Once you’ve got the hang of Debian/Ubuntu’s package management system and have had a fine time smoothly upgrading your system periodically, at some point the inevitable will happen: while upgrading a package will get installed that will break something.
It could be, as happened to me recently, a version of Google Chrome that won’t play nice with some element of Gnome or the GTK toolkit – any button on a webpage that should launch a dialogue box took minutes to do so. Several minutes. So we need to reverse this, by downgrading the package to the previous version, and then prevent it from being reinstalled automatically. How?
The most common Debian package manager frontend is
apt-get. There are a number of different options, from powerful but complex
dpkg, it’s more user-friendly brother
aptitude, to the full blown X-windows GUI of
synaptic. But apt-get is most people’s first choice, the most straightforward, and the one which comes with no obvious switch or option included – the following demonstrates how.