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is placing ads in its motd when you ssh in.

The way it fetches this ad is by doing

USER_AGENT="curl/$curl_ver $lsb $platform $cpu $uptime cloud_id/$cloud_id"

curl -A "$USER_AGENT" ...

In other words, Ubuntu is sending Canonical tracking information so it can serve you an ad.

This doesn't exactly run every time you log in (it caches the ad in /var/cache), but still... phoning home for a frickin ad?

Oh, great, and this whole mechanism is part of base-files. You can't just delete a package to get rid of it, since it's a core, essential package.

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If you want to get rid of it, do this:

sudo chmod -x /etc/update-motd.d/50-motd-news

Deleting the file would probably just reinstall it next time you do an upgrade, but removing its exec permissions should be more persistent.

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@JordiGH seems really obnoxious that they couldn't leave something as basic as the MOTD alone

@JordiGH it might get restored, but you could use chattr to stop even root from being able to fix it

@JordiGH But, waitaminute, surely if you set a custom MOTD that script won't overwrite it? Otherwise they'd be killing an important feature of SSHD for admins of multi-user systems?

@cathal Hm, I'm not sure. It might!

But looks like you can also disable it other ways:

patdavid.net/2018/08/ubuntu-ss

@JordiGH
And people still wonder why Ubuntu get so much flak from the rest of the community.

@JordiGH
Unrelated, but I also did this to {10-help-text,51-cloudguest,80-livepatch} because they were annoying/unhelpful.

@JordiGH

as far as I understand, you can eliminate that in the preferences

In the "Privacy" tab there's a "connection checking" switch

@JordiGH yes, that's exactly what it does and nobody should have allowed it into Ubuntu

@JordiGH Canonical is the Micro$oft of the Linux world 🤢 That's exactly the reason why I dislike Ubuntu 👎 They don't do such a shit for the first time.Remember the search feature where data went to Amazon ( howtogeek.com/126995/how-to-di )?The best solution is getting rid of Ubuntu.Use Linux Mint if you want it easy (based on Ubuntu so almost everything stays the same) or use Arch if you want a fast and stable system,but not that easy.

@nipos @JordiGH Just chiming in to say don't trust Mint. They demonstrated apallingly bad judgement with LMDE v1, leaving loads of users in a totally broken state between bi-yearly bulk updates from Debian when they decided to discontinue. Even the shambles of bi-yearly updates instead of just pulling from upstream was.. inexplicable.
Ubuntu's selling point is moderate foolproofness. Demand that in replacements too. Debian bleeding edge should be a baseline IMO

@cathal @JordiGH Thanks,I didn't know that.Maybe Ubuntu forks like Kubuntu,Xubuntu or Lubuntu are a better replacement?

@nipos @JordiGH Maybe, but at a guess they pull most of their stuff directly from Ubuntu so shenanigans will still leak through.
TBH I've run Debian a few times and, if you pick the most recent version you can bear, it's hardly different to Ubuntu. They're just waay too conservative about packaging and scaremonger people into using "stable" software/distros (read: 2 year old versions). Ubuntu draw most of their value from Debian.

@cathal @nipos @JordiGH How is recommending stable scare mongering? Why is old bad? That's part of what they mean by stable: the system will not change in ways that require user action until the next release. Minimal risk of updates raising problems from untested interactions or side effects. That's the point. Not everyone wants that, and that's fine, but to chide them for this goal is unwarranted.

@aidalgol @nipos @JordiGH That's fair criticism so let me be more specific: when pitching a desktop distribution, as opposed to a server, scaring users into using very old versions of libraries will invariably lead to dependency hell when the user tries to use newish desktop software that's dynamically linked for more popular desktop distros like Ubuntu. That can put new Linux users off the whole ecosystem, not knowing it's "Just Debian"

@aidalgol @nipos @JordiGH Or, to phrase that differently, Debian's language around stability is kinda tailored for sysadmins, but wholly unsuitable for "normal" users. And maybe sysadmins are mature enough users to decide for themselves what's stable enough, while desktop users usually are wholly unprepared for this.

@cathal @nipos @JordiGH I can see that. I agree that they could make clearer what users are signing up for when they select Debian. I know at least one person who is a very typical end-user who strongly prefers a system that hardly changes for two years at a time over having newer versions of everything, so it's not only sysadmins who value Debian's type of "stable".

@JordiGH
Hopefully at least the variables are either probably sanitized or not under user control.

@JordiGH I am glad I switched to Debian. All of the worries I had about Debian not being as compatible with a lot of .deb released for ubuntu was not as big of an issue as I thought.

@JordiGH What? That's crazy. Thought they learned from the previous trick they pulled. Guess not.

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