How to prevent a package from being updated in Ubuntu

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If you want to update all the packages other than one package in your Ubuntu system follow this procedure

There are three ways of holding back packages, with dpkg, aptitude or with dselect.

Using dpkg

Put a package on hold

sudo echo “package hold” | dpkg --set-selections


sudo echo “apache2 hold” | dpkg --set-selections

Remove the hold

sudo echo “package install” | dpkg --set-selections


sudo echo “apache2 install” | dpkg --set-selections

Knowing the status of your packages

sudo dpkg --set-selections

Using aptitude

With aptitude, you can hold a package using

sudo aptitude hold package_name


sudo aptitude hold apache2

and remove the hold with

sudo aptitude unhold package_name


sudo aptitude unhold apache2

Using dselect

With dselect, you just have to enter the [S]elect screen, find the package you wish to hold in its present state, and press the `=’ key (or `H’). The changes will go live immediately after you exit the [S]elect screen.

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3 Responses

  1. fafifoernik says:

    You probably meant:

    echo “apache2 hold” |sudo dpkg --set-selections

  2. GD says:

    You probably meant:

    Knowing the status of your packages
    sudo dpkg –get-selections

  3. BarkingFish says:

    I think you’ll also find that you don’t need to use the ” ” around the name of the package. I tried that and got this: dpkg: error: illegal package name at line 1: package name in specifier ‘“firefox’ is illegal: must start with an alphanumeric character

    I tried it without the quote marks, and it worked. The package i wanted to stop was firefox, and I used this command:

    echo firefox hold: sudo dpkg –set-selections

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