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I am facing an issue repeatedly. For example, say I install Python2.4 and then I install python 3.0, both files are retained in system I see in /usr/bin and /usr/local/lib or /usr/lib.

How do I configure in such case that my running programs based on the software (python in this example) to pick particular version out of multiple versions.

I believe the soft links exists which point to either of the version's files, but how do I configure that soft link to point to corresponding version files as required by me...

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Debian-based systems (such as Ubuntu) use the Debian Alternatives System to determine which applications are linked in /usr/bin and other shared system directories.

You can see what files are linked in the /etc/alternatives directory.

To update these links, use the update-alternatives --config command with the name of the application you would like to change (requires root or sudo).

Example:

user@ubuntu:~$ sudo update-alternatives --config view

There are 2 choices for the alternative view (providing /usr/bin/view).

  Selection    Path                Priority   Status
------------------------------------------------------------
* 0            /usr/bin/vim.basic   30        auto mode
  1            /usr/bin/vim.basic   30        manual mode
  2            /usr/bin/vim.tiny    10        manual mode

Press <enter> to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number:

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