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InfoQ Homepage News Canonical Launches a Stripped Down Version of Ubuntu for Cloud

Canonical Launches a Stripped Down Version of Ubuntu for Cloud

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Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distribution on the cloud launched a lightweight cloud-optimised version of the OS called Snappy Ubuntu Core.

“What if your cloud instances could be updated with the same certainty and precision as your mobile phone?”, asks Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical. Having launched an OS designed to run mobile phones, Canonical is all set to bring the reliability and security of a mobile OS to the cloud. Dubbed as “Snappy Ubuntu Core”, the brand new OS combines the best of the ground-breaking image-based Ubuntu remix known as Ubuntu Touch for phones and tablets with the base Ubuntu server operating system trusted by millions of instances in the cloud.

According to the official website, Ubuntu Core is a new rendition of Ubuntu for the cloud with transactional updates. Ubuntu Core is a minimal server image with the same libraries as today’s Ubuntu, but applications are provided through a simpler mechanism. Canonical calls the modern, web-scale applications as “snappy” applications. Snappy apps and Ubuntu Core itself can be upgraded atomically and rolled back if needed providing better reliability for applications running in containers.

“Ubuntu Core builds on the world’s favourite container platform and provides transactional updates with rigorous application isolation. This is the smallest, safest platform for Docker deployment ever, and with snappy packages, it’s completely extensible to all forms of container or service. We’re excited to unleash a new wave of developer innovation with snappy Ubuntu!”, says Mark.

Snappy Ubuntu Core has the following features:

  • Secure - Snappy applications are confined by Canonical’s AppArmor kernel security system, which delivers rigorous MAC-based isolation and human-friendly security profiles. In snappy editions of Ubuntu, administrators can isolate applications from one another like it is done in mobile phones, making it much safer to install applications in the cloud.
  • Reliable - Snappy delivers reliable updates which can update your servers on the cloud faster while fixing security problems automatically. It is designed to deliver the benefits of Ubuntu and the open source community, creating a trustworthy platform for scale-out computing.
  • Better developer experience - Creating snappy Ubuntu apps is much easier than traditional packaging. Developers bundle all the dependencies in a single package and publish them. There is no need to become an Ubuntu developer or to comply with complex packaging rules in order to publish applications for Ubuntu Core.
  • Docker support - Snappy Ubuntu Core is designed to run Docker containers. It is optimised to deploy and manage web-scale workloads packaged in containers.
  • Extensibility - Ubuntu Core supports many modular frameworks that can be provided vendors in collaboration with Canonical. They can also provide services to applications that depend on them. Docker is the first framework for Ubuntu Core.

Snappy Ubuntu Core is currently in Alpha which is available on Microsoft Azure and KVM hypervisors.

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