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Recently, I discovered that, Unity lenses can access Internet to fetch information. Such as Video lens. But I want to disable that feature, since It is no use to me.

Can I disable access to Internet by Unity Video lens? If yes, How?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

I have found a solution recently, though not very glorious enough, but it works.

Disable the file responsible for accessing Internet:

  • First Open a terminal, go to "/usr/lib/unity-scope-video-remote" by the below command:

    cd /usr/lib/unity-scope-video-remote
  • Disable the "unity-scope-video-remote" file there by this command below:

    sudo mv unity-scope-video-remote unity-scope-video-remote.bak
  • Logout and Login again, to see that the video lens is unable to access the Internet.

If you want to re-enable the feature:

  • Just do the opposite of the above process, Go to "/usr/lib/unity-scope-video-remote" by the command:

    cd /usr/lib/unity-scope-video-remote
  • Re-enable the file by following command:

    sudo mv unity-scope-video-remote.bak unity-scope-video-remote
  • Logout and Login again, to see the effect

13.04 (64-bit)

  • In 13.04 the file is in a different directory. Using bash's brace expansion, the command is:

    sudo mv /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/unity-lens-video/unity-scope-video-remote{,.bak}
  • Re-enable the file by following command:

    sudo mv /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/unity-lens-video/unity-scope-video-remote{.bak,}
  • As an alternative to logging in and out just press Alt+F2 and type unity --replace

Will it disable the local video searching?

No, In this procedure, the local videos will always be visible. So, no worry !

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How to deactivate the Online Videos scope

This is as simple as removing the unity-scope-video-remote package, whose only function is to provide online video "recommendations" (see below) and searches. Open the terminal with Ctrl-Alt-T, and type:

sudo apt-get --purge remove unity-scope-video-remote

Then logout once and log back in; online videos should be gone.

Right now, Online Videos/Recommendations has NO relation to you

  • Looking at the source code for this package shows that it eventually intends to use the Zeitgeist service database to come up with "recommendations"; Zeitgeist logs events, history, etc. and also enables the search-as-you-type in the dash feature. Here's a more detailed article.
  • But as of Ubuntu 12.04, this isn't functional and the "recommendations" have no relation to you, your activities or your habits; they are simply sent from the Ubuntu video search server, either alphabetically or randomly:

    def update_recommendations(self):
        """Query the server for 'recommendations'.
    In v0, that means simply do an empty search.
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For 12.10

In 12.10, disabling online video results in Dash is made easier. Just search for Privacy in Dash and open this window.

Then turn off the option for Include online search results.

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I still see requests going to ... every minute or so, even when I'm not using the Dash at all. – nickf Oct 31 '12 at 22:58

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