Canonical has announced the release of Ubuntu 17.10 featuring a new GNOME desktop on Wayland, and new versions of KDE, MATE and Budgie to suit a wide range of tastes. On the cloud, version 17.10 brings Kubernetes 1.8 for hyper-elastic container operations, and minimal base images for containers.
“Ubuntu 17.10 is a milestone in our mission to enable developers across the cloud and the Internet of Things,” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO and founder of Canonical. “With the latest capabilities in Linux, it provides a preview of the next major LTS and a new generation of operations for AI, container-based applications and edge computing.”
Secured App Distribution with Snaps
In the 6 months since April 2017, the number of snaps has doubled with over 2,000 now available for Ubuntu, Debian, Solus and other Linux distributions. Snaps are a single delivery and update mechanism for an application across multiple Linux releases, and would improve security by confining the app to its own set of data. Hiri, Wavebox, and the Heroku CLI are notable snaps published during this cycle.
Ubuntu 17.10 features platform snaps for GNOME and KDE which enable developers to build and distribute smaller snaps with shared common libraries. Delta updates would already ensure that snap updates are generally faster, use less bandwidth, and are more reliable than updates to traditional deb packages in Ubuntu.
The catkin Snapcraft plugin enables Robot Operating System (ROS) snaps for secured, “easily” updated robots and drones. There are many new mediated secured interfaces available to snap developers, including the ability to use Amazon Greengrass and Password Manager.
Ubuntu 17.10 ships with the 4.13 based Linux kernel, enabling the latest hardware and peripherals from ARM, IBM, Dell, Intel, and others. The 17.10 kernel adds support for OPAL disk drives and numerous improvements to disk I/O. Namespaced file capabilities and Linux Security Module stacking would reinforce Ubuntu’s “leadership” in container capabilities for cloud and bare-metal Kubernetes, Docker and LXD operations.
Canonical’s Distribution of Kubernetes, CDK, supports the latest 1.8 series of Kubernetes. In addition to supporting the new features of Kubernetes 1.8, CDK also enables native cloud integration with AWS Cloud, native deployment and operations on VMWare, Canal as an additional networking choice, and support for the IBM zSeries mainframe.
Netplan by Default
Network configuration has over the years become fragmented between NetworkManager, ifupdown and other tools. Ubuntu release 17.10 introduces netplan as the standard declarative YAML syntax for configuring interfaces in Ubuntu. Netplan is backwards compatible, enabling interfaces to continue to be managed by tools like NetworkManager, while providing a “simple” overview of the entire system in a single place.
New installations of Ubuntu 17.10 will use Netplan to drive systemd-networkd and NetworkManager. Desktop users will see their system fully managed by NetworkManager as in previous releases. On Ubuntu server and in the cloud, users now have their network devices assigned to systemd-networkd in netplan. Ifupdown remains supported; upgrades will continue to use ifupdown and it can be installed for new machines as needed.