I want to upgrade the package base-files without overwriting /etc/issue. So I used --assume-no to disable the modification of config-files, but this is ignored and apt-get asked for input while installation.

I tried -y with the same result. Did this many times before and didn't get what's going wrong...

root@tbox4712:/# apt-get --assume-no install base-files
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be upgraded:
1 to upgrade, 0 to newly install, 0 to remove and 199 not to upgrade.
Need to get 67.5 kB of archives.
After this operation, 0 B of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 ssh:// tiqcon/main base-files amd64 7.2ubuntu5.5 [67.5 kB]
Fetched 67.5 kB in 3s (18.7 kB/s)
(Reading database ... 64889 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../base-files_7.2ubuntu5.5_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking base-files (7.2ubuntu5.5) over (7.2ubuntu5.1) ...
Processing triggers for plymouth-theme-ubuntu-text (0.8.8-0ubuntu17) ...
update-initramfs: deferring update (trigger activated)
Processing triggers for install-info (5.2.0.dfsg.1-2) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ( ...
Processing triggers for initramfs-tools (0.103ubuntu4.2) ...
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-3.13.0-32-generic
Setting up base-files (7.2ubuntu5.5) ...

Configuration file '/etc/issue'
 ==> Modified (by you or by a script) since installation.
 ==> Package distributor has shipped an updated version.
   What would you like to do about it ?  Your options are:
    Y or I  : install the package maintainer's version
    N or O  : keep your currently-installed version
      D     : show the differences between the versions
      Z     : start a shell to examine the situation
 The default action is to keep your current version.
*** issue (Y/I/N/O/D/Z) [default=N] ?   

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