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What does the -d option of apt-get do when there are packages to be removed (I got the list of actions by the --simulate option)?

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what is your question? If you are apt-get removing packages, -d makes it do nothing. – user1974 Feb 26 '11 at 15:55

If you specify -d to apt-get, it'll just download packages, nothing else. It won't install or remove anything, even if your command implicitly removes some packages. For example,
if you "install" (with -d) package that requires removing another package; this is the case with Apache workers (and many other packages too).

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