Ubuntu Core on the Internet of Things

Snappy Ubuntu Core delivers bullet-proof security, reliable updates and the enormous Ubuntu ecosystem at your fingertips, bringing the developer’s favourite cloud platform to a wide range of internet things, connected devices and autonomous machines. Now available on a wide range of 32 and 64-bit ARM and X86 platforms.

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Secure critical infrastructure and devices

Critical infrastructure systems are an attack vector for espionage and disruption. Ubuntu Core devices are automatically updated to address systemic vulnerabilities - fast. Ubuntu Core also provides best-in-class application isolation based on kernel containers, minimising the impact of errors and vulnerabilities in third-party applications.

“Certified and supported Ubuntu Core platforms set the new standard for safety and security in connected devices” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu. “Device manufacturers who choose Ubuntu Core on certified platforms now have a popular platform that meets corporate and government requirements for security updates and management.”

Smarter, safer robots

Early users of Ubuntu on connected devices are pioneers in robotics, drones and open hubs for connected things. Ubuntu Core is the secure platform for super-smart stuff, with an app store that brings the very latest software straight to your device and easy connections to every cloud.

That's why Ubuntu underpins the work of the Open Source Robotics Foundation.

Ubuntu Core enables our new app store for open robots. That creates a market for innovation and competition in smart robotics, with apps and updates delivered straight from developers to a new class of open, intelligent robots powered by open platforms and open protocols.

Brian Gerkey, CEO of the Open Source Robotics Foundation

Software-defined appliances simplify telco CPE

Canonical is working with telecoms operators to simplify customer premises equipment acquisition, deployment and maintenance, building on the carrier-grade systems and application update mechanisms built into snappy Ubuntu Core. Instead of branded hardware appliances with fragmented management systems, customers can look forward to standard management systems on commodity X86 and ARM hardware for a wide range of software-defined CPE appliances delivered as snappy apps and frameworks.

“Snappy Ubuntu Core is a valuable and powerful IoT enabler for talented developers and inventors. Our mission is to support them with Deutsche Telekom's resources and business knowledge. We believe that our partnership will bring groundbreaking products and services created by creative individuals gathered inside and around Ubuntu community.” said Jakub Probola, of Deutsche Telekom's incubator, hub:raum.

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Amazing autonomous things

Commercial vendors of drones and other smart things can now deliver reliable software updates automatically, and sell software to their customers, on an open platform.

Erle Copter

We are delighted to reveal the Erle-Copter as the world's first Ubuntu Core powered drone that will stay secure automatically and can be upgraded with additional capabilities from the app store. An open platform attracts innovators and experts to collaborate and compete, we are excited to lead the way with open drones for education, research and invention.

Victor Mayoral Vilches, CTO of Erle Robotics

Smarter switches, radical routers

Next-generation switches are capable of running Ubuntu Core and a collection of network-centric applications.

Snappy Ubuntu Core 15.10 is now available as a development Linux kernel for whitebox and OCP switch designs. This allows any ODM, Network Operating System vendor, or whitebox reseller to offer switches with the same leading Linux distribution customers use on their servers and OpenStack environments.

Learn more about Snappy for Whitebox Switches

Ubuntu met our need for a secure and reliable platform that enables real-time updates and an open marketplace for network intelligence and it is easy to bring our Linux-based applications to Ubuntu Core.

Larry Wikelius, Director of Ecosystems and Partner Enabling at Cavium

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A marketplace for incredible apps on open devices

General-purpose, extensible devices like hubs, set-top boxes and gateways create a market for apps from a global developer community. “The app store for internet things is now open on Ubuntu,” says Maarten Ectors, VP of Internet Things at Canonical, the company that leads Ubuntu development. “Ubuntu makes it easy to develop amazing apps for incredible devices on your laptop, test on the cloud and publish straight to a global market of diverse devices.”

Enterprise grade, industry hardened

Ubuntu's widespread deployment in enterprise data centres sets the stage for its entry to industrial control and management systems.

“RTI is excited about the work Canonical is doing with the Snappy Ubuntu Core. It will enable RTI customers to more easily build secure distributed systems for the Industrial IoT” said Stan Schneider, CEO of Real-Time Innovations, Inc. “As a member of the Industrial Internet Consortium Steering Committee, I am also excited to have Canonical join the IIC.”

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The developer's favourite

The huge range of software on Ubuntu helps developers with sophisticated processing such as vision, sensor processing, motion and location. This popularity leads to frequent sightings of “Ubuntu in the wild” in projects as diverse self-driving cars, entertainment control systems, deep space mission control centers, and smart display systems. Ubuntu Core provides a production-ready platform for products that will ship across the globe, be hard to access physically and be connected to the internet for updates and security fixes.

We are inspired to support entrepreneurs and inventors focused on life-changing projects. From scientific breakthroughs by autonomous robotic explorers to everyday miracles like home safety and energy efficiency, our world is being transformed by smart machines that can see, hear, move, communicate and sense in unprecedented ways.

Maarten Ectors, VP IoT, Canonical

Cloud connectivity with Azure and AWS

Both Microsoft and Amazon have agreed to publish their IoT developer APIs on Ubuntu Core for snappy developers.

“Smart industrial system need secure cloud back-ends for data storage and analysis. Microsoft and Canonical are partnering to deliver developer APIs to enable Ubuntu Core for snappy developers. This partnership will simplify cloud-backed device development.” says John Shewchuk, Technical Fellow at Microsoft.

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One platform, from cloud to device

Ubuntu Core presents a single identical platform from cloud to device. “It has never been easier to develop for embedded devices,” comments Alexander Sack, who leads device engineering at Canonical. “Ubuntu Core on the cloud is a perfect platform for test and dev, I can simulate my device online and launch thousands of simulated devices on demand.” Canonical ensures that Ubuntu Core on the cloud and on devices present the exact same APIs and receive identical security updates.

Developers of ownCloud, the popular private personal cloud solution, have already published ownCloud in the app store, so any spare PC can be turned into a personal, private and secure file sync and share with Ubuntu Core.

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We are able to deliver the latest ownCloud straight to your device, adding features and fixing problems for worry-free, secure personal cloud systems.

Frank Karlitschek, founder and CTO of ownCloud

Access to the best enterprise software

As smart devices move into the enterprise they will need to integrate with existing identity, management and monitoring systems, and Ubuntu brings the widest range of cloud-era solutions to the table. For example, Forgerock is a widely adopted leader in identity and access management for all things including people, things, places and events, and will make available its solutions for developers on Ubuntu Core systems.

“Identity for IoT has driven Identity Management to increasing importance. We are very happy to jointly assure that each Ubuntu Core powered smart device can be securely identified and corporations can easily control access to it from the cloud.” says Lasse Andresen, CTO of Forgerock.

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Widest range of supported devices

Both ARMv7 and X86-64 are supported. Using standard PC equipment makes device prototyping easy. “A spare laptop or PC becomes your initial development board,” explains Alexander Sack. “Turn an old PC into a home storage server or prototype your robot app on a spare laptop or virtual machine.”

From low-cost consumer developer boards…

From the $35 ARMv7 Odroid-C1, which offers 1 GB RAM along with gigabit networking and a wide range of RaspberryPi-style expansion ports and pins, to the $179 2 Ghz Octacore Odroid-XU3 with 2 GB RAM and loads of display and I/O, Ubuntu works across the widest range of ARM developer boards, helping you develop your application secure in the knowledge that you can select the right silicon close the point of manufacture. Reducing the time between innovation and sales is a key advantage for Ubuntu based devices.

Ubuntu Core requires a 600 mhz processor with 128 MB RAM. Devices require 4GB flash for factory reset and system rollback. Ubuntu Core itself uses 40MB RAM leaving the rest for applications. The Beaglebone BlackOdroid-C1, and Raspberry Pi 2 are recommended ARM development boards. For x86, any spare laptop, PC or virtual machine will also serve as a development platform.

Read more installation details ›

BeagleBone Black board

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BeagleBone Black and Snappy Ubuntu Core together answer the pervasive questions around the Internet of Things, so I am obviously thrilled. Experts and developers often ask me how they can normalize their application environment and have confidence in the security of the system. With a reference design of Snappy on BeagleBone Black, Canonical and BeagleBoard.org have partnered to ensure anyone can build an IoT prototype quickly and affordable, without any barriers to taking their designs to production.

Jason Kridner, co-founder of BeagleBoard.org

… to high-end server appliances

The fastest Xeon server, and the massively multi-core ARM CPUs such as Thunder from Cavium, are equally well supported by Ubuntu Core. For high-end server appliances that power the next generation of switches and routers, to hyperscale container-oriented infrastructure and rack-centric transcoding engines, Ubuntu Core supports the widest range of server-class silicon for appliance designers and developers, and it’s already widely accepted in enterprise data centres too.

A selection of our Internet of Things

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