Recently I wrote about cherry picking upgrades. Sometimes you'll want to do the inverse.

For that purpose there exists apt-mark hold (and its counterpart apt-mark unhold).

For example, you may to delay the mysql upgrade I mentioned, for now. In that case you do:

# apt-mark hold mysql-client-5.5 mysql-common mysql-server-5.5 mysql-server-core-5.5

Now you can apt-get upgrade all the other packages while the mysql packages stay on hold. Note that these are shown in the held list every time you run upgrade, so you won't forget about them.

# apt-get upgrade
...
The following packages have been kept back:
  mysql-client-5.5 mysql-common mysql-server-5.5 mysql-server-core-5.5

aptitude upgrade updates ubuntu debian