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Well, this is, in general, a thing which can lead to pretty undefined behaviour. Your package manager is trying to do the right thing, which is: "if I uninstall something other packages need, they won't work, so I'll remove those as well".

You are right, this is a general Linux/Ubuntu question. apt does not allow you to do this. But I once read about the dpkg --force-XXXX flags, which lead me to this post on ubuntuforums. Maybe this helps?

(Disclaimer, directly copied from the guy answering the original question: WARNING:: Doing this will probably make your system unusable, DO NOT ATTEMPT UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND THIS. Don't blame me if your system breaks. ;-) )