Ubuntu versions numbers on crack

Written on 13 July 2008, 2 min read.

On hardy after the latest round of updates:

matt@krypton:~$ dpkg -s flashplugin-nonfree | grep Version

Granted this package is in hardy-backports not hardy proper, but still, what on earth?!?!


Comment by Philipp Kern on 2008-07-14 05:05:38 +1200

Well, it’s documented in the changelog on https://edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/flashplugin-nonfree. Ubuntu more or less refrains from using epochs unilaterally[0]. This upload was done to undo a bad backport to hardy, i.e. an old version ( was uploaded to supersede one with a higher version number (

I’m not entirely sure about the first part ( Looking at the changelog was in the archives before and denotes a new “upstream beta” somehow. Might be a screw-up of Adobe, I don’t know.

[0] The main problem is that the version need to be kept with the epoch for all times until Debian also uses that very epoch. Until then the package needs to be merged manually instead of being synced from Debian.

Comment by Markus Thielmann on 2008-07-14 07:47:16 +1200

Adobes Flash 10 Beta 2 ( has a lower release number than Beta 1 (

Comment by ScottK on 2008-07-14 09:25:34 +1200

Phillip is right. That was the least impact way to undo a bad backport and give users a way to upgrade out of the mess. Ugly but effective. Better I hadn’t approved the backport in the first place, but to late for that.

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