Canonical has announced the general availability of Ubuntu Pro, which promises even better, more timely CVE patches and compliance with a variety of regimes such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS.
It will be available to a wide range of users and is expected to be particularly affordable (or, in some cases, free).
Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu operating system, is keen to emphasise its nearly two-decade history of timely security updates, and hopes to appeal to a more stringent market with its new Pro version.
In addition to the 10-year security coverage and optional technical support that Ubuntu users already have, Pro subscribers will gain access to an additional 23,000 packages. There are “thousands” of applications and toolchains covered, including Node.js, Python, Rust, and WordPress.
Ubuntu Pro has already been in beta testing since October of last year, with participation from Nvidia, Google, and VMWare.
Pro will be available for all LTS versions beginning with 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), which was released in April 2016.
Pro users will be able to access FIPS-certified cryptographic packages as part of the package, which are generally required for Federal Governments and other organisations subject to compliance regimes such as FedRAMP, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS.
Pricing ranges from $25 per year for a workstation to $500 per year for a server, with a 30-day free trial. It’s also available on public cloud marketplaces (such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud) with hourly pricing that Ubuntu claims is around 3.5% of the average underlying compute cost.
Ubuntu Pro is still free for personal and small-scale commercial users with up to five machines, as it was during the beta period, while official Ubuntu community members can use Pro on up to 50 machines. Source