The controversial Pi update just adds Microsoft’s VS Code repo in a separate file in sources.list.d. No actual packages were installed. [credit:
Jim Salter ]
We were recently alerted to something of a tempest in a teapot: when the Raspberry Pi Foundation made it easier to install Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code development environment, some Linux users mistook it for a sort of Mark of the Beast, with concerns being raised about telemetry and “what Microsoft repo secretly installed without your knowledge.”
It’s true that an update recently pushed to Raspberry Pi OS added a Microsoft repo to Raspberry Pi OS systems—but it’s not true that it added any actual packages whatsoever.
Investigating the changes
Luckily, my own Raspberry Pi 400 was running Ubuntu, not Raspberry Pi OS, which made it easy to switch back to see what changes occurred in the system. Equally luckily, the Raspberry Pi 400 is almost ideally suited to distro-hopping—all I needed to do to get a pre-update version of Pi OS running was to power my Pi off, swap SD cards from the Ubuntu card I had been using to my old Pi OS card, and then fire it back up. Presto, a pre-update Pi!