Linux rules the world, but it doesn’t run the traditional PC desktop – and it doesn’t seem likely that it ever will.
But that doesn’t mean the Linux desktop can’t play a major role on the desktop. Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu Linux, is trying out a new version of its popular Ubuntu desktop.
One such move is the introduction of the Ubuntu Pro beta. This is an extended security release of the Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) releases.
Starting with Ubuntu 16.04 edition and including the latest LTS releases, Canonical will provide extensive security coverage for Critical, High, and Medium Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) to all open source applications and toolchains. Ubuntu for ten years.
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Yes, you read that right, you get security patches not only for the operating system, but for all Ubuntu open source applications for a decade.
Most of them are server programs, such as Ansible, Apache Tomcat, Drupal, Nagios, Redis, and WordPress. But, it also includes developer essentials like Docker, Node.js, phpMyAdmin, Python 2, and Rust. In total, Canonical supports over 23,000 packages. Indeed, it now provides security for, as Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth put it, “a security blanket for every package in the Ubuntu distribution.”
Canonical doesn’t do it on its own. It offers free, enhanced security in partnership with security management company Tenable. Robert Huber, Tenable’s Director of Security, said, “Ubuntu Pro offers a security patch guarantee for a wide range of open source software. Together we give customers a foundation for reliable open source.
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Beyond regular security, Canonical backports security fixes for new app versions. This allows Ubuntu Pro users to use the version of Ubuntu of their choice for long-term security without forced upgrades. Happy to continue using Ubuntu 20.04? No problem. You can run it until April 2030. Knock yourself out.
This new version of Ubuntu also includes compliance management tools through the Ubuntu Security Guide (USG) and the Ubuntu Landscape Management Tool. With this, your business can meet hardening and compliance standards such as CIS Certified Reference Tooling and DISA-STIG Profiles. Organizations can also access the FIPS 140-2 certified cryptographic packages they need to comply with FedRAMP, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS related work.
Why? It’s part of Canonical’s philosophy to stay committed to its community and to make open source easier and safer for everyone. For the most part, Linux desktops today are burdened with a piecemeal approach to long-term maintenance. With Ubuntu Pro, you can be sure your desktop will stay stable and secure for a decade while you focus on your business instead of updating your desktop.
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The Ubuntu desktop has become increasingly popular for businesses as well as fans. Shuttleworth said, “Over the past 15 years, we’ve seen a steady increase in the use of Ubuntu in the enterprise. … It’s now the most widely used Linux in the world.”
He continued, “I’m especially proud of the partnerships we have with companies such as Dell, Lenovo and HP. These allow anyone, anywhere in the world to go online and configure the very latest laptop or PC hardware to arrive with pre-Ubuntu. ‘for very high-end developer use cases.”
Shuttleworth remarked, “Since we first launched Ubuntu LTS, with five years of free security coverage for the core operating system, our enterprise customers have asked us to cover more and more of the open source landscape. under private commercial agreements. Today, we’re thrilled to offer the benefits of all that work, for free, to anyone in the world with a free personal Ubuntu Pro subscription.” This, Shuttleworth added, “is not a student edition, it’s not a developer-only edition, it’s for full commercial use for you and any business you own up to five machines.”
Ubuntu Pro desktop also supports Advanced Active Directory (AD) policies. This includes full support for GPOs, remote script execution, and privilege management. Or, if you prefer, you can use Landscape to manage up to ten Ubuntu desktops for free.
Users can get a free personal Ubuntu Pro subscription at ubuntu.com/pro for up to five machines. This free tier is intended for personal and small-scale commercial use. Paid plans start at $25 per year per desktop. The standard Ubuntu Pro subscription covers the full set of security updates for all Ubuntu packages.
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If you decide to move a large enterprise to Ubuntu, you can combine Ubuntu Pro with enterprise-grade support coverage up to 24×7. You can also extend your support plan to cover infrastructure programs such as MAAS, LXD, Kubernetes, OpenStack, Ceph storage, Swift storage and other open source applications.
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