Tuesday, June 08, 2010

How to Undo an Update in Ubuntu Lucid

Well it took me a few hours but I finally figured out why a couple of the images I've been working on were taking so long to fully load the Gnome Panel upon login (about 30 seconds as opposed to the 5-8 it normally takes). After ruling out dozens of other possibilities I finally realized that it was a gnome-keyring update I installed just today that was causing the panel to load so slowly. It wasn't easy though.

The first step to undoing the offending update was to find out what updates it was exactly. After searching some forums I came across a way to see my update history:
  • Open synaptic package manager ("sudo synaptic" in the terminal). From the menu bar, click File -> History and you will see all your updates sorted by date.

Unfortunately I had installed about 20 updates today, and I didn't know which one had caused the problem. By searching through each of the packages named in the History list, I was able to downgrade a few at a time until the problem was solved and I had identified the offending update. To do this:

  • Use the search bar to find the package you want to downgrade. Once you've found what you're looking for, click on the package to select it. From the menu bar, click Package -> Force Version and select the previous version of the package from the drop down menu. Click the "Apply" button to apply the downgrade.
It's not an elegant solution, but it did the trick for me. Hopefully it will help someone else out there sometime too. Cheers! -Joe


HurryNOW! said...

Thanks Mr. Hartman, It's Really Helped!!!

Dev_null said...

You're a lifesaver! Simple yet effective.

Goattee said...

Your posting is a great example of how Internet users can support each other. Your instructions were clear and helped me to back out of an X Server update that broke my XBMC app.

In the process I also saw how to lock versions so that they can't be superseded by accident in the future.


Unknown said...

Thanks SO much!(Bet you didn't think you'd still be helping people with this after all this time, eh?) Yesterday Flash started hanging in several browsers, and I remembered I allowed an update recently. Reinstalls didn't work, but deactivating the plugin worked in Seamonkey. (I test/work on my personal weather website in that, Opera and Firefox, at minimum.) Thing was, I'd tossed on several Flash movie add-ons, and some other editing stuff, so no way to tell for sure what I should pull, or, in what order. Your idea of stepping through reversions to older packages worked on the first shot!

It was the flashplugin-installer causing the problem. Synaptic listing below, sans unrelated stuff:
Upgraded the following packages:
flashplugin-installer ( to
opera (11.61.1250) to 11.62.1347

Didn't have to touch Opera, and my editing add-ons all seem to be working again. (Flash, too, of course.) Very simple trick, but I didn't know how to do it. Now I do, and I sincerely thank you for posting this fix!!!