In general my problem is that I am using elementary OS Freya and need newer versions of packages to build projects from sources.

In particular, I tried to fix a bug in Gala. But since there was a commit dropping support for mutter versions below 3.14.4, I was unable to finish the build process. The obvious reason was that the newest version of libmutter-dev availiable on Freya is 3.12.2.

I found out there were newer versions of libmutter-dev for Ubuntu Vivid and tried to install them via apt-pinning, following this guide.


Package: libmutter-dev
Pin: release n=vivid
Pin-Priority: 990

Explanation: Uninstall or do not install any Ubuntu-originated
Explanation: package versions other than those in the oneiric release
Package: *
Pin: release n=trusty
Pin-Priority: 900

Package: *
Pin: release o=Ubuntu
Pin-Priority: -10

Then, I copied my /etc/apt/sources.list to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vivid.list and replaced all occurences of trusty with vivid.

After executing apt-get update and apt-get upgrade I had to realize that there were a lot of other dependencies for the update to libmutter 3.14.4.

So I came to wonder if I really had to add every single package and its dependendent packages to the pinning list. How do other developers handle that problem?

Thanks in advance for your answers!

1 Answer 1


You're not going to be able to build the latest versions of everything on Freya.

At the moment, we're developing the next version of elementary OS on an Ubuntu Xenial base. You'll need to do the same. You can get the latest builds for Ubuntu from their website here.

If you're new to development on elementary OS, I would recommend taking a look at our Getting Started Guide. It'll give you a well-rounded overview of using Launchpad/bzr, simple Gtk+ development, CMake, gettext translations, and even Debian packaging.

  • Thank you for your quick answer! Could you recommend a way to run xenial? I'm new to Linux/Ubuntu development and don't really know where to start. Do the Ubuntu beginners tutorials also apply for elementaryOS or will I face any difficulties?
    – skorz
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 10:57
  • @skorz edited my answer to include follow-up question. I believe the Ubuntu MOTU guide is strictly related to packaging and not actual development. Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 17:00

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