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A dpkg puzzle on debian testing.

I'm running a debian testing system updated weekly.  In the last update I
noticed samba packages being updated.  Because I have no need of samba, I
wanted to get rid of them:

  $ sudo dpkg --purge samba-common samba-common-bin 
  dpkg: dependency problems prevent removal of samba-common:
   smbclient depends on samba-common (= 2:3.5.6~dfsg-5).
  dpkg: error processing samba-common (--purge):
   dependency problems - not removing
  (Reading database ... 148254 files and directories currently installed.)
  Removing samba-common-bin ...
  Processing triggers for man-db ...
  Errors were encountered while processing:


Ok, fine; get rid of sambaclient too:

  $ sudo dpkg --purge sambaclient
  dpkg: warning: ignoring request to remove sambaclient which isn't installed.


Thus the puzzle: how is it that a package that's not installed prevents an
installed package from being purged?

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