Many users Raspberry Pi have realized that a recent system update secretly installs a repository of Microsoft. Here’s what’s going on and how to clean up your OS from Redmond’s long manus.
Raspberry Pi OS and the hidden Microsoft repo
One of the possible operating systems that can be used on the Raspberry Pi is Raspberry Pi OS, whose first release, called Raspbian, dates back to 2015 while the last one was recently released. This distribution is based on the famous Debian, and is the one that is officially supported and published by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. A real concentration of open source, therefore, a reason that amplifies the echo of the discovery made by the Reddit user fortysix_n_2. The latest system update introduces, without the administrator’s consent, a Microsoft repository. This is the situation of one of my Raspberry which I haven’t updated for a long time. As you can see from the first screenshot, the repository is not present.
After giving the update, the system notifies me of the following updates:
And here’s the Microsoft repository added silently.
A drop in the ocean of data collection
With this repository present in your system, every time you perform an update a ping to a Microsoft server is automatically performed. The Redmond house, therefore, will know that you are using the Raspberry Pi operating system, that maybe you have one and your IP address. Profiling that will become more and more accurate by browsing GitHub, Bing, and so on.
Of course, if you think about your smartphone it’s almost laughable to believe that this is a strategy implemented by Microsoft in league with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to start spying on its users. The official motivation is certainly more credible: to make it easier to install Microsoft’s open source IDE, Visual Studio Code, recently officially supported on Linux ARM devices, such as the Raspberry Pi.
How to eliminate the problem
Do you want to continue using Raspberry Pi OS and get rid of the Microsoft repository? Here’s how to do it. Run the directive sudo nano /etc/hosts and add the following line:
Now execute the following directives:
sudo apt-mark hold raspberrypi-sys-mods sudo rm -vf /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/microsoft.gpg #elimina la chiave GPG di Microsoft sudo touch /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/microsoft.gpg #crea file omonimo sudo chattr +i /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/microsoft.gpg #lo proteggere da scrittura sudo remove /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vscode.list