Canonical has released the new Minimal Ubuntu for public clouds and the Docker Hub. Designed for automated cloud operations, it is said to be the smallest Ubuntu base image — fully compatible with all Ubuntu packages and 50% the size of the standard Ubuntu service image.

Paul Nash, Group Product Manager, Google Cloud, said in a statement, “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.”

Images of Minimal Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and 18.04 LTS are available for use now in Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine (GCE), LXD and KVM/OpenStack.

According to the Ubuntu blog, the 29MB Docker image for Minimal Ubuntu 18.04 LTS serves as an efficient container starting point, and allows developers to deploy multicloud containerized applications faster. For modern Docker workflows with Kubernetes, the minimal Ubuntu image provides a balance of compatibility, familiarity, performance and size. This is the standard Ubuntu 18.04 LTS image on the Docker Hub.
Cloud images also contain the optimised kernel for each cloud and supporting boot utilities.

Fully compatible with all Ubuntu packages
While the footprint of Minimal Ubuntu is greatly reduced, it preserves full compatibility with standard Ubuntu operations. Any Ubuntu package can be installed on Minimal Ubuntu. Minimal Ubuntu is designed for completely automated operations, with none of the usual human-friendly utilities for comfortable interactive usage.

Optimized for cloud hypervisors
Minimal Ubuntu uses the optimized kernels on Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. The downloadable Minimal Ubuntu image ships with a KVM-optimised kernel and tuned for boot speed and size, according to the Ubuntu blog.

Minimized security cross-section
With fewer installed packages, Minimal Ubuntu images will avoid some security vulnerabilities and require fewer updates over time. Use of Minimal Ubuntu will reduce overall bandwidth consumption for an institution and require less storage.

Minimal Ubuntu images for private clouds are available for download here.