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Installing Ubuntu Server 18.04, I see the networking config in /etc/netplan has a .yml file that talks about CloudInit and networking configuration not persisting across instances.

I have read https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CloudInit but am unsure what the exact use case for CloudInit would be, and why it would be on by default. My server is not on AWS nor any cloud platform.

So I've disabled this with /etc/cloud/cloud.cfg.d/99-disable-network-config.cfg as per the comment at the start of the config file, and assigned a simple static IP and that works fine.

To be clear: I am not asking how to disable it (I have done that, and am happy with the result). I just don't understand the reason for its existence, nor can I make that out from the documentation for it. Is it intended to replace DHCP in some way?

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  • very good question! Did you find out why it is on by default? Is it safe to turn it off if not on a cloud platform? Nov 13, 2019 at 12:55
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    @CiprianTomoiagă I disabled it and it's not caused any problems since then (although configuring netplan for static Ipv4 and ipv6 addresses was a bit tricky as yaml is so sensitive to indenting). Nov 14, 2019 at 8:03
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    It's completely safe to disable cloud-init, see here: How can I disable cloud-init? Jan 5, 2021 at 19:16

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It seems that unattended installation for ubuntu servers is implemented via cloud-init nowadays (check https://ubuntu.com/server/docs/install/autoinstall).

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