Updating gcc while keeping the old version
I use Debian 3.4, and I'm quite new to Linux.
I'm wondering if it is possible to upgrade the gcc compiler on my system from version 3.3 to 3.4, but without completely erasing version 3.3. Many source packages are very specific about what compiler version they use, and I do not want to lose the ability to compile them.
I tried simply doing apt-get install gcc-3.4 and then changing the symbolic link /usr/bin/gcc to point to /usr/bin/gcc-3.4 instead of /usr/bin/gcc-3.3. But I suspect that this method isn't the proper way to do this, since I got a bunch of compiler errors when I tried to build something.
The apt-get install gcc-3.4 command does not wipe out gcc-3.3, which is good. But it does not update what version of gcc is used when the gcc command is run. Because of this, I have a suspicion that the install command is not all there is to it to update the compiler.
So, specifically, my questions are:
1. On Debain, is the apt-get install gcc-3.4 command sufficient to update the compiler? What other steps may be necessary?
2. What is the proper way to specify what compiler version is used when gcc is called?
3. How can I temporarily revert to an older compiler version if a specific source package requires it?
Keep in mind that I am somewhat new to Linux, but I do have some experience in programming. Thank you in advance for help.