Canonical wants to optimize Ubuntu for scaled automated usage with the release of Minimal Ubuntu.
According to the company, Minimal Ubuntu is the smallest base image of Ubuntu, with images less than half the size of the standard Ubuntu server image and a boot time that is 40 percent faster. Even with a small footprint, Canonical explained Minimal Ubuntu still preserves full compatibility with standard Ubuntu operations.
It is designed for entirely automated operations and does not include the usual user-friendly utilities for interactive usage. The solution removes editors, documentation, locales, and other user-oriented features of Ubuntu Server, leaving only the vital parts of the boot sequence.
There is also a 29MB Docker image for Minimal Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, which serves as an efficient starting point for containers, enabling developers to deploy multi cloud containerized applications faster, according to Canonical. Minimal Ubuntu provides a balance of compatibility, familiarity, performance, and size, the company said.
In addition, Minimal Ubuntu uses optimized kernels on AWS and Google Cloud and the image ships with a KVM-optimized kernel and is tuned for boot speed and size.
By having fewer installed packages, the images avoid security vulnerabilities and require fewer updates. It also reduces bandwidth consumption and requires less storage.
“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,” said Paul Nash, group product manager for Google Cloud.