The ultra-secure embedded Ubuntu introduces support for real-time compute in robotics and industrial applications.
15 June 2022: Canonical today announced that Ubuntu Core 22, the fully containerised Ubuntu 22.04 LTS variant optimised for IoT and edge devices, is now generally available for download from ubuntu.com/download/iot. Combined with Canonical’s technology offer, this release brings Ubuntu’s comprehensive and industry-leading operating system (OS) and services to a complete range of embedded and IoT devices.
IoT manufacturers face complex challenges to deploy devices on time and within budget. Ensuring security and remote management at scale is also taxing as device fleets expand. Ubuntu Core 22 helps manufacturers meet these challenges with an ultra-secure, resilient, and low-touch OS, backed by a growing ecosystem of silicon and ODM partners.
“Our goal at Canonical is to provide secure, reliable open source everywhere – from the development environment to the cloud, down to the edge and to devices,” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical. “With this release, and Ubuntu’s real-time kernel, we are ready to expand the benefits of Ubuntu Core across the entire embedded world.”
Real-time compute support
The Ubuntu 22.04 LTS real-time kernel, now available in beta, delivers high performance, ultra-low latency and workload predictability for time-sensitive industrial, telco, automotive and robotics use cases.
The new release includes a fully preemptible kernel to ensure time-bound responses. Canonical partners with silicon and hardware manufacturers to enable advanced real-time features out of the box on Ubuntu Certified Hardware.
Ubuntu Core provides a robust, fully containerised Ubuntu, which breaks down the monolithic Ubuntu image into packages known as snaps – including the kernel, OS and applications. Each snap has an isolated sandbox that includes the application’s dependencies, to make it fully portable and reliable. Canonical’s Snapcraft framework enables on-rails snap development for rapid iteration, automated testing and reliable deployment.
Every device running Ubuntu Core has a dedicated IoT App Store, which offers full control over the apps on their device, and can create, publish and distribute software on one platform. The IoT App Store offers enterprises a sophisticated software management solution, enabling a range of new on-premise features.
The system guarantees transactional mission-critical over-the-air (OTA) updates of the kernel, OS and applications – updates will always complete successfully, or roll back automatically to the previous working version, so a device cannot be “bricked ” by an incomplete update. Snaps also provide delta updates to minimise network traffic, and digital signatures to ensure software integrity and provenance.
Secure and low touch
Ubuntu Core also provides advanced security features out of the box, including secure boot, full disk encryption, secure recovery and strict confinement of the OS and applications.
“KMC Controls’ range of IoT devices are purpose-built for mission-critical industrial environments. Security is paramount for our customers. We chose Ubuntu Core for its built-in advanced security features and robust over-the-air update framework. Ubuntu Core comes with 10 years of security update commitment which allows us to keep devices secure in the field for their long life. With a proven application enablement framework, our development teams can focus on creating applications that solve business problems”, said Brad Kehler, COO at KMC Controls.
Customers benefit from Canonical’s 10 years security maintenance of kernel, OS and application-level code, enabling devices and their applications to meet enterprise and public sector requirements for digital safety.
Thriving partner ecosystem
Partnerships with leading silicon and hardware partners, including Advantech, Lenovo and many others, have established Ubuntu Core’s presence in the market.
The Ubuntu Certified Hardware program defines a range of off the shelf IoT and edge devices trusted to work with Ubuntu. The program uniquely includes a commitment to continuous testing of certified hardware at Canonical’s labs with every security update over the full lifecycle of the device.
“Advantech provides embedded, industrial, IoT and automation solutions. We continue to strengthen our participation in the Ubuntu Certified Hardware Program. Canonical ensures that certified hardware goes through an extensive testing process and provides a stable, secure, and optimised Ubuntu Core to reduce time to market and development costs for our customers.” said Eric Kao, Director of Advantech WISE-Edge+.