Except in cloud, Canonical builds the future of Linux and the Internet of Things, with the new Ubuntu Core version.
Canonical's Ubuntu is better known for Linux desktop, but the company makes money mainly from the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT), as its founder Mark Shuttleworth said. So, it's no surprise that Ubuntu Core brings Ubuntu 18.04 Long Term Support (LTS) to IoT devices.
Ubuntu Core, with 260MB image size, is the smallest version of Ubuntu Linux to date. This makes it ideal for both IoT and cloud containers.
Of course, size is not enough to become a good operating system for IoT. It does not hurt though. In addition to being able to run on devices with minimal system resources, the tiny size makes it less vulnerable to attacks by hackers.
In addition, to install programs in Core, the operating system uses authenticated snaps. The entire Core platform is made of strictly limited snaps.
The Snaps are the Ubuntu software packages that are resistant to spoilage. Even if a snap is in danger, Ubuntu Core snaps are confined to a sandbox. This in turn reduces possible damage. Ubuntu Core snaps are also regularly checked for vulnerabilities.
Another advantage for developers is that the same Core snaps run on Ubuntu server, desktop and cloud.
What if something goes wrong? That should not worry you. With snaps, each update keeps both past files and application data. This means that you can immediately restore the status of the app and device if something goes wrong when updating the snap.
"Canonical's Ubuntu Core puts the right code into a device with clean updates and management semantics," said Ian Hughes, IoT analyst at 451 Research.
Once released, each Ubuntu Core will have access to its own app store. Vendors can open this store to give their customers access to all standard applications or only to their own programs.
Another advantage of Ubuntu Core is that it comes with 10 years of low-cost security support. Even better, both OEM and the developer can control security updates. This gives developers and IoT customers the long-term security coverage that is not available on most IoT operating systems. IoT devices are already infamous due to the lack of long-term security support. Ubuntu Core gives IoT the kind of security we all want.
Ubuntu Core is ready for use on a wide range of devices from manufacturers such as Dell, Rigado, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung and NXP. It also supports 32-bit and 64-bit applications on ARM and Intel chips.
Prior to this release, the Eclipse Foundation found that Ubuntu, along with Raspbian, the special Linux distribution for Raspberry Pi and Debian, are the most popular IoT operating systems. Overall, 72% of IoT developers use Linux. With this new release, it is expected that Ubuntu Core will be even more popular with IoT developers, sellers and customers.