You are running the tried-and-true Dapper stable release. You notice that Edgy has a newer version of a package you want. What do you do? Well, prior to this, your would head over to the Backports folks and ask for the package. Some packages are deemed by Backporters to be too bleeding-edge or incompatible to be considered for backporting to Dapper. Now what? Welcome prevu! prevu is like your personal Backports developer, building backports with just a single command.
This is a quick guide to using prevu. We will use gdebi as an example package.
1. Get Prevu! Debs are available at http://sourceforge.net/project/showf...kage_id=206140
2. Edit your /etc/apt/sources.list. You need a deb-src line for the development distro of Ubuntu, such as:
Of course, run apt-get update afterwards.
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu feisty main restricted universe multiverse
3. Initialize prevu. You need to run sudo prevu-init when you install prevu for the first time. You don't need to run this again -- only the first time.
4. Build package. Run prevu gdebi
5. Wait patiently. Sit and twiddle your thumbs while your machine compiles away.
6. When completed, look in /var/cache/prevu/edgy-debs. There, you will find freshly generated deb packages! This location is also an APT repository, which can be added to your sources.list like so:
Replace edgy with whatever distro you are running.
deb file:/var/cache/prevu/edgy-debs ./
Note that not all packages will build. If you don't know how to fix it to build, you probably shouldn't try to do it, because chances are you'll screw up your computer
Also, note that building our own backports is an unsupported thing to do. Please do not bug Ubuntu developers about your broken system or packages if prevu could be the cause.
By default, prevu will build debs for the current distro version you are running. If you would like to build for another distro, just run, for example, DIST=breezy prevu gdebi. Note you need to run DIST=breezy prevu-init first.
Prevu is hosted on Launchpad. Please file bugs to launchpad, product 'prevu'.
Prevu does take up some space. Mine takes up around 100MB of space. Depending on how many packages you have, /var/cache/pbuilder/aptcache might be quite full, too. To remove prevu:
1. Uninstall the prevu package
2. Run sudo rm -rf /var/cache/prevu
3. Run sudo rm /var/cache/pbuilder/aptcache/*