Microsoft repo silently added to Raspberry Pi OS, folks begin the freak out
The most recent update has silently added a Microsoft repo to Raspberry Pi OS and its users are not happy.
What you need to know
- Raspberry Pi OS is the official Linux image provided for the Raspberry Pi single board computer
- The most recent update seemed to add a Microsoft repo with no warning.
- The official explanation seems to be an endorsement of Visual Studio Code.
Microsoft has been embracing Linux more and more in recent times but it's fair to say many a user still view the company with trepidation. And this latest news adds a little fuel to that fire, as it seems a Microsoft repo has been added to Raspberry Pi OS with the latest update.
As reported by Hot Hardware, the latest update adds a Microsoft apt repository to Raspberry Pi OS without admin consent. Default repositories are pinged every time the user runs a simple
command, and as such, the Microsoft repo will "phone home."
The official reason seems to be an endorsement of Microsoft's open source IDE, Visual Studio Code, which recently became officially supported on ARM-based Linux devices, like the Raspberry Pi. It's less Visual Studio Code folks have a problem with, and more the fact this was done without warning or consent, and that many still have concerns over Microsoft building profiles with the telemetry it collects.
Many Linux users don't want their machines pinging Microsoft every day. Whether their concerns are founded or not, that's their choice. And as one particularly vocal commenter pointed out, modifying the sources.list in Linux without consent just doesn't happen. It also doesn't just apply to new images, it has been built out to be added to existing machines, too. Even Lite images of Raspberry Pi built for headless deployment. They all have the Microsoft repo now.
While it could make working with Visual Studio Code much easier, it's clearly an unwelcome move among the Raspberry Pi community. Especially the seemingly underhanded way it was handled.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine
Am I the only one that sees the irony here? If you were in control of the OS, you'd know full well what was being added (or removed), and wouldn't run admin commands without knowing what you were doing to the system. Just remove the repos from from the list before you run apt updates.
So, I'd like to encourage the group that determines what happens with Rpi to have a fully open version (e.g no calling home, no lock-in software etcetc), and make a branch in which all the commercial vendors can put their (often useful) software. Make it clear to a newbie what's what. In this way people can choose, which is part of the joy of these platforms. We'll also see which version is most popular.