site? Sounds good, but this is the wrong place for it ;) Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 11:02

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