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I'm running 12.04, and I've never downloaded any drivers for the installation of any peripheral devices. Yet, I noticed a fair few "Important security updates" involving drivers/utilities for HP devices/software.

I understand if the default installation of Ubuntu came with a set of drivers for these devices - and the update manager, having noticed that they live on my system, went and found newer versions, but still - given I don't use any devices - I'm either forced to download an irrelevant update, sift through the updates to check applicability, or turn off Update Manager altogether: none of which are desirable.

First; the obvious - can someone confirm that the list of "Important security updates" on the server that Update manager connects to, is not actually populated with every patch ever written (i.e. for all Ubuntu packages regardless of whether they're installed or not)? Unlikely, but..

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Could you separate each of your questions. The last paragraph is duplicated of another question, the first has poor relationship with the second. –  Braiam Oct 22 '13 at 6:19
    
fyi, i removed a cool sounding feature request (launchpad is the place for those) and a question about pinning which is a dupe (and if you think it isn't, Omni, please ask it as its own question. the format here is one question per, uh, question). –  djeikyb Oct 23 '13 at 3:31
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Yes, Ubuntu only installs updates for stuff installed on your system. But if you don't trust what Ubuntu is telling you, why trust me? If you want evidence, install ubuntu once with only the default packages, then again with every single package installed. You should be able to do a number of comparisons that will quench your thirst for empirical data.

Ubuntu by default includes tons of drivers for things that aren't currently attached to your system. The extremely common case is that right now I don't have device X plugged into my computer, but I might later, and I'll be pissed if Ubuntu doesn't just work even though it could, especially at the cost of a few kilobytes or megs. (and for more people than you might think, downloading drivers on demand is impossible. we need a working system all the time, not just when connected to the internet)

Ubuntu is not a good distro if you want extremely fine grained control over everything. You might be better off with LFS, slackware, or arch linux

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