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I have Ubuntu 10.10 installed on a Thinkpad machine. Recently I installed NVidia CUDA on it. The installation was successful, thanks to this very helpful guide.

Unfortunately, the X server stopped working after the latest software update/upgrade. I could use the shell, but doing sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop and then start never helped. Doing Ctrl + Alt + F7 changed the screen to the boot log (all those messages that are shown if you load Ubuntu in the failsafe mode). No Gnome, no graphical log-in window.

I reinstalled Ubuntu 10.10 on another partition and reinstalled CUDA. NVidia's dev driver works and I would like to prevent my new Ubuntu from doing this kind of dangerous upgrades again. But still I would like to do sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade for all the other packages on the system.

How can I do updates to Ubuntu while excluding NVidia video drivers (and all that xorg.conf stuff) from being updated?

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You'd either need to use pinning or holding packages from your package manager - holding seems easier - by the looks of things holding is easier

You can do it from your package manager with the 'lock version' option or with dpkg with the command echo packagename hold | dpkg --set-selections . See the link i linked earlier for more details

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