APT Repository for Old Ubuntu Releases

Recently I installed Ubuntu Server 6.06 (Dapper) on an old Sun Blade 100 which has a SPARC processor. The installation on a Sun Blade 100 has its own quirks, but after getting it up and running I of course wanted to make sure it had the latest software versions and security updates that it could support.


After support for an old Ubuntu releases has been dropped the folks at Canonical remove the repositories from their main repository servers such as archive.ubuntu.com and security.ubuntu.com. So, when you run sudo apt-get update you are met with a list of errors telling you that the your configured repositories were not found.


To get back on the repository train, edit your /etc/apt/sources.list and replace all instances of archive.ubuntu.com and security.ubuntu.com with the very fitting old-releases.ubuntu.com. After that, run sudo apt-get update and watch the repository indexes roll in!

Here is an example of an updated /etc/apt/sources.list for Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper):

## Uncomment the following two lines to fetch updated software from the network
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper main restricted
deb-src http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper main restricted
## Uncomment the following two lines to fetch major bug fix updates produced
## after the final release of the distribution.
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-updates main restricted
deb-src http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-updates main restricted
## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from the 'universe'
## repository.
## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team, and may not be under a free licence. Please satisfy yourself as to
## your rights to use the software. Also, please note that software in
## universe WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu security
## team.
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper universe
deb-src http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper universe
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-security main restricted
deb-src http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-security main restricted
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-security universe
deb-src http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-security universe
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper multiverse
deb-src http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper multiverse
deb http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu dapper-backports main restricted universe multiverse

That’s it for today, I hope this has helped you get the software you need onto an old Ubuntu installation.


  1. BrendenDigital says

    this info is nearly impossible to get from canonical or ubuntu forums or anyplace. thank you. best regards from near washington, dc

  2. DK says

    Really useful – thanks a lot!
    Needed to fix up an old 6.06 install with some missing packages – now it works.

  3. Oilfall says

    Seriously… the information you provided is invaluable for us who need access to the older repositories, I nearly gave up hope to install an older version I need for a system we are setting up.

  4. matfx says

    Thanks. This is a good information i can’t get elsewhere. You save me lot. Nearly give up using older ubuntu release.

  5. says

    Can’t help but think that Ubuntu should provide instructions in the OS of how to switch over to old-releases instead of upgrading (upgrading, upgrading)… It’s weird that there’s a way to do this, but almost impossible to find out how to do it. (Like some kind of OS easter egg..)

  6. TinMan says

    This is great info! Nearly impossible to find. I’ve been beating my head against a wall for days, trying to figure this out. I’m installing Jaunty on a slightly elderly Dell laptop, that I’m putting together for a friend. The laptop runs beautifuly, way faster than I expected from a pentium M, but it’s usless to her without wifi, and if I can’t apt-get, then I have no hope of getting the b-43 drivers properly installed. Thanks a million!

  7. TimB says

    Oh man! Thanks!

    Sometimes there’s no choice but to run an old OS; anything that helps one to support ’em is invaluable.

  8. Guy says

    Thank you, I needed to set up a MySQL 4.1 server for migration purposes.
    Fired up a Draper AMI on amazon, but couldn’t get it to install – until I saw your post. Perfect.

  9. Ian says

    Friday afternoon, need to install Samba on a 6.06 server on a very slow link – no chance of upgrading in time. The old repositories were useless – this change saved the day and the upgrade can be done another day. Thanks!

  10. ChaalZZ says

    Saved my day. Really helped me to sort things which I was confused what to do for the past few days!

    I searched all over , and the reply was more of old ones when my os version wasnt EOL.

    Thanks a lot!!

  11. Daniel says

    Thanks this helped me, i just recently installed 6,06 on my old laptop hp compaq nx9005

    I had some problems with the display but i fixed this by reinstalling gnome

    I’m trying to setup my wireless rt2870 i have built the source and installed it but for some reason its not showing in ifconfig i only see eth0 and sit0 ( what ever that is…)

    I know this works because i had 6.06 installed on this laptop when it first came out in 06 ( i think ) but i havnt used it for a long time i had to install a new harddrive because the old one died

    I’m just wanting to use this as a second laptop to store files on as a backup and browse the internet.

  12. Diogo L says

    Thank you so much!

    I need this version of Ubuntu with apt repository because of an old php website that only works with this version.

    It’s for college. Again thank you 😀

  13. neosab says

    This information is never found elsewhere. Took a day to stumble upon this blog. Thanks a lot!

  14. Petar Puskarich says

    2014 and still comes in handy! Used this tip to get xUbuntu updated on an XBOX running breezy. Thanks for posting!