Ubuntu – How to Opt Out of System Information Reports


During installation of Ubuntu 18.04, after the runtime environment is enabled, and during the first login, a question pops up asking whether you want to Help Improve Ubuntu.

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(Screenshot is from the 18.04 first-login "Welcome" process)

If you say yes, then a brief report is sent to Canonical describing basic characteristics of your system such as Processor type (AMD or i386), screen resolution and the default desktop environment. Nothing very intrusive.

This helps Canonical get an accurate count of installations and such. And they ask it so obviously and politely that I decided that "It's not a bug – it's a feature" and is OK by me.

So I said yes but now I have changed my mind due to the reporting that suggests that Canonical will become the next Microsoft – but do not want to reinstall my system.

How can I turn this feature off?

Best Answer

There are at least four pieces of spyware installed by default on ubuntu 18.04 bionic and the accepted answer only really disables popcon.

Why ` ubuntu-report -f send no ` doesn't work

You didn't have to sudo it beacuse it doesn't set a system-global flag. The net effect of telling ubuntu-report not to send reports is twofold,

  1. It sends a report anyway. Admittedly, the opt-out version of the report just says {OptOut:true}, but it's still hitting the telemetry server, leaking your IP and HTTP headers.
  2. It saves your preference in your home folder, e.g. /home/yournamehere/.cache/ubuntu-report, which means every user on your system would need to run this command to stop the machine from phoning home.

What to do instead

  • Install offline, or block access to metrics.ubuntu.com and popcon.ubuntu.com on your router.
  • Remove the spyware using apt purge: sudo apt purge ubuntu-report popularity-contest apport whoopsie

Further reading

Questions on here:

Source code

Docker users rejoice

As of 30 April 2018, the ubuntu:bionic docker image at the docker hub does not include any of this stuff.


The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

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