As backport (English: back - back, to port - port ) is called in the software development a modification of a software (patch ) that is entered into an older version of the same software. This process is part of the maintenance in the process model for software development.
The backporting is usually applied in order to close security holes that are discovered and closed in newer versions of software in older versions. If it is just to small modifications in the source code of this process is associated with relatively little effort, since newer versions of software are frequently derived from the code base of the older version. For larger and more complex, especially changes in the backport is possible only with great technical and financial effort and will only be performed if the older version of the software is still in widespread use.
In the area of Unix -based operating systems, particularly Linux distributions, the concept of backports and every ambitious end-user should be known. Security-related updates are automatically populated in general In packet- based distributions. New program versions with altered functionality and other improvements are not incorporated into the rule in the packages. Reasons for this approach are mainly the short release cycles of current versions of the distribution, so that new versions of the program relatively quickly find the entrance to the distribution and the system stability is not to be jeopardized by program updates. In addition, there are many distributions such as more experimental in Debian, as less stable and more mature, and published as a stable release versions. In order to nevertheless uncomplicated to get to new versions, separate, unofficial software sources are available with extra compiled backports.
- Software Engineering