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A few of my colleagues and I were discussing ways to maintain older versions of PHP (mostly 5.2.x) on newer Ubuntu releases. Being that the only versions in the repositories on 10.04+ are 5.3.x, the most common resolution is apt-pinning. My coworkers, mostly citing possible dependency issues in the future, seemed to agree that this is not smart, but I'm not too clear on it. I would imagine that there could be cases where apt-pinning other packages is fine, but with something like PHP it may not be the best idea.

Why would apt-pinning an older version of PHP be frowned upon?

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The "bad practice" is to keep an old, buggy, unmaintained and with no security support PHP package (but I am sure you don't have the choice and I maintain myself server with PHP versions from 2005).

But this is exactly one of the purposes of apt-pinning, doing something unusual with your packages and diverge from the main distribution versions.

It will of course raise dependancy issues and prevend upgrading some other packages, but you can't keep the comfort of the main distribution if you step away from the main path :-) ...

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