Canonical is making good on its promises, and it has started to disable the online search functionality in Unity’s dash, for Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus).
The Ubuntu community has easily received the news that searches in Unity’s dash will no longer trigger online searches. The possibility of turning off this feature has been around for a long time, and it has been done with a single switch from the settings. This didn’t really make Ubuntu users happy, but at least people were no longer upset about this feature.
The changes made by the Ubuntu team have a specific target. They don’t want to remove the functionality completely; they just want to disable it by default. The ability to turn it on will still be available in the settings.
Online searches are going away
Disabling online searches is not that simple since it involves more than just the operating system. The searches were redirected through Canonical’s servers, which stripped them of any identifiers, so infrastructure will also need to be changed.
“Just finished disabling remote search by default in #ubuntu xenial, demoting some of our default scopes to universe and removing the music online store packages. The remaining part is to be done by the online service team (disabling of some online scopes by default) which should happen shortly!” Ubuntu developer Didier Roche said on Google+.
The announcement was made just a few days ago by the Canonical’s Will Cooke, Unity desktop lead. It didn’t take long for the first changes to be implemented. The Audacious, Clementine, gmusicbrowser, Gourmet, Guayadeque, and Musique scopes are also getting removed. Moreover, the Music Store is being removed for 16.04 LTS onwards.
The only modification that will be made backported to other supported Ubuntu operating systems is the removal of the Music Store, the rest of the settings won’t be touched, at least not for active installations. Things could change for new installations, but that would mean that the ISOs will have to be regenerated.