I read in another thread that Telemetry is coming to Manjaro. Will this be an optionally installed component? Will the user be able completely remove the component without harm to the system? Will the user be able to control what is shared and how often information is sent to Manjaro servers?
I personally prefer to not have any telemetry at all. No:
- dormant disabled components sitting on my hard drive
- error reporters or crash reporters
- usage stats collectors
- hardware surveys
- package installation metrics
I definitely do not want the above on daily driver installations for work or gaming. For work and gaming I want those environments to be clean and free of unwanted software. I like having some eye candy in the desktop environment but I’m rather picky with what components I allow/enable. Telemetry and spyware are some of the things I hate most vehemently about Windows and are key motivating factors of why I’m on Linux. I’m already looking at moving away from KDE because of their forced Telemetry component(s).
When I’m ready I’ll volunteer to be a tester with a separate installation of Manjaro specifically for testing and data collection.
For now we are thinking of opt-in feature with detailed information of reasons to have it.
Actually they are disabled by default and not forced at all.
Optionally installed means it is not installed unless the user initiates installation. I do not want to participate in any testing or data collection until I’m ready.
KDE User Feedback is disabled in the UI, but the component is installed and cannot be removed without breaking the KDE installation (based on info. obtained through googling). I don’t want a dormant disabled component sitting on my hard drive. It is space I could use for something else.
I abandoned Ubuntu because their installer sends data to their servers even if you don’t want to participate in their data collection. They don’t need a count of the number of systems running the Ubuntu OS. No distro needs install count tracker. Many/most of the Debian and Ubuntu derivatives have the popularity contest (pop-con) and apport (app reporter) components installed by default. The end user has the option of removing those components after an installation is completed. I want nothing to do with those components or others like it.
I chose Manjaro because it is Arch based, rolling release, up-to-date software, has a great wiki, a nice forum/community, and doesn’t come packed with crap.
Personally, I don’t mind telemetry - for e.g. I already participate in the Steam Hardware Survey.
I like the way Steam does it. There’s an explicit pop-up where they show you what data they’re collecting & require the user to click ‘send’.
I participated 1 time several years ago before Windows 10 was released while on Windows 7. I’m on a completely different PC now. I like Steam but they don’t need my info.
I do mind telemetry. I prefer not to be scanned, surveyed, listed, or indexed.
Here is where I got the information:
Under Category 4, click on Manjaro KDE. It brings you to the following PDF:
From the PDF…
Category 4 entry:
- KUserFeedback telemetry engine built-in & can’t be uninstalled or removed.
- Although “off” engine will function in background
gathering information & store in /home/user/.config/kde.org/files
- Instructed by KDE-org all distros desktops have to create forced
dependencies with cat.4 KUserFeedback telemetry if user is to install
KDE software like Kate or Dolphin. And Manjaro complied and made this
- But in Manjaro KDE desktop cat.4 KUserFeedback telemetry is mandatory; If removed the system freezes beyond repair.
Ah, it’s that very funny article. But actually keeping your data on your drive is not a spyware activity. This is how logs work for example.
I know how logs work. I don’t want KDE logging my usage/activities. The KDE dev team claims that the telemetry data collection is for them to understand where to appropriate development resources. I don’t want to participate and I don’t want it on my drive, but the component can’t be fully removed without breaking the system/installation. No thanks KDE.
You can patch it out if you don’t want it. KDE is open source.
Do you mean remove all of KDE or the user feedback component specifically? If you are referring to the latter, which package do I remove through pamac?
No, I meant you can compile all packages from source and maybe manually remove all KUserFeedback dependencies from code. Look up, maybe there are already projects that do this.
But honestly I don’t see the reason as KDE by default storing only particular app’s start count and overall time spent in it, those things can easily be found in your logs as well. But if this is principle then this is your way to go.
Ah I see. What you are implying then is that the article is correct based on the excerpts I posted in my prior comment. Because it is open source, I could download the source, modify and compile it. Even if I did modify and compile it, and it worked, it would mean that I would have to maintain that custom variant on my own. I may as well just fork the entire project and continue without them or as you said, look for a project to this for me. A fork of KDE is no longer KDE.
I really enjoyed KDE. If they feel end user data is required in order to manage their project, so be it. They don’t need my data.
Can tell you didn’t do ANY research, cause if you had you would know that is not nor has it ever been the case. I find when someone goes on and on as you have they usually have another agenda.
So you are fine with Steam, nvidia driver and other proprietary components that can do whatever they want on your system but not with KDE? KDE is at least open about what they collecting and allow you to disable sending that data.
I don’t have to use Steam and Steam is not an integral part of the desktop environment. Nvidia wasn’t my first choice but it was what I could purchase and afford at the time.
cough cough systemd Yeah, I know it’s not telemetry per se.
Mountain, meet molehill.
I echo other contributors to this thread. Don’t like the components? Patch the source and compile it yourself.
Or, use/learn something other than KDE.
Or, you can take a page from my playbook…works extremely well vs. MS telemetry: get a RaspberryPi, put pihole on it, and block the gathering sites. Problem solved.
I absolutely agree; just imagine all the other things you could install in those 480 KiB of disk space.
So you don’t mind Google keeping track of your searches and your surfing behavior?
By the way, Firefox has telemetry enabled by default, and although you can disable it, this component cannot be removed without breaking the browser. And let’s not get into Chromium or Chrome ─ especially the latter one.
You just said that you use Google as a search engine. I know a contradiction in terms when I see one.
Manjaro had nothing to do with that. We take our KDE packages from Arch.
Just my two cents about some replies, it is never looking good when you point fingers at others to ‘justify’ something you or others do. I know there is no bad intent in the end but I saw this method too many times to remind you there are better ways of still being right, but the right way.
Telemetry in several package formats
Snap by Canonical
Lets take a look at the application Spotify. It is recommended on the first page on Snapcraft store and shows the following statistics:
It is clear that Ubuntu will lead the pack, however also Manjaro is listed there. This means, if you have any snap installed you’re somehow in Canonical’s statistic. Since we don’t know how detailed their stats internal we can only assume that they comply with GDPR and other rules to secure your personal data. We can now debate if the Country and Distro with Version is a common information or a personal one. Someone in America uses Manjaro and has Spotify installed.
Adding a town like New York into the mix narrows the location of a person more down. So at least the current display with Country and Version of the used OS is kinda OK as it doesn’t have a personal data in it. However how many people on which OS use Spotify is not given to the public. I know from one of the last Snapcraft Summits, however, that an app developer gets the stats more or less in all numbers so he knows which distro, how many users and which version of his software is installed.
Snap has no opt-out, so either you use snap or not.
So if you look now at Flatpaks and https://flathub.org you won’t see any public available stats nor metrics for developers. However, there is demand for that. If you then follow-up the discussion at their forum you will find out that the lead developer is interested in providing stats to developers of software, however has no stuff to implement it properly. There is a community tool which provides stats however. There is also another tool, which works per app.
So does Arch Linux has some stats? Not really, but the German homepage has. It is called PKG-Stats. So you will figure out how many packages are installed, which and what the trend is. If you look closely you will find also Manjaro installs in that statistic, as the package pkgstats points to their servers. For example for manjaro-release. So our peak was in September 2016.
Sure you have to install that package to participate on that.
Thank you Philm.
It is the demand like you reference above that I do not wish to feed. When I’m ready to share/contribute I’ll volunteer.
As to the other commentors…
For example Yakuake which will be removed