How to turn off ESM nag in every update?

Is there a clear and simple way to permanently turn off the ESM "Pro" signup notice that appears after every software/system update?

Whether manually checking for updates or responding to an update prompt, all of them end with the requirement to click "Remind Me Later." There's no option to simply turn it off, so it's a recurrent nuisance.

I have a simple home single-user installation of 22.04.3 LTS 64-bit, and from what I've read it seems unlikely the ESM is needed. Having clicked on the other option, I bailed after encountering the privacy disclaimer. I'm quite reluctant to have any of my information collected, shared, or sold.

I'd like to turn off the nag notice, and would appreciate if someone could provide a clear and simple method that I can understand.

Thanks for considering this request. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Originally I didn't think it was possible but I found this:

To disable the ‘apt-news’ and ‘esm-cache’ services in Ubuntu, you can use the ‘systemctl’ command to mask the services and prevent them from starting. Additionally, you can disable the APT ESM hook by renaming its configuration file. If you need to re-enable these services in the future, you can use the ‘unmask’ command or rename the configuration file back to its original name.

from: How To Disable 'apt-news' and 'esm-cache' Services in Ubuntu? | DeviceTests


Thanks mickee :slightly_smiling_face:
I tried two of the three methods and it doesn't work. I'm reluctant to do
sudo systemctl mask apt-news.service
for fear it will disable all apt news. Sometime during most sessions with this laptop I use a clumsy little script I wrote to run Software Update, apt update/upgrade/autoremove/clean, and Flatpak & Snap updaters.

Guess there's no way to stop the nag w/o messing that up?

Just in case it might help, I did a reboot just now. Alas, the nag's still there when I run the script that starts w/Software Updater
(via update-manager as 1st command line in the script).

Hello John,
do you have the file ubuntu-esm-apps.list in your root directory?
Here is the full path:

If so, open the file with an editor of your choice and root rights.
The lines with deb in front of them must be commented out using #.
Then save, close the file, restart and reload the sources.

This is what my ubuntu-esm-apps.list looks like now:


This link is also informative: GitHub - Skyedra/UnspamifyUbuntu: Remove spam from Ubuntu


Thanks! :slightly_smiling_face:

I took a look and found this:

$ cat  /var/lib/ubuntu-advantage/apt-esm/etc/apt/sources.list.d/ubuntu-esm-apps.list
# Written by ubuntu-advantage-tools

deb jammy-apps-security main
# deb-src jammy-apps-security main

deb jammy-apps-updates main
# deb-src jammy-apps-updates main

Presumably I don't want to disable " main" or "...updates main" and the esm stuff is already commented out. I guess The Company has reasons to really want me to sign up with them. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

Wow Thanks! :+1:

Fascinating info, and so helpful for anyone with good reasons to resist signup. Rather than go to war with Ubuntu, I'm just going to endure the nagging until I get around to switching to another linux. I figure when The Company is so determined to force users to their will, there's no way an individual or small group can easily resist. Sad day. :slightly_frowning_face:

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Yes ! This single edit does the job, works like a charm !
No other workarounds needed.
Tested this on several computers.

Many many thanks Muckel1

P.S.: Strange that they didn't use the normal /etc/apt/sources.list.d
Almost as if they tried to hide their customizations out of guilt or shame.
People only do such things because of bad conscience. So why, canonical ? Why ?


All those lines are ESM.
The uncommented lines are security updates that wouldn't be installed anyway unless you sign up for ubuntu-pro

I commented those lines out on several computers and this is the easiest fix I ever encountered.

Yes, I still get the normal security updates.


I am pleased if I have been able to help. :slightly_smiling_face:

As you say - this file only refers to the ESM stuff. All "normal" system updates will come as usual.


Thanks for verifying. :+1: :slightly_smiling_face:


I'm so glad you shared this fix, Muckel1! Our two antique MacBooks are now happily doing updates (seemingly more frequent lately) w/o the bothersome Pro nags. Thank you, and Thank you! :smiley: :smiley:


this is pretty easy to do, simply delete anything releated to esm in /etc/apt, I believe its preferences, I have a friend who's visually impaired who's developing a linux distribution based on ubuntu mate who told me about this tweek which he implamented, still no word about arctica greeter so don't get your hopes up

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Welcome @nownownownownownowno to the community!