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View Poll Results: Your Thought On Ubuntu Starting To Display Advertisements In The Terminals?
" Ubuntu has its right to turn it into a profit driven business " 3 17.65%
" The virtue of Linux is its freedom and yet Ubuntu is destroying it 8 47.06%
No opinion ( Need More Time To Decide ) 0 0%
Other ( Please Specify ) 6 35.29%
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Old 10-29-2022, 12:57 PM   #16
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I suppose I should add that I found that previous move of adding Amazon as a search to desktop to be unacceptable as that's selling to a third party without very explicit opt in.
I've no issue with anyone providing goods or services asking for payment but I do take issue with hidden or, at least, non obvious selling of data. While I believe that most should know the adage "There's no such thing as a free lunch" I also think that making people have to research something to see whether they are being sold or otherwise used is bad for society as a whole.
Old 10-29-2022, 02:53 PM   #17
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Amazon in particular I would also find disturbing. Their search algorithms are so badly skewed that a search on Amazon = a search for Amazon Products.
Old 11-06-2022, 04:44 PM   #18
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I read and re-read the dates on this thread before posting, and here's why: this is not even remotely new development within Ubuntu (what's shown in the first image is the typical 'Ubuntu MOTD spam'). There was a lot of outrage when it first was implemented (I think in 18.04 or 18.10 - googling about for the hackernews thread it seems to have been added in 17.04 per that thread), and it was made worse by the Canonical employee who's 'baby' this project is completely hammed up the response to hackernews. What they parse into it over the years has always been Canonical-related (afaict) with the sole exception of once advertising a television show that featured Ubuntu (and this was done at the very start, and was what caused most of the outrage). It can also be entirely disabled (either 'officially' by passing a variable to the script that calls it, or 'aggressively' by gutting the script and/or systemd unit timer). If you're curious, they generally source the 'content' from here:

You can read more about it:
Original HackerNews thread:

The content itself is, even when it 'advertised' the TV show, not objectionable (it was more of a 'hey look at our media mention!' thing, not a 'go pay for this product' thing). The bigger potential problem is: its actually sending BACK quite a lot of information about the machine to Canonical any time the script runs, and the reasons for doing that aren't entirely clear. This was also done as like not-even-defined 'opt out' on their part, as in they don't document this is happening its just 'the way it is' unless you go digging. That all having been said: out of curiosity some time ago I set my firewall up to capture and log packets being sent to/fro the locations specified in the 50-motd-news script (including and over something like 6 months it never hit it with Ubuntu (and Xubuntu) running on multiple systems, including 'Ubuntu Server' itself. So I have a suspicion their script doesn't work very well at that (I never bothered troubleshooting WHY this script doesn't work well mind you - in terms of 50-motd-news its also only supposed to fire in response to ssh, so it may be a configuration/misconfiguration of ssh on my part 'breaking' it - but I do get the rest of the MOTD output so who knows). I think their actual motivation for doing this is to get a better understanding of Ubuntu's install-base because I suspect most people click 'opt out' during the post-install that asks to send a "system report" back to Canonical (and without going into either of those in-depth, my guess is they are probably collecting more or less the same data). Probably nothing malicious, but why not be more up-front about it? My guess is because most people would choose 'opt out' when faced with the word 'analytics' or 'data collection' (remember when Apple offered that as an option to iPhone users a year or two ago and something like 90% of them opted out on the first day?). It's almost like years of trying to beat some cybersecurity awareness into people is having a payoff, but also resulting in unexpected consequences...who would've thought?

On the later images showing 'ads' in apt updates, I can't re-create that in 22.04, but I'm sure if its the case it can also be easily disabled in a configuration file somewhere, just as the 50-motd-news script can (in other words, say what you will about their ultimate motivations (or your interpretations thereof), they aren't doing this in a very 'stealthy' or 'heavy handed' way if you can completely disable it in a few keystrokes - 50-motd-news even has comments explaining every step of the script, and a note that calls this out versus using obfuscated code). I was curious so I went a-googling and found a thread on Ubuntu's own forum about it:
Which points to a bug report about it:

It looks like its both something that is (or will be made to be) 'opt out' and also is a bug in connection with Ubuntu Advantage (which, if I remember right, is their paid enterprise/commercial offering).

It appears they have indeed pushed an update to modify this behavior - its an update to Ubuntu Advantage, after being installed and the next time apt runs, it will tell you the following:
Use 'pro config set apt_news=false' to hide this and future APT news.
Which is pretty self-explanatory. Running that command (as root/sudo) and it silences the UA notifications about Ubuntu Pro when apt pulls down the update list from Canonical. QED.

Last edited by obobskivich; 11-09-2022 at 02:42 PM.


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