For example, running apt-cache show bash shows info of the bash package for version: 5.0-6ubuntu1.1 as it is latest.

How to specify the command for an older version, let's say bash package with version: 4.3-6ubuntu1? If not possible with apt-cache show, are there any other commands for this?

2 Answers 2


apt-cache only shows current server information (updated via apt update or apt-get update) of existing packages in the repository. What a package is updated, it replaces older versions of the package unless that version is required by another suite.

When I search Ubuntu for bash, I see these versions:

    xenial (16.04LTS) 4.3-14ubuntu1.4
    xenial-updates    4.3-14ubuntu1.4
    bionic (18.04LTS) 4.4.18-2ubuntu1
    bionic-updates    4.4.18-2ubuntu1.2
    focal (20.04LTS)  5.0-6ubuntu1
    focal-updates     5.0-6ubuntu1.1
    groovy (20.10)    5.0-6ubuntu2
    hirsute           5.1-2ubuntu1

If you want to apt-cache to show you information about several versions of bash, you'll need to add the relevant suites to your /etc/apt/sources.list, then apt update. This will give apt-cache information about the versions available in other suites. Then use apt show -a bash to see the information about all packages.

In debian testing, man apt-cache says that -a is the default behaviour, but this might be a mistake because I find that I need to explicitly specify -a, or I'll only see the most recent (or locally installed) version and a little message that says something like "there are more versions available, use -a to see them"


Using apt changelog bash command, it will display the changes in the packaged versions, this includes modifications made during of the package developpement.

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