MS Repo on Pi

Posted on: 4th February 2021

Woke up to the news1 of how Microsoft got their VSCode repo added in Raspberry Pi images. I run DietPi on one of my Pi and it is based on Raspbian. It was easier to work with when I first started on my self-hosting adventure because the DietPi repo holds most of the software I need for self-hosting making it as easy as selecting a checkbox to install the required software. A quick sudo apt update showed that the source list for DietPi had also been modified to include VSCode repo.

Reading through the forum post2, which was discussing this topic, revealed that this was done in a very shady manner about 10 days ago with no mention of this in the changelog. The reasoning? Adding a repo doesn’t download anything. It’s just a reference to a repo that holds VSCode. All true. Except…not everyone needs VSCode. Why do we need a repo that doesn’t do anything? Not every version of Raspbian needs it. I would go a bit further and say that it doesn’t need to be added at all in any version of Raspbian. Being beginner friendly? That’s such a lame excuse. Whoever seeks out VSCode and works on a Pi, is educated enough to know how to find and install this popular software.

I am mindful of the fact that it’s free software and its trivial to remove the entry from source list but taking user-hostile decisions like this leaves a bad taste and erodes trust. I can’t help but wonder if I should switch from DietPi to Arch on this Pi as well.

Day 79 - Join Me in #100DaysToOffload

tags: 100daystooffload pi