54

I'm installing ubuntu server at the moment, and noticed it in the configuration phase.

What does this package do, what is it for?

68

It sends information about installed packages (but this is disabled by default, you can enable it using sudo dpkg-reconfigure popularity-contest) for package popularity/usage statistics.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuPopularityContest

http://popcon.ubuntu.com/

Package description:

The popularity-contest package sets up a cron job that will periodically
 anonymously submit to the Ubuntu developers statistics about the most used
 Ubuntu packages on this system. 

 This information helps us making decisions such as which packages should go on
 the first CD. It also lets us improve future versions of Ubuntu so that the
 most popular packages are the ones which are installed automatically for new
 users.
2
  • 1
    What is "the first CD" in this context?
    – erb
    Aug 1 '20 at 16:44
  • 4
    The description is from Debian which used to be distributed on multiple CDs (good old times before DVDs). The first CD contained minimal set of packages and you could use other CDs as "repositories" to install additional ones (useful for people without Internet access). So the popcon results helped developers to decided what packages put on the first CD. Oct 8 '20 at 6:09

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