This question from an experienced AU member was closed yesterday. I think it was a mistake to close it. The question is clear and the linked duplicate does not fully answer the original.

Direct quote from the original:

"What I want is not only to forbid the package to update but to save it for future installations too. How can I achieve this?"

The duplicate only addresses the issue of locking the current package in the current install. It does not answer the question of how to save the package for a future clean install by reformatting the drive. Drive failure and recovery would be another reason to back up the package.

Can we get this reopened please? It needs a good answer involving copying the deb from /var/cache/apt/archives.

  • 3
    Personally i would advise to save the Skype Beta .deb package , even if he updates to newer version , then he can manually install it .
    – atenz
    Jul 31, 2012 at 8:42
  • Four downvotes and only one comment? Wow. Jul 31, 2012 at 16:56
  • I didn't downvoted this :)
    – atenz
    Jul 31, 2012 at 17:02
  • 1
    I read the question and agree with your thinking. First off it should have not been closed off and second was not a dupe. Nice call on your part.
    – Ringtail
    Aug 1, 2012 at 4:37

2 Answers 2


I'm another one of the close voters. I saw it as two questions, where the first question was a duplicate, and where the second question would clearly be separate given the answers to the first.

However, I now believe that we were wrong to close this question. I believe this for a different reason than you've raised in this meta question. I think this question shouldn't be closed because you actually have to save two .deb files to be able to reinstall Skype. That's non-obvious information, and it makes this question a notable special case. (And it's not too localized, because thousands of people use Skype; it's unlikely that one person, but only one, prefers the old version.)

Right now, if the OP follows the advice given in comments, the OP will find he cannot reinstall Skype after a clean install of Ubuntu (because he won't have skype-bin). I see that as a compelling reason to reopen this question.

If we reopen this question, I think it would be best to make sure:

  • that we treat it as a separate question, and avoid duplicating the instructions in How to prevent updating of a specific package?. A specific example of how to pin just the Skype packages might be OK, but let's not make this question more general than it needs to be, if we're reopening it based on its notable specificity.

  • that we answer it quickly, so answers don't accumulate in it that ought to be in How to prevent updating of a specific package? instead.

Here's a possible answer. If we reopen the question, let's post some answer soon. To everyone: please feel free to post this answer (or a derivative of it) as community-wiki (unless I have already posted it).

You want to keep a particular version of the package skype for the foreseeable future, even when newer versions are available, and even if you install Ubuntu again from scratch.

First, assuming this beta version is packaged the same way as the current version, there are actually two packages--skype, and skype-bin.

There are two things you must do, for each of these packages:

  1. Pin them at their current versions so they're left alone when you update software. That's been covered in this question:

  2. Keep copies of the .deb package files used to install them. You'll probably find them in /var/cache/apt/archives. Their names should begin with skype_2.2.0.35- and skype-bin_2.2.0.35- (and both end in .deb).

    Back them up, and if you have to reinstall Ubuntu from scratch or if you want to install this version of Skype on another machine, just install those packages. One way to install them is to run this command, after cding to the folder that contains the .deb files:

    sudo dpkg -i skype_2.2.0.35-*.deb skype-bin_2.2.0.35-*.deb

    If you're told one or both of these packages can't be completely configured because you don't have the necessary dependencies installed, make sure you're connected to the Internet and run these commands:

    sudo apt-get -f install
    sudo dpkg --configure -a

Finally, please note that if you continue to use an old version of Skype that is no longer supported upstream:

  • It may stop working, or stop working properly, over time.
  • It may contain security vulnerabilities fixed in later versions.

I've included this sample answer to demonstrate that this question really can be answered in a way that treats it as a separate, non-duplicate question. This meta answer should not become the answer to that main question. If we reopen this question and an answer is posted, I plan to edit it out of this meta answer.

  • I will also edit it out if people start using this meta answer as a substitute for answering the question or providing more useful comments on main. I'm not posting this here to circumvent the question's closure, and making people come to meta for information that should be on main is not really beneficial.

For the reasons detailed above--that Skype is provided by two binary packages even though most of us think of it as a single package, so this is a notable special case with a complicating factor that deserves a specific answer--I have cast a reopen vote.

Update: I've changed the question's title to How to prevent Skype from upgrading and keep the old version for reinstallation? (from How to save an old package?) so that it's clearer what the OP is asking (and what I believe we can answer as a separate, non-duplicate question).

  • 1
    Very good, very detailed answer. Thank you. Upvoted and accepted. Jul 31, 2012 at 16:54
  • @Eliah Kagan- That's really a thoughtful answer and explanation . Do post the Answer part in the main question .Thanks :)
    – atenz
    Jul 31, 2012 at 17:08
  • 1
    @tijybba If/when the main question is reopened, I shall. (But as I said, if I'm not around, it's fine for someone else to post it as CW.) Jul 31, 2012 at 20:13

Since it was closed by five independent votes, I doubt it's an obvious "mistake". As one of the close-voters, here's my (izx's) reasoning:

  • The how-do-I-forbid-update part was addressed extensively in the linked original from the same user
  • The right thing for the OP to do, IMO, would have been to edit the question to remove the part that was already answered.
  • The timeline doesn't show it now, but I believe @jokerdino's comment pointing out the redundancy stayed for more than few hours before the close votes began rolling in. There was enough time to do the above. Additionally, the OP didn't respond to @jokerdino's comment to clarify his question, in which case someone else could have edited it to reflect that.

    Are you saying you already upgraded to the latest version but want to stick to the previous version? If yes, you can get the older version's deb and then "hold" it to that version.

The OP can still edit it and flag it to ask a moderator to reopen, or if enough readers with reopen vote privileges agree this was a mistake, they can do so.

  • 1
    Thanks, 'mistakenly' was the wrong word. I chose it because it was a polite way of wording my question. I agree that OP should dispute the flag and edit the dupe portion out. I'll post a variation as a new question in a day or two if there is no response from @Ivan. Jul 31, 2012 at 16:51

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