How to downgrade Programs in Linux Mint

Program updates bring new features, bug fixes, and major updates may include a polished user interface too. Take this with a pinch of salt as the updates are not always smooth. Some updates be a disaster for your PC. This tutorial explains how to downgrade apps when you are not happy with the updates.

Updating the programs is a great way to keep your system top notch with all the new toys and tricks. Updates are significant. They provide new features, features you think are amazing, and often comes with revamped interfaces too.

They continuously spread their support for new devices and devices not previously supported. If you had one of those devices, the updated app could bring new life to that device.

Amid all this greatness, there are also issues with some new updates. Sometimes updated versions of some programs don’t work, but older versions do. Other times, you just don’t like the program’s new version, maybe due to a new interface or removing a specific feature. In these situations, the program may be downgraded. Here is a guide on how to downgrade programs in Linux Mint.

There are two ways of doing this, one using the command line interface, and other using Synaptic Package Manager.

1. Command-line Interface (CLI) Method

To use the CLI method, you first have to know about all the available versions of the program. It uses a simple command, in the following syntax:

sudo apt-cache showpkg <program_name>

For example, I will show the downgrading of wget, which is a tool that is used to download any file on the internet, using the CLI.

sudo apt-cache showpkg wget

At the end part of the output, under the heading “Provides:”, the available versions of the program are listed.

Showing all available versions
Showing all available versions

Now, to install one of the listed versions of the program, install it using the following syntax:

sudo apt-get install <program_name>=<program_version>

In this case, the command is:

sudo apt-get install wget=1.19.4-1ubuntu2

Downgrading program
Downgrading program

The terminal will ask for confirmation and will proceed when you enter ‘y‘. This will successfully downgrade the program.

2. Graphical User Interface (GUI) Method

In the GUI Method, we are going to show how to downgrade package by using the Synaptic Package Manager. This program comes installed by default in Linux Mint.

Open the program, enter the password when prompted, and click on the ‘Sections‘ button of the left panel. Go into the ‘Installed‘ sub-category, and you’ll find a list of practically all programs on your system. Look for the program that you want to downgrade. You can also search for the program.

Synaptic Package Manager
Synaptic Package Manager.

I will again use wget as an example. Select the program, and click on ‘Package‘ in the menu bar. Now click on ‘Force Version…‘ option, and you’ll get a dialogue box displaying the list of available versions of that program.

Force version option
Force version option.

Select a version, and click on ‘Force Version.’ Now click on ‘Edit‘ in the menu bar and click on ‘Apply Marked Changes‘. This will accomplish the downgrading of the program.

Downgrading packages
Downgrading packages

One advantage of using Synaptic over the command line is that for programs with a lot of dependencies, the CLI method doesn’t work well. It gives off an error saying that the dependencies need to be installed, and does not install them on its own. You can install every dependency individually, but it is too tedious and impractical. For example, downgrading VLC Media Player gives off this error:

Downgrading error
Downgrading error

But downgrading is made easy using Synaptic, as it installs all required dependencies by itself after selecting the version.


Specific situations still require downgrading programs, although rare. It’s also made harder because of some more factors. For example, to downgrade a program A that depends on a program B. Older A version will require a specific older B version. But if that B version isn’t available, you can’t downgrade A as the dependencies aren’t met.

Although a bit tricky, if you’re lucky, you’ll find and install an older version of the program you want. If you have any questions or comments, please consult the comment section. Cheers!

Pulkit Chandak
Pulkit Chandak is a Linux enthusiast and has been using and experimenting with open source software and hardware too since a long time. He is a huge admirer of open source software and wants to ventilate it to all around him. He is interested in reviewing and writing tutorials on Linux and its many distributions. He believes that freedom in software leads to freedom of the mind from the chains of limits.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here




How to setup FTP Server on CentOS

You are allowed to use any one of the FTP servers as you like. However, in this tutorial, we will be installing and using vsftpd, short for Very Secure FTP Daemon. It is a fast, stable, and secure FTP server that will help you transfer files to and from a remote system in a jiffy.

CentOS Vs. Ubuntu Server : Everything You Need to Know

Choosing the perfect Linux distribution to set up your server can be confusing since Linux provides a limitless number of options. The main reason behind these many distributions is because Linux is an opensource platform. Anybody with the required skills can contribute to the development or build and release their distribution. Currently, there are more than 600 Linux Desktop and Server distributions in the market.

Top 10 Reasons to use Xfce as your Desktop Environment

There are many choices for desktop environments for Linux based operating systems. Mainly, you can install any DE of your choice on most of the Linux based distributions, even if they are not offered as a package officially. In our recent articles, we discussed the best of KDE and Cinnamon. In this article, we wish to present to you the top reasons why you should consider Xfce as your desktop environment.

The 10 Best Linux Network Monitoring Tools

Having total control over your network is essential to prevent programs from overusing your network resources and slowing down the overall performance. This is why you should install a network monitoring tool on your system, giving you a visual overview of everything that's happening on your network. Networking Tools are like swiss-knife for the system administrators for troubleshooting system issues.

How to install CouchPotato on Ubuntu

Downloading movies and copying them over to your home server can get frustrating, especially if you are doing it daily! What if you have an option to download videos automatically, quickly, and above all with excellent quality. CouchPotato allows you to download movies easily once they are available and released automatically.

Top 20 Rsync Examples in Linux

The Rsync (remote sync) command is a Linux/Unix utility used to synchronize and copy files and directories either locally or remotely. Most Linux geeks use Rsync to mirror, backup or migrate data across folders, across disks and networks. One notable feature with the Rsync command is that it uses the "delta transfer algorithm."


Linux is growing faster than ever. As per the latest report, there is a drop in the Windows 10 market share for the first time, and Linux's market share has improved to 2.87% this month. Most of the features in the list were rolled out in the Pop OS 20.04. Let's a detailed look into the new features, how to upgrade, and a ride through video.
Elementary OS 5.1 Hera has received a point release with a handful of new features and bug fixes, and we will be reviewing the significant changes in this article. For those new to elementary OS, this Ubuntu-based Linux distribution uses their inhouse built Pantheon desktop environment and AppCenter.

What’s New in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa”

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is out now! This is the successor to Ubuntu 18.04, which was released in April 2018 and still has three years of official support left. Code-named Focal Fossa, the new edition has all the bells and whistles included in it, making it one of the best Ubuntu releases yet. Let's find out more.

What is the difference between Linux and Unix?

When discussing Linux and Unix with average users, it's not uncommon that they will sometimes mistakenly interchange the terms Linux and Unix.  The two are not the same.  Though they share similarities in their overall structures and toolkits, they are decidedly not the same.

10 ways to use the Chown command with examples

Any file in a Linux system belongs to a particular owner(s) and a group. It is one of the many features that maintain security in Linux systems. For example; If a file belongs to say UserA, then UserB cannot manipulate the data depending on any additional permissions set unless the user has permission to do that.

Pop!_OS 20.04 Review: Professional Linux Distribution Ever Made

Linux is growing faster than ever. As per the latest report, there is a drop in the Windows 10 market share for the first time, and Linux's market share has improved to 2.87% this month. Most of the features in the list were rolled out in the Pop OS 20.04. Let's a detailed look into the new features, how to upgrade, and a ride through video.