In the rapidly evolving landscape of Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded systems, choosing the right operating system is crucial for ensuring efficiency, security, and scalability. Ubuntu Core, a minimalistic and secure version of Ubuntu, has emerged as a compelling choice for powering IoT devices and embedded systems. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the fundamentals of Ubuntu Core, explore its applications in IoT and embedded systems, and provide insights on how to get started with development, along with hardware recommendations.

Understanding Ubuntu Core:

Ubuntu Core is a lightweight, container-based operating system designed specifically for IoT devices and embedded systems. It is built on the same foundation as Ubuntu, leveraging its reliability, security, and extensive package ecosystem while offering a streamlined and efficient platform tailored for resource-constrained environments.

Key Features of Ubuntu Core:

  • Transactionally Updated: Ubuntu Core employs a transactional update mechanism, ensuring seamless and reliable updates without risking system stability or security.
  • Snap Packages: Applications on Ubuntu Core are packaged as snaps, providing isolation, security, and effortless installation across a wide range of devices.
  • Security-First Approach: Security is a top priority in Ubuntu Core, with features like secure boot, app confinement, and automatic security updates, safeguarding devices against cyber threats.

Applications of Ubuntu Core in IoT and Embedded Systems:

1. Industrial IoT:

Ubuntu Core powers a variety of industrial IoT applications, including remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, and process automation. Its reliability, security, and support for industry-standard protocols make it an ideal choice for connecting and managing industrial devices and equipment.

2. Smart Home:

In the realm of smart homes, Ubuntu Core serves as the foundation for smart appliances, home automation systems, and connected devices. Its modular architecture and support for IoT standards enable seamless integration with a wide range of smart home devices, ensuring interoperability and ease of management.

3. Edge Computing:

Edge computing is revolutionizing data processing and analytics by bringing computation closer to the data source. Ubuntu Core enables efficient edge computing deployments, powering edge gateways, edge servers, and edge devices that process and analyze data in real-time, reducing latency and bandwidth requirements.

Getting Started with Ubuntu Core Development:

1. Setting Up Ubuntu Core:

  • Visit the official Ubuntu Core website ( to download the latest version.
  • Follow the installation instructions to deploy Ubuntu Core on your target device or virtual machine.

2. Developing Snaps:

  • Install the Snapcraft tool to create and publish snaps.
  • Refer to the Snapcraft documentation for guidelines on snap development, including packaging, confinement, and dependencies.

3. Testing and Deployment:

  • Utilize the Ubuntu Core device emulator for testing snaps and simulating device behavior.
  • Deploy snaps to production devices using the Snap Store or custom channels for controlled rollouts and updates.

Hardware Recommendations for Ubuntu Core:

1. Raspberry Pi:

  • Raspberry Pi boards are popular choices for Ubuntu Core development due to their affordability, versatility, and widespread community support.

2. Intel NUC:

  • Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) devices offer higher performance and scalability, making them suitable for more demanding IoT and embedded applications.

3. Qualcomm Snapdragon:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms provide integrated solutions for IoT and embedded systems, featuring powerful processors and robust connectivity options.


Ubuntu Core empowers developers to build secure, reliable, and scalable IoT and embedded systems with ease. Whether it’s industrial IoT, smart home, or edge computing, Ubuntu Core provides a solid foundation for realizing innovative solutions in a wide range of domains. By leveraging its features and ecosystem, developers can accelerate development cycles, minimize time to market, and deliver compelling experiences in the evolving landscape of connected devices.


An amateur radio operator, military veteran, jack of all trades and master of none.

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