Canonical released Thursday Ubuntu Core 16 for the Internet of Things (IoT), with regular and reliable security updates, and app stores for connected devices. It delivers regular updates that address security issues in IoT devices; with snap confinement that ensures applications are trusted only with necessary data.
It also meets industry and regulatory requirements for updates, operations and security; and provides mechanisms for ISV, manufacturer and enterprise control of updates, while enabling app stores and ecosystems for devices.
The Ubuntu Core delivers security, management, operations and upgradability in a compact, developer-friendly platform, thanks to its use of ‘snap’ packages. Snaps are securely confined, read-only, tamper-proof application images, digitally signed to the integrity of IoT software. Ubuntu Core is already in use in top-of-rack switches, industrial gateways, home gateways, radio access networks, digital signage, robots and drones.
Update Control allows software publishers and manufacturers to validate updates across the ecosystem before they are applied. Snap updates are transactional, which means that failures are automatically rolled back, giving developers the confidence to update their applications regularly.
“Ubuntu Core secures the Internet of Things and provides an app store for every device,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical.
The operating system and kernel in Ubuntu Core are also delivered as snaps, so the entire platform is transactionally upgradeable. All Ubuntu Core devices, from all manufacturers, will have free, regular and reliable OS security updates.
The universal or device-specific snap app store supports developers throughout the device lifecycle from beta testing to general availability, allowing them to sell IoT software as easily as cloud, enterprise and mobile software. A white label app store helps device manufacturers build a branded, differentiated device and software experience.
Gartner suggests more than half of new business processes will incorporate some elements of IoT by 2020. Ubuntu Core 16’s over-the-air updates, signed snaps, and security model help developers and device manufacturers reduce their time to market. Device manufacturers can choose from a range of chipset, SoC and single board computer vendors supporting Ubuntu Core, such as the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3, the Qualcomm Dragonboard 410c and the Intel Joule.
“As companies continue to embrace Internet of Things solutions, security and quick, easy system updates are critical,” said Jason Shepherd, Director of Strategy and Partnerships, IoT, Dell. “Dell has been working with Canonical on Ubuntu Core for over a year, and our Dell Edge Gateways are fully certified for Ubuntu Core 16. This enables Dell to offer the long term support and security that IoT use cases such as factory and building automation demand.”
“With the cognitive era producing more intelligent devices, fundamental changes are needed to handle the volume of data and real-time cognitive insight,” said Mac Devine, IBM Vice President & CTO of Emerging Technology & Advanced Innovation, Cloud Division. “Snaps allow developers to build and deploy applications in a format that’s easily portable and upgradeable across a number of IoT devices so that a cognitive relationship between the cloud and the edges of the network can be established.”