Analysis here appears related:

Seems the interactions here are quite complex

To reproduce the problem, you can do on xenial:
(install old version)
# apt install avahi-daemon=0.6.32~rc+dfsg-1ubuntu2 
avahi-dnsconfd=0.6.32~rc+dfsg-1ubuntu2 avahi-utils=0.6.32~rc+dfsg-1ubuntu2

(in a second terminal, leaves this running)
while true; do avahi-browse -a; done

(back in the first terminal)
apt upgrade # will upgrade from the xenial version 1ubuntu2 to xenial-updates 
version 1ubuntu2.1

Looks like the --restart-after-upgrade change may be what we need except I 
can't see where that's actually used in the current Ubuntu or Debian package.  
Seems this shipped patch may have "fixed" the issue instead.  This patch is in 
bionic, but not in xenial where are are seeing this issue reported.

lathiat@optane:~/src/debian/avahi-0.7$ cat debian/patches/no-systemd-also.patch 
Description: Don't use 'Also=' in dnsconfd systemd unit
 'Also=avahi-daemon.socket' means that 'systemctl disable avahi-dnsconfd'
 will also disable avahi-daemon.socket, which is definitely not what we
 want, and it also causes debhelper to throw an error.  Just drop this entry
 from the configuration.
Author: Steve Langasek <>
Last-Modified: 2018-01-02 20:30:00 -0800

Index: avahi-0.7-3ubuntu1/avahi-dnsconfd/
--- avahi-0.7-3ubuntu1.orig/avahi-dnsconfd/
+++ avahi-0.7-3ubuntu1/avahi-dnsconfd/
@@ -26,4 +26,3 @@

** Bug watch added: Debian Bug tracker #768620

** Bug watch added: Debian Bug tracker #878911

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  package avahi-dnsconfd 0.6.32~rc+dfsg-1ubuntu2 failed to
  install/upgrade: subprocess new pre-removal script returned error exit
  status 1

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