Does zypper in dry run only tells what changes it would do, or does it also actually downloads packages just not install?
It only says what it would do.
There’s also a “–download-only” option, if that is what you are looking for.
Does not download only shows what it would do. Use -download-only if you want to download but not install.
It actually downloads, but does not install.
You follow with another “zypper dup” or “zypper up” to actually install them. It finds the already downloaded rpms and installs them. It downloads any that are missing.