Essential packages not installed will be installed automatically by APT,
packages with the Important field will not be. Important also does not
have the same ordering requirements as Essential. It's main use case is
building configuration metapackages:

But yes, this is not specified at all - it is an APT-specific feature.
People do not like the field name, because it can be confused with
Priority: important, so it has not been standardized and included in
dpkg yet - also see and for further

Once this has a new name and is standardized we can actually produce
good error messages.

** Changed in: apt (Ubuntu)
   Importance: Undecided => Low

** Changed in: apt (Ubuntu)
       Status: New => Triaged

** Bug watch added: Debian Bug tracker #826587

** Also affects: apt (Debian) via
   Importance: Unknown
       Status: Unknown

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  "Important" control field is a bit confusing

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