I'm running a MySQL server, and want to keep it up to date with regular apt-upgrades. I don't want this to cause MySQL to upgrade unless I'm doing it during scheduled downtime! How do I alter my apt-preferences so that this won't happen?

I've tried adding this to a file as /etc/apt/preferences.d/pin-mysql

Package: mysql-client-5.1
Pin: version 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.7
Pin-Priority: 1001

Package: mysql-client-core-5.1
Pin: version 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.7
Pin-Priority: 1001

Package: mysql-common
Pin: version 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.7
Pin-Priority: 1001

Package: mysql-server
Pin: version 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.7
Pin-Priority: 1001

Package: mysql-server-5.1
Pin: version 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.7
Pin-Priority: 1001

Package: mysql-server-core-5.1
Pin: version 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.7
Pin-Priority: 1001

That then states the packages are pinned with "apt-cache policy" outputting:

... all package sources here
 500 http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-security/universe Packages
     release v=10.04,o=Ubuntu,a=lucid-security,n=lucid,l=Ubuntu,c=universe
     origin security.ubuntu.com
 500 http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ lucid-security/restricted Packages
     release v=10.04,o=Ubuntu,a=lucid-security,n=lucid,l=Ubuntu,c=restricted
     origin security.ubuntu.com
... etc
Pinned packages:
     mysql-server -> 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.7
     mysql-server-core-5.1 -> 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.7
     mysql-client-core-5.1 -> 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.7
     mysql-common -> 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.7
     mysql-server-5.1 -> 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.7
     mysql-client-5.1 -> 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.7

However... running aptitude safe-upgrade just updated MySQL... what am I doing wrong?

  • So, why are you running automatic updates at all? shouldn't you schedule your updates with either cron or do them manually? – Martin Owens -doctormo- Jan 27 '11 at 21:25
  • I didn't say I was running automatic updates. I said regular updates. I want to separate out run of the mill updates from ones that really need scheduled downtime. – asparagino Feb 1 '11 at 21:26

If you want to prevent the upgrade of a package, then pinning is not the way to go. What you need is called holding, and you can find out how to do it on this page in the Ubuntu online help


Holding does appear to be the way to go, though I'm not quite sure on the difference between dpkg and aptitude holds.

At any rate - the following script is doing what I want and excluding a list of packages from an aptitude safe-upgrade.


# Stop the mysql packages from upgrading!
# Must run as root! Check presence of the packages-hold.log file to avoid running repeatedly.

PACKAGES="mysql-client-5.1 mysql-client-core-5.1 mysql-common mysql-server mysql-server-5.1 mysql-server-core-5.1 linux-image-server linux-image-2.6.32-28-server"

    /bin/echo $PACKAGE hold | /usr/bin/dpkg --set-selections
/usr/bin/aptitude hold $PACKAGES
echo $PACKAGES > /var/log/packages-hold.log

Without doing the aptitude hold line, aptitude would still try to update packages marked with the dpkg --set-selections command and I think the opposite also applies.

FYI - this also blocks the kernel image from updating all the time. I'm only interested in that update if it's for high priority security reasons as it always comes with a reboot attached.

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