Ubuntu advantage tools should be removable without breakage of the core system functionality

Bug #1950692 reported by Norbert
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubuntu-advantage-tools (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

On supported systems please allow users to remove ubuntu-advantage-tools package without harm for the system.

Currently simple below command `sudo apt autopurge ubuntu-advantage-tools` will ruin the system as follows

$ sudo apt autopurge ubuntu-advantage-tools
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  distro-info* python3-debconf* ubuntu-advantage-tools* ubuntu-mate-core* ubuntu-mate-desktop* ubuntu-minimal* ubuntu-release-upgrader-core*
  ubuntu-release-upgrader-gtk* update-manager* update-manager-core* update-notifier* update-notifier-common*
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 12 to remove and 41 not upgraded.
After this operation, 6 687 kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] n


This is not acceptable.

Please change package dependencies and/or make UA configurable.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 20.04
Package: ubuntu-advantage-tools 27.2.2~20.04.1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 5.4.0-89.100-generic 5.4.143
Uname: Linux 5.4.0-89-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.20.11-0ubuntu27.21
Architecture: amd64
CasperMD5CheckResult: skip
CurrentDesktop: MATE
Date: Fri Nov 12 00:48:41 2021
InstallationDate: Installed on 2020-04-23 (567 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu-MATE 20.04 LTS "Focal Fossa" - Release amd64 (20200423)
SourcePackage: ubuntu-advantage-tools
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Revision history for this message
Norbert (nrbrtx) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in ubuntu-advantage-tools (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Lucas Albuquerque Medeiros de Moura (lamoura) wrote :

Hi Norbert,

This happens because ubuntu-advantage-tools is a package dependency of the ubuntu-minimal metapackage. Although it is possible to change that from a Depends to a Recommends, we will need to have a broader discussion about it.

I suggest sending the request into this mailing list to see the broader opinion of the Ubuntu developers:

Another thing we must take into consideration is that we need to also understand how update-manager is depending on ubuntu-advantage-tools and if we could also change the dependency there to Recommends.

But that can be also better discussed in the mailing list.

Changed in ubuntu-advantage-tools (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Opinion
Revision history for this message
Sebastián Salgado (cebas) wrote :

I strongly agree on that all ubuntu advantage packages must be optional as the service is.
This smells like marketing driven to me...

Norbert (nrbrtx)
Changed in ubuntu-advantage-tools (Ubuntu):
status: Opinion → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Robie Basak (racb) wrote :

Previous discussion here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ubuntu-advantage-tools/+bug/1686183/comments/44

However I agree with Lucas. The decision has already been made, so it isn't helpful to track an "open" bug on it since there is no action to take in Ubuntu just because this bug is open. If you want to request that the decision be reconsidered, please use the mailing list as Lucas described above. In the meantime, the correct status for this bug is "Opinion".

Changed in ubuntu-advantage-tools (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Opinion
Revision history for this message
Robie Basak (racb) wrote :

Ah - Lucas did already start an ML thread here: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2021-November/041688.html

Revision history for this message
Robie Basak (racb) wrote :

Anyone who wants this changed should participate in the thread. If nobody is prepared to make the case there, then this change is unlikely to happen.

Revision history for this message
Timo Aaltonen (tjaalton) wrote :

Just a drive-by comment, but regarding the size of the package in the old bug comment #44 it has surely grown a bit since.. the installed size is now 2.8MB, mainly caused by the apt-esm-json-hook library which itself is 2.2MB (on amd64).

Revision history for this message
wontfix (wontfix) wrote :

Just to add, the file listed at https://ubuntu.com/legal/motd to combat this package's "feature" since it cannot be removed, no longer exists in Jammy, 22.04.

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