Canonical offers Ubuntu 21.10 version with cloud native features
Canonical Ltd. today announced a major update to the Ubuntu Linux operating system, with enhancements that enhance security, enable cloud-native application development, and improve artificial intelligence and learning innovation Automatique.
The Ubuntu operating system is one of the most popular versions of the Linux operating system. It has a strong presence in the enterprise, where it is commonly used to run virtual machines, servers and cloud computing services, as well as personal devices and robots.
Most of the new features in Ubuntu 21.10 Impish Indri release are a testament to its popularity with application developers and are designed to make their lives easier. For example, the release adds support for the PHP 8 programming language and GNU Compiler Collection 11 which includes front-ends for the C, C ++, Objective-C, Fortran, Ada, Go and D languages, as well as their libraries. Static analysis is also now supported, which Canonical says will improve developer awareness of security in low-level programming.
Another new addition is Gnome 40. Gnome is a free and open source desktop environment, and the latest version adds dynamic workspaces and touchpad gestures to increase productivity for busy developers. Also on the developer side, the release adds the latest Firefox browser snap created by Mozilla Corp., which helps ensure that users will also have the latest supported version of the browser available on multiple versions of Ubuntu.
Meanwhile, the Windows Subsystem for Linux – a compatibility layer for running Linux programs natively on Windows – now supports out-of-the-box graphical applications, so Windows developers will be able to run applications. Ubuntu desktop without modification.
Another area of major interest for Canonical with this release is ease of installation. The goal is to make Ubuntu a truly cloud-native platform that can run in any environment, cloud, or device.
To do this, developers typically like to install software from containerized images that host the components of those applications and can run anywhere. Canonical makes the Ubuntu OCI image 21.10 available on both Docker Hub and the Amazon ECR public registry, so developers can be sure that they have consistent and reliable images for every component of Ubuntu.
Canonical also maintains a set of application images for useful development software in addition to the base operating system, including images for Grafana, Prometheus, and NGINX. The Apache Cassandra database is a new addition, as are the Squid caching proxy and Bind9, a fully qualified domain name system. Each of these images is backed by a 10-year commitment to compliance and security updates, Canonical said.
Canonical also maintains images for MicroK8s, which is the simplified, easier-to-use, and high-availability version of Kubernetes, the open source container orchestration software. MicroK8s, which can install Kubernetes with a single command and create a Kubernetes edge cluster with only two commands, is now based on the latest version of Kubernetes 1.22.
With this, it adds support for Kata Containers, which is a secure container runtime environment with lightweight virtual machines that provides stronger workload isolation by using hardware virtualization technology as a second layer of defense. Canonical stated that Kata containers can now be activated in MicroK8 with a simple “microk8s enable kata” command.
Support for MicroK8s for IBM Z is also available in beta, allowing MicroK8s to run on mainframe hardware from IBM Corp.
On the AI development front, the Ubuntu KVM virtualization platform adds support for virtual graphics processing units from Nvidia Corp. to support computer aided design and 3D graphics applications. And MicroK8s adds support for the Nvidia 1.7.0 GPU operator, making it easier to run AI and ML workloads on Kubernetes.
Finally, Canonical said that Ubuntu now supports Kernel Electric Fence. KFENCE, as it’s called, is a runtime memory error detector for production environments that ensures overhead is kept low while identifying common memory errors. Canonical has stated that KFENCE is enabled by default on all new installations.
Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller said it was not surprising to see many new features on cloud native capabilities and AI / ML in the new version. “It’s also good to see Ubuntu continue to deliver one of its bets, which is Ubuntu on Windows,” he said. “The new version of Ubuntu appears to be a solid alternative for CxOs to build next generation applications.”
Ubuntu 21.10 is the last point release before Ubuntu’s next long-term support release, Ubuntu 22.04, which is expected to launch in April 2022 with 10 years of guaranteed support.