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InfoQ Homepage News Canonical Releases Ubuntu Core 20 for Iot Devices and Embedded Systems

Canonical Releases Ubuntu Core 20 for Iot Devices and Embedded Systems

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Canonical released a minimal containerised version of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (released early 2020) specifically for IoT devices and embedded systems. 

Ubuntu Core is an operating system for industry and consumer devices. It is available for both x86 and ARM computers. Additional features compared to previous Core operating systems are secure boot, full drive encryption, and secure device recovery. An enormous benefit in terms of security is reducing the attack surface due to both the containerization of the OS and the included app store. In the app-store you can download so-called ‘snaps’, which are running in a strictly confined and isolated setting. This limits the damage in case an application running on the OS is compromised. 

Canonical works with silicon providers and Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) to improve the process of bringing new devices to the market. They do this with a service called ‘smart start’, where they offer full service and support of their operating system for the first 1000 devices of certified hardware a company makes. The most familiar device that can run Ubuntu Core is the Raspberry Pi. It is easy to download Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi on this cheap and widely available board (and it’s compute module). You can try Ubuntu core itself in a KVM by following the instructions on this site

Ubuntu has been pushing hard to be the go-to operating system for robotics. One example of an existing robotics application running Ubuntu is the one of Plus One Robotics. They build robot perception software and solutions for material handling in industrial settings. Their software builds on the ROS ecosystem, which makes the step from development to production smaller. Although ROS 2 currently runs on Ubuntu, Mac and Windows, most ROS developers are still running Ubuntu to program and control their robotics applications. 

More information on Ubuntu Core can be found on their website. Canonical is hosting a webinar on February 24 on Ubuntu Core. You can download Ubuntu for IoT devices at this webpage


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