If you thought you wouldn’t be bothered by Ubuntu’s (mildly annoying) apt “awareness” feature or Ubuntu Pro updates as you don’t use the command line, bad news.
Ubuntu will start showing apt news and Ubuntu Pro updates in the Software Updater app on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS later and above in the coming months.
To be fair, neither feature is meritless. Apt news is used to inform users of critical security incidents in the wild (though so far it’s only been used to promote Ubuntu Pro). Canonical says it can “help people understand the nature of recent updates and inform their decisions about when to apply them”.
Talking of Ubuntu Pro, aka Canonical’s freemium support option that’s free for personal use on up to 5 computers, 50 if you’re an Ubuntu member, or hard dollar if you’re a business/enterprise, you’ll now see Ubuntu Pro updates listed alongside other updates in the Software Updater too.
While both of these additions add visual clutter they’re not bad. Telling users they can get more/additional security updates if they sign up for Ubuntu Pro (which, as mentioned, is free for personal use) is a sensible thing.
And on system’s where regular support has ended, it’s arguably a nice thing to do!
What some consider annoying is that the feature also tells users of still-in-support LTS editions that they’re not as secure as they think they are. Pointing out there are security updates for packages you can’t get unless you signup sounds a bit “in-app purchase”-y to some.
As one Ubuntu user opined during its arrival at the command-line: “advertising a commercial subscription as part of a critical update tool in maintaining infrastructure is not the right place to do it.”
Still, if you’re cool with managing your own system and you don’t want to see apt news at all, you can switch it off by running the
sudo pro config set apt_news=false command. This will disable it in both the APT command and in the Software Updater app.
Alas, there’s currently (that I know of) anyway to hide notices about available Ubuntu Pro updates.
No definite date on when these GUI additions will land, so keep your eyes peeled for updates to the