I am on Debian Sid and I've found that an apt-upgrade didn't download all the 87 packages that were to be installed but just one, that was not in the debian's repositories (namely http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb stable/main amd64 google-chrome-stable) and proceeded with the install.

This behavior led me to assume that some subsystem had previously downloaded the necessary .debs. While in general there is no harm in that, I'd prefer to choose when the download happens because I sometimes have a pretty fast connection and sometimes a very poor one, where I'd like to have every kbyte/s at my disposal...

My question is twofold

  1. is it possible that apt, or one of its siblings, is really downloading the .debs behind my back, and which is the machinery involved?
  2. can I have this not happen (if it is really happening)?


1 Answer 1


It's possibly due to the unattended-upgrades configuration in your Debian system. unattended-upgrades has been introduced to keep your system up-to-date with respect to security and other updates.

You can configure unattended-upgrades to enabled/disabled by modifying its configuration file: /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/20auto-upgrades

For more information read: https://wiki.debian.org/UnattendedUpgrades

  • My PC stopped downloading .deb s in advance just a few days following me asking this Q, so I left any focus on my Q... I cannot accept your answer (because I don't know if it would have worked for me) but I like to recognize its merits. ፨ ps: i have no NNauto-upgrades configuration file...
    – gboffi
    Sep 30, 2018 at 15:05

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