Ubuntu – Do older repositories no longer work with newer Ubuntu version

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I was hoping to be able to install the awesome Mint Menu in my Gnome Flashback session on Ubuntu 14.04.

Looking around the web, it seemed this was possible, and my searching has led me to this repository, which claims to have ported the Mint Menu to Gnome. At least, as far as I understand it.

However, it seems the repository stopped being maintained around Ubuntu version 11, three years ago. I tried adding the repository and installing Mint Menu anyway, hoping that just because it was old didn't mean it was necessarily unusable. However, it didn't install, giving me unresolvable package dependency issues, which I've learned to not try and solve myself.

Is there no backwards compatibility between repositories? If someone stops maintaining a repository, is it basically dead and useless?

Best Answer

Is there no backwards compatibility between repositories?

Yes, there is but to some extent. For Ubuntu versions you can use repositories through the versions that are not end of life but mixing releases is not recommended.

1 problem you will run into is when there is a big change in the default software. Ubuntu went from Gnome to Unity so any tool depending on the old style will be buggy or completely useless. That probably includes that Mint Menu.

If someone stops maintaining a repository, is it basically dead and useless?

Ubuntu will move the default repositories to an archive so these are still usable to Ubuntu users. How others deal with this is up to them. Personal archives tend to be available on launchpad for all releases (even those end of life).