Canonical’s “Snappy Ubuntu” Lands On AWS

Canonical’s stripped down “Snappy” edition of Ubuntu Core is now available on Amazon’s AWS cloud computing platform.

If you’ve followed along over the last few weeks, that’s not a major surprise. Snappy first launched on Microsoft Azure at the beginning of this month and then arrived on Google’s Compute Engine platform earlier this week. It was pretty obvious that AWS’s EC2 would be next.

snappyIf you’re a developer on AWS, you can now use Canonical’s Ubuntu Core machine image to quickly launch a new Snappy instance. Because of the way Snappy works, it only supports hardware virtual machines (HVMs) on EC2.

By default, Snappy doesn’t come with any frameworks or apps installed in order to keep the image as small as possible. Installing apps on Snappy is a bit different from the usual apt-get you may be used to on Linux because Canonical has developed its own system for app installs that isolates the different packages you install for security reasons. This also means that Snappy can do transactional updates to ensure that a failed update can never bring your system down (because it can always roll back to the old version).

While you could run a standalone Snappy-based server, it’s really meant for large containerized installs and that’s where the advantage of a minimalist and secure system like this comes into play.

“Ubuntu Core builds on the world’s favourite container platform and provides transactional updates with rigorous application isolation,” Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said when Snappy launched. “This is the smallest, safest platform for Docker deployment ever, and with snappy packages, it’s completely extensible to all forms of container or service.”

If you’re interested in giving it a try, here is a step-by-step guide for getting started with Snappy on AWS.