Category Archives: Ubuntu 20.04

Uninstall snapd from ubuntu 20.04

In my last post I found out who was to blame for filling my complete disk. It was this new and fu**** slow snapd added to ubuntu in the last few moments before release to get into the app market business. I decided to live without this feature and uninstalled it:

snap list | awk '{print $1}' | xargs -rn1 sudo snap remove

After letting this run a few times i tried to uninstall the remaining snaps manually with

sudo snap remove <name>

Some refused to uninstall but I continued with unmounting its volume and getting rid of snapd from the system:

sudo umount /snap/core/<replace_with_number_in_your_folder>
sudo apt purge snapd

In the end i cleaned up any stuff left from snapd:

rm -rf ~/snap
sudo rm -rf /snap
sudo rm -rf /var/snap
sudo rm -rf /var/lib/snapd

In the end removing all snaps freed about 20GB of data. I will reinstall everything based on apt as usual and will then be back at maybe 15GB of saved space without snapd.

Next to this space problem all the apt installed applications start seconds faster.

Thanks for the long years of great operating system but that’s a way I won’t go with you.

Remove old/disabled snaps from the system – ubuntu why…

The new snap system starts eating my system partition. Next to being slow it also holds old backups of upgraded snaps. Ubuntu itself has no option to disable that. You can only lower the number of old versions by using

sudo snap set system refresh.retain=2

which will limit the number to one live and one backup copy. But what if you also don’t need or want that backup copy? refresh.retain doesn’t allow 1:

sudo snap set system refresh.retain=1

error: cannot perform the following tasks:
- Run configure hook of "core" snap (run hook "configure": retain must be a number between 2 and 20, not "1")

I didn’t further check how to remove that but used the following one-liner to get rid of old versions:

sudo su
snap list --all | awk '$6~"disabled"{print $1" --revision "$3}' | xargs -rn3 snap remove

Next to those backups also the /var/lib/snapd/cache folder holds a massive amount of space on my machine. I considered it to be safe to delete:

sudo rm -f /var/lib/snapd/cache/*

This cleanup of snapd folder freed around 12GB of data on my root partition.

Add docker to unattended-upgrades in ubuntu 20.04

If you want your server to install docker updates automatically then you need to add the docker repository to the list of allowed origins. Otherwise docker updates will stay untouched by unattended-update which will looks similar to this when you login and check which updates need to be installed. Had that quite some times until I decided to look into this.

sudo apt dist-upgrade 
The following packages will be upgraded: docker-ce docker-ce-cli

As you can see all docker packages (coming from weren’t updated. This happens because this origin isn’t in the allowed origin list of unattended-upgrade. You can see metadata of the repository by running

apt-cache policy

There you will find an entry like this

 500 focal/stable amd64 Packages
     release o=Docker,a=focal,l=Docker CE,c=stable,b=amd64

The important part is the o and a in this definition. Those state the origin and the archive.

To allow the docker repo as an origin you need to open /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades with root access and add


to the list in Unattended-Upgrade::Allowed-Origins. The syntax is short for “origin:archive”.

Here the allowed origins list from my file as an example:

Unattended-Upgrade::Allowed-Origins {

I replaced the archive name focal with the variable distro_codename like the existing examples also did. This will help in a future dist upgrade if you plan to upgrade your os for example with the next lts version.

With those changes in place unattended-upgrade should also install updates for docker from now on.

The same procedure can be followed to add other repositories to this list as well.