Canonical is to begin tracking Ubuntu installations by sending a quick "I am alive" message to Canonical on a daily basis.
Phoronix has the technical skinny on this:
The canonical-census v0.1 description is simply "canonical-census - send "I am alive" ping to Canonical." When looking at the Debian package source to this Python program, "Send an "I am alive" ping to Canonical. This is used for surveying how many original OEM installs are still existing on real machines. Note that this does not send any user specific data; it only transmits the operating system version (/var/lib/ubuntu_dist_channel), the machine product name, and a counter how many pings were sent."
The ping is sent to Canonical over HTTP and contains the following information:
- The number of times this system previously sent to Canonical (counter data stored locally, indicating how many days the installation has been active)
- The Ubuntu distributor channel
- Product name as acquired by the system's DMI information
- Which Ubuntu release is being used
This data is sent anonymously.
At present it seems that Canonical is only interested in tracking OEM installations. However, the package is available on Launchpad.net for all.
For those who want to remove this ping, this is what you need to use at the terminal:
sudo apt-get remove canonical-census
What do all your Linux users think about this?