Canonical’s Ubuntu Core 20, a minimal, containerised version of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for Internet of Things (IoT) devices and embedded systems, is now generally available. This version bolsters device security with secure boot, full disk encryption, and secure device recovery. Ubuntu Core builds on the Ubuntu application ecosystem to create what are said to be ultra-secure smart things.
“Every connected device needs guaranteed platform security and an app store,” says Canonical’s CEO, Mark Shuttleworth. “Ubuntu Core 20 enables innovators to create highly secure things and focus entirely on their own unique features and apps, with confinement and security updates built into the operating system.”
Ubuntu Core 20 addresses the cost of design, development and maintenance of secure devices, with regular, automated and reliable updates included. Canonical works with silicon providers and ODMs to streamline the entire process to bring a new device to market. The company and its partners offer SMART START, a fixed-price engagement to launch a device that covers consulting, engineering and updates for the first 1,000 devices on certified hardware, to reduce IoT project risk.
The release is said to build on the strengths of Ubuntu Core. Best-in-class security updates support controlled and cost-effective unattended software updates for OEM (original equipment maker) fleets that fix everything, everywhere, fast. A minimal attack surface for OS and apps, with no unused software installed in the base OS, reduces the size and frequency of security updates.
All snaps on Ubuntu Core devices are strictly confined and isolated, limiting the damage from a compromised application. Provable software integrity and secure boot prevents unauthorised software installation, with hardware roots-of-trust. Full disk encryption eases compliance with privacy requirements for sensitive consumer, industrial, healthcare or smart city applications.
Ubuntu Core is widely available and certified on popular x86 and ARM single board computers, making it accessible to all. Canonical secures business critical devices for 10 years.
“App stores underpin the new wave of connected device business models,” says Galem Kayo, product manager of Ubuntu Core. “As apps move to the edge, the value of data in remote locations increases. Ubuntu Core 20 adds secure boot with hardware-backed full disk encryption to guarantee confidentiality from physical attackers.”
Tens of thousands of industrial and consumer IoT devices run Ubuntu Core, brought to market by Bosch Rexroth, DELL, ABB, Rigado, Plus One Robotics, Jabil, and more.
As one of the suppliers of drive and control technologies, Bosch Rexroth ensures efficient, powerful and safe movement in machines and systems of any size. “Building Bosch’s new ctrlX AUTOMATION app store with Ubuntu Core and snaps creates a software-defined industrial manufacturing platform with an open ecosystem, faster time to production and stronger security throughout the device lifecycle.
Industrial machine builders using this platform can break down the traditional barriers between IT and OT and free themselves from proprietary systems,” says Hans-Michael Krause, director of Product Management PLC and IoT, Bosch Rexroth.
Eben Upton, CEO of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK-based charity that works to put the power of computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world, comments, “Raspberry Pi and Ubuntu both foster the spirit of learning, discovery and invention in classrooms and startups around the world. From prototype with Ubuntu Server on Raspberry Pi 4, to production with Ubuntu Core on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, we offer the next generation of inventors a simple path to all of open source.”
451 Research is a global research and advisory firm that generates data-driven insight to empower technology and service providers, IT leaders and financial professionals to capitalise on their market opportunity. According to Christian Renaud, analyst at 451 Research, “Canonical’s SMART START offering is targeted at firms seeking to become connected product manufacturers, and it combines hardware certification, software and services to accelerate the development process. The company has pre-certified hardware (boards) based on either ARM or x86 architectures, has integrated with Raspberry Pi (any model), and offers to perform integration with a customer-selected board if they are not pre-certified.”