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Doing a little light reading in my server's /var/log/ directory today and found some logs I'm not familiar with - ubuntu-advantage.log.

The log has repeating contents like this

2021-08-01 03:25:21,947 - ua_update_messaging.py:(347) [DEBUG]: Updating UA messages for APT and MOTD.
2021-08-01 03:25:21,947 - util.py:(419) [DEBUG]: Reading file: /etc/os-release
2021-08-01 03:25:21,994 - util.py:(419) [DEBUG]: Reading file: /var/lib/ubuntu-advantage/private/machine-token.json
2021-08-01 03:25:21,994 - config.py:(442) [DEBUG]: File does not exist: /var/lib/ubuntu-advantage/private/machine-token.json
2021-08-01 03:25:22,008 - util.py:(419) [DEBUG]: Reading file: /var/lib/ubuntu-advantage/private/machine-token.json
2021-08-01 03:25:22,009 - config.py:(442) [DEBUG]: File does not exist: /var/lib/ubuntu-advantage/private/machine-token.json
2021-08-01 15:34:22,023 - ua_update_messaging.py:(347) [DEBUG]: Updating UA messages for APT and MOTD.
2021-08-01 15:34:22,036 - util.py:(419) [DEBUG]: Reading file: /etc/os-release
2021-08-01 15:34:22,080 - util.py:(419) [DEBUG]: Reading file: /var/lib/ubuntu-advantage/private/machine-token.json
2021-08-01 15:34:22,080 - config.py:(442) [DEBUG]: File does not exist: /var/lib/ubuntu-advantage/private/machine-token.json
2021-08-01 15:34:22,096 - util.py:(419) [DEBUG]: Reading file: /var/lib/ubuntu-advantage/private/machine-token.json
2021-08-01 15:34:22,096 - config.py:(442) [DEBUG]: File does not exist: /var/lib/ubuntu-advantage/private/machine-token.json

It looks like every 12 hours it wakes up, looks for something on my system, does not find it, and goes away.

I don't remember installing anything called ubuntu advantage on purpose and from what I can tell, it's used for systems that are past their EOL, which this 18.04 system is decidedly not.

The first log dates from this May.

Also, I can't find a service called ubuntu advantage or an entry in cron.

What is this thing trying to to do, how is it running, and how do I get rid of it?

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1 Answer 1

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After running upgrade from 16.04 LTS to 18.04 LTS I was very surprised with Ubuntu Advantage Tools installation and ESM existence.

I do not need its enterprise-oriented functionality.

So we can simply remove Ubuntu Advantage Tools by

sudo apt-get purge --autoremove ubuntu-advantage-tools

then reboot and enjoy.

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  • I tried that, but stopped because it also wanted to remove ubuntu-minimal metapackage. Aug 13, 2021 at 11:49
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    Removal of ubuntu-minimal is safe, it is just meta-package. I'm currently running about five 18.04 LTS systems without this package installed.
    – N0rbert
    Aug 13, 2021 at 18:50
  • Thanks. Do you happen to know what triggers the script to run? I could not find it in cron or anywhere. I hate to say they were being sneaky but.... Aug 13, 2021 at 19:15
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    Really I do not know (maybe, yet). I'm avoiding things which make Ubuntu to act like Window$ 10. So I usually remove both ubuntu-advantage-tools and unnattended-upgrades from systems which are managed by me.
    – N0rbert
    Aug 13, 2021 at 19:17
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    I agree with your approach on this! I removed the metapackage from most of my systems. I had to mark a few packages as manually installed on one of them, but glad to be rid of this useless ubuntu-advantage thing. Aug 13, 2021 at 19:43

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