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Whenever I install a package for python it only installs for Python2.6 which came with the Debian 6. I am wondering how do I install for python2.7 with apt-get. Presently I am downloading the tarballs and installing manually

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You probably can't because nobody has made such a package compatible with Debian 6.1 yet. Your approach seems reasonable and is what most people do in this situation.

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Debian 7 (wheezy) is almost ready for release, and has a python2.7 package:

http://packages.debian.org/wheezy/python2.7

If you need to stay with Debian 6, you could try building wheezy's python2.7 package from source. Fetch the three source files from the above URL (.dsc, .diff.gz, and .tar.gz.orig) and follow Debian's "How do I build binary packages from a source package?"

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The Ubuntu pythoneers have a backport PPA at https://launchpad.net/~pythoneers/+archive/lts - other Google hits for "debian python2.7 backport" look less promising. I haven't tried it; if you do, please follow up with a comment.

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