By default, Linux comes with a lot of extras. Usually, that’s a good thing. But, sometimes you want just the bare necessities of Linux life for your server, containers, and clouds. That’s where Canonical’s latest Ubuntu release, Minimal Ubuntu, comes in.
When Canonical says “Minimal”, they mean minimal. Weighing in at a mere 29MB for the Ubuntu 18.04 Docker image, Minimal Ubuntu could fit on a CD with hundreds of Megabytes to spare.
This is far from the first time Canonical has offered a small-footprint Ubuntu. The minimal Ubuntu ISO image, about 40 MB, is meant for people who download packages from online archives at installation time.
While that release is useful mostly for hobbyists, Minimal Ubuntu 18.04 Long Term Support (LTS) serves as an efficient container operating system. It enables developers to deploy and boot multi-cloud containerized applications faster. The minimal Ubuntu image is already being used as the standard Docker Hub Ubuntu 18.04 LTS image.
As Paul Nash, the Google Cloud Group Product Manager, said in a statement, “The small footprint of Minimal Ubuntu, when deployed with fast VM provisioning from GCE, helps deliver drastically improved boot times, making them a great choice for developers looking to build their applications on Google Cloud Platform.”
It’s not just true on Google Cloud. These advantages work on any cloud. It’s available on Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine (GCE), LXD, and KVM/OpenStack. On Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud, this new Ubuntu can take advantage of their hypervisors. Since it’s available on Docker Hub, you can also use it in Docker containers on any platform.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht