Ubuntu Core 16 delivers foundation for secure IoT

November 04, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Canonical – the company that is the commercial face of Ubuntu – has issued Ubuntu Core 16 for the Internet of Things (IoT), with regular and reliable security updates, and app stores for intelligent connected devices. Ubuntu Core is a tiny, transactional version of Ubuntu for IoT devices and large container deployments. It runs a new breed of super-secure, remotely upgradeable Linux app packages known as snaps.

Major features of the package include; snap confinement ensures applications are trusted only with necessary data; the code meets industry and regulatory requirements for updates, operations and security; and provides mechanisms for ISV, manufacturer and enterprise control of updates.


The Ubuntu Core promises ‘groundbreaking’ 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.


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.


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.


“Ubuntu Core secures the Internet of Things and provides an app store for every device,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical.


Linaro CEO George Grey said, “Ubuntu Core 16 will help developers get their products to market quickly using snaps, bringing a new generation of Linux based IoT smart devices to the market.”


Dell’s Jason Shepherd, Director of Strategy and Partnerships, IoT, comments, “As companies continue to embrace Internet of Things solutions, security and quick, easy system updates are critical. 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.”


Mac Devine, IBM Vice President & CTO of Emerging Technology & Advanced Innovation, Cloud Division, notes: "With the cognitive era producing more intelligent devices, fundamental changes are needed to handle the volume of