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Raspberry Pi is calling up Microsoft

by on08 February 2021

Users up in arms over Volish influence

Raspberry Pi users are upset that the PiOS has started calling up calling up Microsoft all of a sudden.

Hot Hardware said one of the software options for running a Raspberry Pi module is Raspberry Pi OS (formerly Raspbian), the officially supported Debian-based operating system put out by The Raspberry Pi Foundation. It has been around since 2015 without too much complaint. However, the most recent update has some Raspberry Pi OS users up in arms over a key change involving Microsoft.

The latest update installs a Microsoft apt respository on a machine running the Raspberry Pi OS.  It is even good enough to do it without any admin consent and we all know what Linux admins are like. It was discovered by Reddit user fortysix_n_2 and official line was that it was a blessing of Microsoft's integrated development environment, Visual Studio Code.  But it appears that Pi is so enthused about the OS that it is even installed on headless devices that used a light image without a GUI. The upshot is that every time you do an "apt update" on your Pi device, the OS tells Vole of your doings. .

"By having this repo, every time an install of Raspberry Pi OS is updated it will ping a Microsoft server. Microsoft will know you're using Raspberry Pi OS/likely Raspberry Pi owner and your IP address...." fortysix_n_2 explained.

Linux people dont like it when the sources.list in Linux is modified without consent -- putting it right up there with killing your first born, so they are extremely miffed.

Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton's response to the controversy on Twitter. When asked if the foundation could be more transparent, like publishing a blog post about the repositories to be included, Upton responded:

"I can't understand why you think this was a controversial thing to do. We do things of this sort all the time without putting out a blog post about how to opt out."

We are sure that there are lots of Linux people out there who will explain this to him. 

Last modified on 08 February 2021
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