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Here we take the example of the package mame, from which we want to install a newer release availaible in sid/experimental. If the package you're looking for not available in Sid, but in a Ubuntu PPA, you can have a look at CreatePackageFromPPA.

We don't need to be root here except the first and last steps.

Another method for backporting a sid package to testing or stable is described in this section of the Debian Unstable page in the Wiki.

Install Debian packaging tools

sudo apt-get install packaging-dev debian-keyring devscripts equivs

Find which version is available in the debian archive

rmadison mame --architecture amd64
 mame | 0.146-5 | wheezy/non-free       | amd64
 mame | 0.146-5 | jessie/non-free       | amd64
 mame | 0.146-5 | sid/non-free          | amd64
 mame | 0.148-1 | experimental/non-free | amd64

Download the .dsc file from the sid release

From your web browser at, look at the dsc file and copy the link location

dget -x

Note: If the above command complains about your ~/.gnupg directory not being found, run gpg -k to initialize the GnuPG directory before retrying.

Find and Install missing build dependencies as found in debian/control

cd mame-0.148
sudo mk-build-deps --install --remove

This will install a package named mame-build-deps depending on the listed build dependencies. If you remove this package later, the actual build dependencies will be marked as "automatically installed and no longer needed" and can be cleared with apt-get autoremove.

Indicate in the changelog a backport revision number

dch --local ~bpo70+ --distribution wheezy-backports "Rebuild for wheezy-backports."

This will add something like ~bpo70+ to the package version number. The tilde ~ makes the package inferior in version, which should allow a proper package upgrade when you upgrade to the next debian release (ie your package will be replaced with the official debian package)

Test if we can successfully build the package

fakeroot debian/rules binary

Build a package properly , without GPG signing the package

dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc

Install and enjoy !

sudo dpkg -i ../mame_0.148-1_amd64.deb

Go further

You could have a look BuildingFormalBackports and contribute your backport to Debian as explained here: