Canonical’s offerings on AWS¶
Canonical produces a wide variety of Ubuntu images to support numerous features found on AWS.
Server images - These are general-purpose customised Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) based on an AWS-optimised kernel. They include improved device drivers and relevant agents such as EC2 Instance Connect and AWS Systems Manager.
Minimal server images - These are designed for automated deployment at scale and have a reduced default package set. Things like interactive usage tools are omitted. They are much smaller, boot faster, and require fewer security updates over time due to the fewer installed packages.
Ubuntu Pro images - These are premium images that include certified components, hardening options, comprehensive open source security coverage for 10 years, kernel Livepatch service and optional 24/7 enterprise-grade support.
Ubuntu Pro FIPS images - These are images built on Ubuntu Pro, but with the FIPS-certified modules pre-enabled so that they are used from the first boot of the image.
Ubuntu Pro with real-time kernel - These are Ubuntu Pro images with a real-time kernel in them. They are used by enterprises in the automotive, industrial, and telecommunication sectors to unlock real-time compute and reduce development time by validating their code in a cloud environment.
Ubuntu server EKS images - These are optimised AMIs that run as worker nodes in Amazon’s Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). They include the AWS-optimised kernel, a slimmed-down minimal version of Ubuntu, and are optimised for performance and security on EKS clusters. They also the Kubernetes worker node related softwares such as
Each of these variations have multiple versions that are released at regular intervals. For instance, untested dailies maybe published everyday, while the fully tested release versions include interim versions published every six months and long-term support (LTS) versions published every 2 years.
The different variations and the means to find them in AWS are summarised below:
Ubuntu Image Options
Marketplace, Private offers
Pro with Real-time kernel
Optimisations for AWS¶
Generally, all images use Elastic Block Storage (EBS) and hardware virtual machine (HVM) virtualisation types. For Ubuntu versions 23.10 and newer, the images use ebs-gp3 volumes.
linux-aws kernel used in most of the available offerings enables specific AWS features:
Elastic Fabric Adapter - which allows high-performance applications to directly access the network adapter and get reliable transport with low-latency.
Nitro enclaves driver - which gives data processing applications a secure enclave with CPU and memory isolation to prevent data leaks.
AWS Graviton - The arm64 version of the kernel includes several patches to take advantage of the unique features of AWS Graviton native CPUs.
Appliances and paid-for offerings¶
Ubuntu Workspaces are virtual Ubuntu desktops powered by AWS. Workspaces is a paid offering supported through Amazon Workspaces and the image provided for workspaces is basically an Ubuntu Desktop running on EC2, with Ubuntu Pro services (ESM, livepatch) enabled by default.