Ubuntu is good for privacy?

Recently i tried Ubuntu 20 in some devices, which can’t run Debian Stable. Ubuntu looks and feels so nice, it very simple to use and it resolve many issues automatically. Also, many software on Github have scripts for automatic install in Ubuntu.
But what about privacy? Can trust Ubuntu my important files, projects and data?

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/ubuntu-spyware.en.html - This is what mr Stallman says. The “Spyware” in that case has been removed, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if they are trustworthy.

2 Likes

Ubuntu is of course way better than Microsoft or other completely proprietary OS’ privacy-wise. But they have a little history of tracking their users as @gusnan mentioned. The possibility to install proprietary software easily is to my mind no disadvantage, they just want the user to chose. On the other hand they want to kind of enforce their Snap store which uses a completely proprietary backend. I can’t support that so I would recommend other distros.

4 Likes

Oh, I had completely forgot about that - another reason to choose another distro, yes.

It is okay my child. Come join the arch based distro family. It is going to be okay :slight_smile: Go for manjaro, basic arch either manual install or some easy installer, FSF endorsed distros if your hardware supports it and you can live with only free software. There are options. Come join the cool kidz.

Edit: People say ubuntu is the windows of the linux world and I don’t personally think that is an exaggeration. Yes they don’t do anything as bad as windows but compared to the rest of the linux world, it doesn’t get less freedom respecting in my opinion. If the devs of an OS had any track record of tracking without permission or even do at all, I lose practically all respect for them except in some special, very specific cases. No thank you.

You absolutely can, and furthermore millions of companies and individuals trust them with their professional and personal data on servers and desktops. The first thing I intend to install on my Librem 14 is either Windows 10 or Ubuntu.

Mr. Stallman is hardly the metric any sane person would use to make this determination.

If it also important to see that every accusation leveled at Ubuntu is something the user has the power to never use and to completely remove. The amazon search thing that everyone squawked about, I’ve never used. Never, not even once. Its impact on me has had zero effect. Yet the Linux crowd nearly melted down because of it.

Ubuntu is a stellar piece of software. Valve target’s Ubuntu as a primary platform for their store, and while you might not be down with the way the rest of the world markets software, it does send a strong single that Ubuntu has stable and future evident potential.

I don’t think there is any real reason you can’t trust Canonical.

3 Likes

It’s not like the Steam / ubuntu relationship is all jolly good like you would like it to sound: https://www.pcgamer.com/steam-is-dropping-support-for-ubuntu-but-not-linux-entirely/ - But, sure, trust them if you want.

1 Like

Do you have any current evidence? Ubuntu has fixed both the things you posted.

1 Like

Even if they didn’t Valve had to abandon ship because of a architecture change. An inevitable one at that. It is coming for all modern operating systems. This is hardly evidence or a reason to mistrust Canonical. If anything that speaks to Ubuntu’s longevity.

1 Like

That was because Canonical wanted to drop 32bit support that Steam uses, and they reverted that decision after Steam said that if 32bit is off, they would look another platform.

1 Like

there is still a considerable amount of 32bit old hardware running around. One of the things with linux was that it could bring that old hardware back to life, but more and more distros are dropping 32bit.
(and yes, I know they were not mandated to have 32bit, 64bit, arm and whatever else)

Alright, the 32-bit compatibilty might not be a good indicator, I’ll admit that. But, if you don’t see the Stallman text as a good indicator to not use Ubuntu, I don’t see how I could convince you. I also have thoughts about their development model, but that’s beside the point.

Sure.

Whether or not something is open source, proprietary, some combination thereof really just changes whom you trust (even if you review all the code yourself you’re still trusting yourself).

Canonical, like everything made up of humans, has faults; whether or not you can accept those faults only you can decide.

Yes.

I have multiple computers running Ubuntu. It is one of the distros that I use.

Yes, Canonical has had some hiccups along the way.

Yes, Ubuntu supports lots of proprietary hardware - but that is a right not an obligation to use proprietary hardware.

Whatever arguments people make about the differences between distros, perspective is essential. If you were to draw up a spectrum with lowest privacy at the left end and highest privacy at the right end … then all the Linux distros would be clustered at the right end, with small differences between them, and all the blackbox operating systems would be clustered at the left end, with no verifiable difference between them.

In fact, “trust” is the key word. You don’t have to trust any Linux distro, because you can verify. You have to trust all blackbox operating systems because you have no way to verify.

(With open source you are also free to change or override anything that you don’t like.)

With Linux, the problem areas are in the hardware - you just don’t know what the hardware is capable of, what it is doing, and you can’t verify, and sometimes the hardware forces you to use a blob.

With blackbox operating systems, the problems are everywhere.

As always though, you determine your own priorities, and act accordingly.

4 Likes

I love this argument. Really? How can 99.9% of the world’s population verify anything? Or do you mean they can trust other people who have claimed to verify something?

Because to me it all sounds like trust.

2 Likes

You can be part of the 0.1% - you don’t have to be part of the 99.9%

However if the intent of the original question was to compare Ubuntu with other Linux distros then maybe this is a digression.

1 Like

It’s more like the .00001% but I digress. There is a reason that there are so few people in the world respectively creating operating systems and device drivers. It isn’t easy.

To suggest that the sustainable security of a system is predicated on the ability for a user to verify security and privacy claims by reviewing the code base, is just a bunch of fluff.

Whatever system most people use, it will be a matter of trust. Reviewing the code has NOTHING to with it.

This is a point of contention I have against Purism’s security and privacy claims, but the hardware they produce, and that it is fully designed to be repairable is a big enough of a pro to overlook the con. Especially if you aren’t buying the products altogether for it’s privacy and security claims. Of course Purism isn’t the only one making these claims. Kind of Linux as a whole.

I think regardless of who can verify the code, its important that the ability to do so exists. When making something for the masses, going through the process and effort of establishing “this is what it does, see for yourself that what I say is true” goes a long way towards earning the trust you speak of.

5 Likes

Absolutely but it is trust nonetheless. I mean I am more willing to trust someone being transparent than someone who is not. But let’s just call it trust. There isn’t any magic verify window for the majority of people.

1 Like

I kind of dislike the queries to their servers that Ubuntu does in their update-motd.d files. They “leak” some kernel, hardware and cloud vendor information to their servers but as far as I know, nothing serious like private identifiers (let alone whole files).