Ubuntu Core leverages containerisation to enforce a clean separation of the kernel, OS image and applications
The latest version of Canonical OS for IoT and embedded systems, Ubuntu Core 22, introduces real-time support for applications in robotics and industry. With a 10y LTS and a particular focus on security, Ubuntu Core is a containerised version of Canonical Linux-based OS specifically crafted for IoT devices and embedded systems.
Ubuntu Core leverages containerisation to enforce a clean separation of the kernel, OS image and applications. Additionally, it supports “on-the-air updates” to make it easier for customers to update their app in a transactional way and reducing network traffic by only transmitting diffs. Devices running Ubuntu Core can also have their dedicated IoT App Store, which controls which apps can be installed.
Ubuntu Core features specifically meant to ensure security are full disk encryption, sandboxed apps through Canonical snaps, secure boot using cryptographic validation of all components involved in the boot sequence, vulnerability scanning, and more. Additionally, Ubuntu Core provides a recovery mode that can be activated manually on boot or remotely via an API.
The most noteworthy new feature in Ubuntu Core 22 is support for real-time compute, which is available in beta. Ubuntu Core 22 includes a fully preemptible kernel, making it possible to enforce time-bound responses. Being fully preemptible means the scheduler can preempt threads in the kernel, including in critical sections, interrupt handlers, and interrupt-disable code sequences. Furthermore, Ubuntu Core sports a special kernel version using PREEMPT_RT patches to minimise non-preemptible essential kernel code sections.
Canonical is also offering its Ubuntu Certified Hardware program to silicon and hardware manufacturers to enable advanced real-time features out of the box. Thanks to real-time support, says Canonical, Ubuntu Core can power ultra-low latency systems and provide the required workload predictability for time-sensitive industrial, telco, automotive, and robotics applications.
Ubuntu Core 22 is available for several platforms, including Raspberry Pi, snapdragon, Intel NUC, AMD Xilinx, and others.