Canonical Brings Kubernetes to Ubuntu

Canonical has worked with Google to bring its own version of the open source container tool, Kubernetes, to its Linux distribution.

Christine Hall

September 30, 2016

3 Min Read
Canonical Brings Kubernetes to Ubuntu

It appears as if the guys and gals at Canonical have been working overtime to stay ahead in the cloud, where its Linux distribution, Ubuntu, is the decisive winner as far as the number of deployments goes. Evidently, they'd like to keep it that way. On Tuesday the company unveiled its own fully supported enterprise distribution of Kubernetes. This comes only a week after the company announced it had worked with IBM to bring its own implementation of OpenStack to Big Blue's hardware.


If you don't know, Kubernetes is a container tool for DevOps that was originally developed by Google but which is now managed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and available under the Apache open source license. To develop its own distribution, Ubuntu copied its IBM mainframe move and worked with the source, in this case Google. They've come up with what Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth is calling a "pure, vanilla version" of the platform.


"Companies moving to hyper-elastic container operations have asked for a pure Kubernetes on Ubuntu with enterprise support," explained Dustin Kirkland, head of Canonical's platform products. "Our focus is operational simplicity while delivering robust security, elasticity and compatibility with the Kubernetes standard across all public and private infrastructure."

The project is currently in public beta, with general availability planned "in the coming weeks," to coincide with the 2.0 release of Juju, Ubuntu's easy-to-use application and service modeling tool. Ubuntu also plans to offer packages that will integrate the distro with Docker Swarm and  Mesosphere.

Ubuntu's Kubernetes will be available on all cloud platforms that support Ubuntu -- meaning just about anywhere, as Ubuntu is the most deployed Linux distro in the cloud. It's not just for the public cloud, however. It will also be available anywhere the need for containers arises, including bare metal, provisioned by MAAS.

"We're offering Google's Kubernetes across both public and private clouds," Shuttleworth said. "You will be able to run it it on Azure, VMware, bare metal, whatever, and we make it easy."

Ubuntu offers both standalone support for Kubernetes or support bundled with with Canonical’s OpenStack. Fully managed Kubernetes is also available.

For anyone who would like to get behind the wheel and take a test drive, there's a demo Kubernetes cluster available that includes logging, monitoring, and operational knowledge using the Juju deployment tool.

About the Author(s)

Christine Hall

Freelance author

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001 she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and began covering IT full time in 2002, focusing on Linux and open source software. Since 2010 she's published and edited the website FOSS Force. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux.

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