Canonical recently released a public beta of Ubuntu Pro. The tool should offer more comprehensive security than the standard version of the enterprise Linux distribution. The public beta is free for small-scale deployments.

With the introduction of Ubuntu Pro, Canonical wants to offer businesses more security functionality than the standard version of its Linux distribution. The new security functionality is aimed at business end-users who want confidence in the security of their operating systems, allowing them to focus on innovation instead of solving (security) problems.

According to CEO Mark Shuttleworth, the version was developed at the request of customers. After the company started rolling out long-term support (LTS) versions with a five-year security guarantee, more and more customers requested better security coverage of the open-source software.

Security functionality

The solution helps secure enterprise end users against known CVEs for thousands of applications and toolchains, including Ansible, Apache Tomcat, Apache Zookeeper, Docker, Drupal, Nagios, Node.js, phpMyAdmin, Puppet, PowerDNS, Python 2, Redis, Rust and WordPress.

The tool also provides compliance management functionality. Ubuntu Security Guide (USG) enables compliance standards through CIS benchmark tooling and DISA-STIG profiles. The Landscape feature allows users to manage various environments. In addition, users can access FIPS 140-2-certified cryptographic packages.

Ubuntu Pro is suitable for on-premises environments as well as large public cloud environments from AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. In addition, the tool covers open infrastructure such as MAAS, LXD, Kubernetes, OpenStack, Ceph/Swift and other open-source applications, including Kafka, Kubeflow, OpenJDK, PostgreSQL, Telegraph, Samba and Vault.

Cost

Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro solution is free for five workstations, which get the full set of features. Larger deployments require paid subscriptions. The cheapest subscription (infra-only) covers the basic operating system and private cloud components needed for large-scale bare-metal deployments. Broad application coverage is an additional paid service.

License prices range from €25 per workstation per year to €425 per server per year. When deployed in public cloud environments, licenses cost about 3.5 percent of the computing power used.

Tip: Canonical launches Ubuntu 22.04.1