Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

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MintFanBoy
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Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by MintFanBoy »

Dear Linux Mint Community,


first at all I want to thank you for your good work. After several attempts to switch from Win to Linux this Linux Mint distribution made it possible!

I am in love with Linux Mint! It is great to use in so many ways!

But I have a big issue that makes me unsure about Linux Mint:

It is said that it uses parts of Ubuntu.

Hearing / Reading that Ubuntu explicitly sents private Information of the users to amazon disappointed me a lot!

e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXnfa0H30L4

I had to find out, that open source doesn't necessarily mean: secure and discreet. But that everyone could use it to spy or to abuse the trust of others.


I am not a hacker, so I can not easily read and understand the source code of linux or other complicated code.

Because it was one of the major reasons to switch to open source Linux - not to be spyed by anyone - I am getting concerned about Linux Mint.
I couldn 't find anything about this issue neigther in the internet nor in this forum.

So my question to you is: Are there parts of Ubuntu in Linux Mint that secretly shows, send private Information of my PC to anyone (maybe because of parts of Ubuntu)?


Thank you in advance for your reply and support!


Best regards


Frank
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Previous1
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by Previous1 »

It is said that it uses parts of Ubuntu.
Maybe you didn't get the memo .... Mint is in fact Ubuntu, with some modifications and added tools/desktops/codecs. There's also LMDE which is based on Debian.

The Amazon thingy is Unity specific. There's no Unity version of Mint.
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clfarron4
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by clfarron4 »

MintFanBoy wrote:So my question to you is: Are there parts of Ubuntu in Linux Mint that secretly shows, send private Information of my PC to anyone (maybe because of parts of Ubuntu)?
As previously mentioned, that is specific to the Unity Desktop, so if you don't install the Unity Desktop, you won't have this problem.

There are other services that Ubuntu seem to have installed by default. Those aren't in the Mint installations.
Problems? Tell us EXACTLY what you've done and what you expected to happen, IN DETAIL. That will save us questions, and we should get along better,

I have dysgraphia. This means I might have understood you incorrectly through no fault of my own.
MintFanBoy
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by MintFanBoy »

Hey,

thank you for your replies. They make me happy!

No, I didn' t install Unity. Unity was the major reason why I switched to Mint.

I am happy to continue the use of Linux Mint! :D
craig10x
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by craig10x »

I happen to love the unity desktop and use ubuntu myself (though i use to be an avid mint user in the past) but as they said, the amazon search lens is only on unity....however, i would like to clear the air for you...it is NOT spyware as some assume...the information on the dash search is sent invisibly to amazon where it's server simply makes some purchase suggestions based on what you type in the "dash"...it's purpose is simply to generate some extra revenue for ubuntu to help with the development of the distro...much in the same way as linux mint forum has target ads that serve that same purpose...

Also, all online searches can be easily turned off in the privacy settings of ubuntu by hitting an OFF button...takes 5 seconds...done...
Also, as of the next release of Ubuntu (14.10) the online searches will be turned off by default...you will have to actually turn them on to get them...
Again...it's not SPYWARE...and no one is monitoring your computer activities if you have it on...

Unfortunately, with all the NSA stuff...people have become a bit paranoid about these things :lol:
I do turn it off myself...but only for 1 reason...i'm a neat freak and just don't care for the clutter it makes when i use the search...otherwise, i probably would leave it on...
MintFanBoy
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by MintFanBoy »

Hi craig10x,

thanks for your contribution. As far as I read, Cannonical got money by amazon for even this service. So it seems to me, that I wasn 't just an anonymous service support for users. For me it still looks like spyware.
There are so many websites with googleanalytics where no one informs you about this issue. Of course there are many ways to prevent this. But most of the people don' t know about that. For me it is a kind of abuse of rights and trust.

I think it is okay, if you can explicitly choose to tolerate or even install things like that.

I appreciate if the new ubuntu distributions has not installed that amazon"service" by default.

I also think that is not the NSA only who is interested in everyones data and that it is mostly a question of power rather than so called "security" (for whom?))). By the way: Let you everyone enter your private rooms? Are all doors and windows of your home wide open "because you have nothing to hide"? I think everyone has a right and responsibility for privacy.

And I am glad that Software like Linux is providing and supporting that.
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by craig10x »

Glad i could enlighten you on it :wink:

Do keep in mind that any revenue that is generated by the amazon ads in the dash search (if one keeps it on that is) does not go for profit but for ubuntu development..and that helps make ubuntu a better distro...which of course, also affects all ubuntu based distros like linux mint for example, too...
That is why i would keep it on if not for the clutter aspect...so, in my case, to make up for it, i send them an occasional donation instead...
Also, i find that the dash search is also FASTER when online search is turned off...

There has been a lot of bad press put out about this...which is why a lot of misinformation about how it works gets out there and distorts the truth...
I read up very carefully about it...and bottom line is neither canonical (ubuntu) nor amazon know where it's coming from when you type in that search bar as the info is sent encrypted and in a "stealth" (invisible manner)...there is no one sitting on some super computer monitoring what you are doing like in the movies... :lol:

And at that, it only happens when typing in the dash search...not when doing other things on the computer...plus even now you can easily turn it off and as i mentioned, as of 14.10...well, it won't even be turned on be default anymore...
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by wanderer7 »

As other members already said, you don't need to worry about privacy when using Linux Mint - it doesn't contain Ubuntu's infamous Amazonware.
If you want to learn more about protecting your privacy, visit this site:
https://prism-break.org/en/
Also, instead of Google, use DuckDuckGo or Startpage as a search engine:
https://duckduckgo.com/
https://www.startpage.com/
The above two don't remember your IP address. You could also use the Tor Browser Bundle (https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en), but you can't use it for all your web-browsing. So if you decide to try Tor, first learn more about it.
Linux Mint isn't 100% free distro. For a list of entirely free distros, go to this page: http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html and here are some reasons why other popular distros aren't considered 100% free: http://www.gnu.org/distros/common-distros.html. I've tried those free distros, but I found out I couldn't use them for everyday computing (not yet). So I decided to install a system, which is free enough + usable enough. That's why I'm using Mint. :)
MintFanBoy
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by MintFanBoy »

Hi wanderer7,

thank you very much for your helpfull reply!
want to learn more about protecting your privacy, visit this site:
thank you!
DuckDuckGo
I already do since month (although the results aren t always best. Before I used a metasearch but it became spoiled somehow)
Tor Browser Bundle
I use it sometimes. But the download rate is often rather low. I also read, that it could have some security risk too because the last person could read your entries. I permanently use noscript, Cookiecontrol and Ghostery.
Linux Mint isn't 100% free distro
I know, but - as you said - otherwise it is troublesome sometimes to deal with the alternatives (alternatives to adobe acrobat reader as well).

I will keep on using Mint, because it is beautyfull, very handy and provides a much better security than windows.

Finally it stays a matter of trust - if you are not Linus writing your kernel yourself (with much community support of course) :D !
antsunrise
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by antsunrise »

If not using Unity. Nothing to worry about. Even if you use unity you can un check it or go to fixubuntu.com to fix it with script. Never been a unity fan..
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by kurotsugi »

the way of unity search online have been improved. it's true that unity sends something to amazon but the data is sended from ubuntu's server and use 'ubuntu' as the id. amazon still knows nothing about you.
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by clfarron4 »

kurotsugi wrote:the way of unity search online have been improved. it's true that unity sends something to amazon but the data is sended from ubuntu's server and use 'ubuntu' as the id. amazon still knows nothing about you.
Assuming the Ubuntu developers remembered to strip out metadata concerning who the original user is, you're correct.
Problems? Tell us EXACTLY what you've done and what you expected to happen, IN DETAIL. That will save us questions, and we should get along better,

I have dysgraphia. This means I might have understood you incorrectly through no fault of my own.
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by wanderer7 »

clfarron4 wrote:
kurotsugi wrote:the way of unity search online have been improved. it's true that unity sends something to amazon but the data is sended from ubuntu's server and use 'ubuntu' as the id. amazon still knows nothing about you.
Assuming the Ubuntu developers remembered to strip out metadata concerning who the original user is, you're correct.
+1.
Besides, even if Canonical uses "Ubuntu" as the ID when sending data to Amazon, still the data has a user's ID when it's sent to Canonical's servers. Makes no difference.
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by clfarron4 »

wanderer7 wrote:
clfarron4 wrote:
kurotsugi wrote:the way of unity search online have been improved. it's true that unity sends something to amazon but the data is sended from ubuntu's server and use 'ubuntu' as the id. amazon still knows nothing about you.
Assuming the Ubuntu developers remembered to strip out metadata concerning who the original user is, you're correct.
+1.
Besides, even if Canonical uses "Ubuntu" as the ID when sending data to Amazon, still the data has a user's ID when it's sent to Canonical's servers. Makes no difference.
Exactly. Canonical may just package the user's packets inside Canonical packets.
Problems? Tell us EXACTLY what you've done and what you expected to happen, IN DETAIL. That will save us questions, and we should get along better,

I have dysgraphia. This means I might have understood you incorrectly through no fault of my own.
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by craig10x »

Like Amazon and Canonical really cares about your personal business...give me a break...just paranoia, really...all Amazon is interested in is getting you to purchase something from their site...and as i and others have mentioned earlier, if you use ubuntu and unity as i do, and you don't want the online searches (as i do not...not because i am concerned over imagined privacy issues but because i find it clutters my search and slows it down)...then a 5 second visit to the privacy settings, you hit the off button and your dash search is disconnected from the internet and only brings up what you have on your system...

Also, as of the next ubuntu (14.10) the online searches in the dash will be off by DEFAULT...
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by wanderer7 »

craig10x wrote:Like Amazon and Canonical really cares about your personal business...give me a break...just paranoia, really...all Amazon is interested in is getting you to purchase something from their site...and as i and others have mentioned earlier, if you use ubuntu and unity as i do, and you don't want the online searches (as i do not...not because i am concerned over imagined privacy issues but because i find it clutters my search and slows it down)...then a 5 second visit to the privacy settings, you hit the off button and your dash search is disconnected from the internet and only brings up what you have on your system...

Also, as of the next ubuntu (14.10) the online searches in the dash will be off by DEFAULT...
There are 2 kinds of people in the world, craig10x: those who care about their privacy and those who don't.
I really don't want to argue about it. The last time I had an argument about Ubuntu and privacy, I went off topic and got too emotional (now I'm ashamed of it honestly). As a result, my posts were deleted and the thread got locked. I don't want it to ever happen again.
There are just 2 things I want to say:
1) I will always defend privacy and freedom - no need to call me paranoid, simply I have a different opinion; and 2) I admit Ubuntu/Canonical has done for GNU/Linux more than any other distro. I've even adviced some windows users to try Ubuntu. So, I have nothing against Ubuntu, far from it. But personally, I'm not going to use it myself.
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by kurotsugi »

Besides, even if Canonical uses "Ubuntu" as the ID when sending data to Amazon, still the data has a user's ID when it's sent to Canonical's servers. Makes no difference.
the ID in canonical server wasn't a permanent one. it created if there's a request and got deleted right after it got completed. as for the metadata stuff, IMO that's a completely different topic. we don't even know whether if those data have any metadata tagged on them. theorically it shouldn't have any.
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by craig10x »

Well, all i can say is, if one wants totally privacy, then forget about surfing on the internet...you are never going to have totally privacy if you do...also, why would you think canonical or amazon would have the slightest interest in the fact that i listen to certain stream radio talk shows or downloaded an mp3 song to my computer...or instant messaged someone on pidgin... or sent an e-mail to my friend...not that they have access to any of that anyway...but why should they give a hoot :lol:
That's the bottom line... :wink:

It's just like saying you met someone who always stays in the house because he fears someone will invade his space...well, if you use that thought philosophy, you will never be able to enjoy life...you can't be constantly worried that there is a boogie man at every corner...

And i have to say for the last time, the search can be turned off in a few seconds...and it won't even be the default anymore from 14.10 and on...
The only reason Canonical added it on in the first place, was hopefully, to generate some extra revenue that could be applied to a very noble cause...mainly, ubuntu development...much in the same way that targeted ads are on the linux mint forums...same purpose...and all they have access to is what your typing in your dash search (so it can make some product suggestions) not what you are doing on your computer...
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by mr_raider »

If you have a beef against Ubuntu, I suggest you check out LMDE based on Debian, with a Cinnamon desktop.
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Re: Concern about Ubuntu aspects in Linux Mint

Post by Conni »

craig10x wrote:Well, all i can say is, if one wants totally privacy, then forget about surfing on the internet
That's not the point. If I use Google, then I know, that I send something to Google. If I use Dash in Ubuntu in order to search a file on my computer, then I don't expect, that these requests are sent to anyone else. When I search a file on my computer, then that's none of the business of any company, may it be Canonical or Amazon.
craig10x wrote: And i have to say for the last time, the search can be turned off in a few seconds...
It's turned on by default since Ubuntu 12.10. An operating system should ensure privacy out of the box. Linux had a great reputation of safety and privacy. Canonical sold that reputation!
wanderer7 wrote:Ubuntu/Canonical has done for GNU/Linux more than any other distro.
Maybe. But they went astray :cry: .

There are other great distros :D . Most of them don't have a big company like Canonical behind them, but many of them are doing a heck of a job. I prefer Linux Mint Debian, but I also like Debian itself and Mageia, although they have a little more rough edges :mrgreen: .
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