Homephoning? Callin' Elvis ...?

privacy

#1

Hi,

I am new to Manjaro (xfce, stable) and happy that it installed so easily on my Toshiba Pro (new), parallel to the shabby W10.

Believe it or not, I left Ubuntu because of the Amazon Lens and Linux Mint because of hardcoded Google which made the systems constantly leaking private data.
(They repaired it, but it took a huge effort to make them do it.)
No, I do not consider my data as the most precious data for the datacraken. I am not important now. But as everyone of us, we might be important tomorrow. Or our friends whose data we also have on our devices: emails, docs, pics, movies etc.

So I would like to know to what extent Manjaro is constantly delivering data (of any sort) to other computers than mine - calling home, calling somewhere else?
I mean the sort of ‘Amazon Lens’ or ‘Linux Mint’ constantly pinging Google every 15 minutes by default.

Does anybody know anything about it?

Thank you in advance, I would be happy to learn that I can trustfully go on with Manjaro, because I like it.

Cheers :soccer:


Privacy Issues On Manjaro
Manjaro KDE-minimal 17.1.8
Phoning home
#2

I believe that network-manager pings apollo.archlinux.org regularly, but that’s about it I think.


#3

Thanx! :star_struck:

And that’s because it’s a rolling release?


#4

As far s I know, it’s because network manager checks if you have an active connection.

There has been threads about this ping on this forum before, so you can search for those to get an insight to that. :slight_smile:


#5

AFAIK - no data is delivered to any computer.

But as software retrieves files it will leave traces in the form of an IP address and that is unavoidable.

As @Strit says NetworkManager uses ping to check for internet connection.

When pacman-mirrors runs it also checks for an internet connection - not using ping - but checking if a list of websites is responding to a http request. It also fetches a mirror status file from repo.manjaro.org and an updated list of available mirrors.

The files can be found at /var/lib/pacman-mirrors and /usr/share/pacman-mirrors

The sites used to verify internet connection is

Also to mention the repo servers which delivers the software packages your system is using will have your IP address in their logs.

When you run pacman-mirrors it will as minimum - if network connection is availabale - always download the latest mirror file from github.

https://github.com/manjaro/manjaro-web-repo/blob/master/mirrors.json

If you never use pacman-mirrors then you will have to maintain your mirror list by hand.

Distinction

Mirror list is the file in /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist.

Mirror file is the list of available mirrors in /usr/share/pacman-mirrors/mirrors.json.
It is the latter which is always checked and downloaded if newer.

Correction: The mirror file is always downloaded - check summed against the current file in /usr/share/pacman-mirrors and replacing if checksum is not equal.

Addition: When the pacman-mirrors package is updated by pacman a post-update hook downloads the latest available mirror file by using pacman-mirrors --no-mirrorlist.


#6

Thanx, fhdk! :hugs:

Which of these contacts can I deactivate?

(I would like to discuss the negative impact, the technical consequences of doing so later.)

ps. With trying to open I get: SSL_ERROR_BAD_CERT_DOMAIN :thinking: It says:

apollo.archlinux.org - invalid certificate.
Certificate only valid for: archlinux.org, dev.archlinux.org, master-key.archlinux.org, packages.archlinux.org, www.archlinux.org


#7

it check
http://www.archlinux.org/check_network_status.txt

to get rid of this “home call”…
simply create the file /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/20-connectivity.conf
with the following content:

[connectivity]
uri=

and when it get this file this is what it get:

NetworkManager is online

and the man page about this option of NetworkManager:


#8

All of them.

apollo is the server rather than the hosted site. I don’t think it’s intended that it’s accessed by users directly (same as if you access the forum by IP address instead of URL).

If you disable network connectivity checks, Network Manager won’t know if the connection is “active”.

If you disable pacman-mirrors repo updates you’ll have to manage your mirror list manually.

Given Arch is pretty security-concious, and Manjaro isn’t very much different, these are very minimal “contacts” where no data is transmitted from your PC to a server. Both instances are the same as you accessing a web site in a browser so I think you’re probably being overly paranoid.


#9

Pacman-mirrors: None

Pacman-mirrors is a crucial component in a Manjaro system and cannot be removed or deactivated.

You can inform yourself of its function reading this

wiki page

and/or the

wiki man page

which also can be read in a terminal

man pacman-mirrors

#10

Can’t the automatic mirrorlist updates be disabled? Then if you never use it it won’t do anything?


#11

When you run pacman-mirrors it will as minimum - if network connection is availabale - always download the latest mirror file from github.

If you never use pacman-mirrors then you will - as you pointed out - have to maintain your mirror list by hand.


#12

Ah, good, yes.

So, just confirming the point that pacman-mirrors only communicates with web servers when you run it, and that’s to be expected of any software that pulls in data from the internet.


#13

Not if Pamac is installed currently, without disabling / masking the mirrorlist timer service anyway.

Bloody timer services keep being reactivated after Pamac updates.

I thought I masked them previously but latest Pamac update reactivated them, cleaned my cache and regenerated a mirrorlist.

Could have just disabled them, can’t remember, but they are definitely masked now.


#14

Pamac is a nice and handy software for searching repo and AUR.

But those pesky services should be available for disabling.


#15

Agree, hence the feature request in github … crickets so far though.


#16

I think it download the available mirror list when the packages is updated.


#17

There used to be a configuration option to disable that; I’m not sure if that’s still an option or not.


#18

there was an option to don’t update user mirror list on update.
now it just update the mirror-list available for pacman-mirrors. not the /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist


#19

There is an option to disable automatic mirrorlist regeneration, but the repo.manjaro.org available mirrors is downloaded regardless.

## When set to True prevents the regeneration of the mirrorlist if
## pacman-mirrors is invoked with the --no-update argument.
## Useful if you don't want the mirrorlist regenerated after a
## pacman-mirrors package upgrade.
NoUpdate = True

#20

Correction: a post-install hook is triggered pacman-mirrors --no-mirrorlist so the mirror list itself is not touched.