Ubuntu Core is a minimal, containerized variant of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS planned for use on embedded systems and IoT devices. It possesses a super-secure design with a provision for transactional updates via Snap apps. This major version supports device security with a safe boot, complete disk encryption, and reliable device recovery. Ubuntu Core is built on the Ubuntu application ecosystem for creating ultra-secure smart things.
Ubuntu Core 20 empowers innovators to generate highly secure things and concentrate completely on their unique features and apps, with security updates and confinement formed into the operating system. Ubuntu Core 20 addresses the cost of development, design, and maintenance of secure devices, with included consistent, automated, and stable updates. Canonical attempts with ODMs and silicon providers to streamline the complete process of bringing a fresh new device to market.
This organization with its partners offers smart start, which is a fixed-price engagement to launch a device that incorporates engineering, consulting, and updates for the first 1000 devices on certified hardware, to reduce IoT project uncertainty and any risk. Complete disk encryption facilitates compliance with privacy requirements for sensitive customer, healthcare, industrial, 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 ensures security for business-critical tools and devices for 10 years.
Founded in 2004, Canonical is a privately-owned company. Canonical is the administrator of Ubuntu, the OS for most extensive public cloud workloads as well as for the emerging divisions of intelligent gateways, self-driving vehicles, and advanced high-level robots. Canonical offers enterprise security, services, and support to commercial users of Ubuntu.
Major Features in Ubuntu Core 20
Ubuntu Core possesses a super-secure design with a provision for transactional updates. This version provides some of the security-focused features like full disk encryption, cryptographically authenticated boot process, and manual and remote recovery mode. Ubuntu Core 20 empowers innovators to produce highly secure things and focus entirely on their apps and features, with security updates and confinement, built into the operating system.
Secure Boot guarantees and confirms the authenticity of the software installed on your devices at each boot. Now you may think why is that significant? The reason is that IoT devices are shared and scattered everywhere and are physically accessible. A poor actor could simply get their way towards those IoT devices and change or modify the software on the device. Here is when Secure Boot comes into play, it prevents that by verifying that the boot occurs from the device manufacturer. Ubuntu Core 20 offers this feature for free.
The other key security feature provided by Ubuntu is Full Disk Encryption. This works under the same scenario as for Secure Boot; devices scattered in the field but running business-sensitive applications or privacy-sensitive with codes stored on the device, like private data such as audio or video recordings. Gadgets or camera applications such as Alexa devices come under this category. That data needs to be protected as that data can be hijacked because it is easily accessible. Canonicals’ Core 20 encrypts this data on the record so that bad actors cannot manipulate the devices and derive sensitive data from the device.
Before we move further, below is a list of primary features in Ubuntu Core 20:
- Full-disk encryption through TPM integration
- Recovery chooser and mode menu
- Raspberry Pi support
- A new recovery and reinstall mode
- Cloud-init support and Initial MAAS
As discussed earlier, the central focus of this release spins around security for IoT devices. Canonical points out the businesses about the security of IoT and other edge devices as they are quite vulnerable to data theft, hacking, etc.
Final Verdict – The Ubuntu Core 20
Ubuntu Core 20 is the IoT announcement utilizing snap rather than apt for package management. The Ubuntu Core 20 operating system is developed with the embedded security, thanks to snaps. This OS is created for developer productivity as everything here is modularized, containerized, composable – because of snaps.
Now if compared to other Linux’s, as most of them are more consistent in software architecture. But with Ubuntu Core 20, there are mechanisms for updating software over the air. All that is offered out of the box, while in the case of other Linux distribution, users need to create all features and infrastructure. Ubuntu’s Core 20 is one of the key innovations, which brings a security guarantee to the IoT field.