Canonical has announced that it’s now possible to pause or stop automatic updating of snap packages on Ubuntu if you're on the snapd edge channel. By default, these packages update on their own in the background to ensure you have the latest software, but if you need more control, you’ve now got it. Unfortunately, you’ll need to get your hands dirty in the terminal.
The new hold feature lets you pause all snap updates or updates for select packages. It also lets you set a time limit for the pause to take effect for, or you can leave the time absent and have the hold set permanently.
To hold snap updates for VLC for three days, for example, you’d enter the following command snap refresh --hold=72h vlc and then the output would read something like General refreshes of "vlc" held until 2022-11-17T12:04:59Z. To pause all snap updates, just enter snap refresh --hold=48h and to stop all updates permanently type snap refresh --hold.
This new functionality is great for system administrators who may need to test software before production machines are updated. Canonical suggests that tools like Puppet or Chef can be used with the hold feature to roll out snap updates in a staggered manner, ensuring stability.
You need to be in the snapd edge channel to use this feature right now but, hopefully, it won't take long to filter through to the stable channel.