back to article Skinny Ubuntu Linux 'Snapped' up by fat Microsoft cloud

A smartphone-inspired version of Ubuntu Server for Docker minimalists has been revealed with initial backing from Microsoft. Canonical is today expected to unveil the "Snappy" version of Ubuntu Core, a stripped-down server image of just 110MB built for thousands of servers in the cloud. It is available as an Alpha preview. …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. sabroni Silver badge

    Extend, Embrace, Elephant

    No, they're wrong when they try to shut us down AND when they work with us!

    The only safe way is to go back in time and nuke them from orbit in 1990!

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Extend, Embrace, Elephant

      Things have changed. Perhaps even MS. Linux is just too big to omit. Bigger than MS in the embedded space and in super computers, a tie on the internet or bigger. One could say that while GM and Chrysler could go bust cars will still be made. If the cloud is where MS wants to succeed then leaving Linux out of the equation would be very dumb. MS is the lonely elephant here.

  3. Joe Harrison

    Microsoft backing Linux

    Deeply impossible things are happening.I knew I shouldn't have eaten those mushrooms I found in the woods :(

    1. cookieMonster Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft backing Linux

      When I read the article the first thing that I thought of...

      lucifer just made a snowman !!!

  4. Buzzword

    Still too big

    I remember fondly the days when a full OS could be booted from a single floppy disk. Where does the extra 109MB go? Is it all networking and multi-tasking?

    1. asdf

      Re: Still too big

      >Is it all networking and multi-tasking?

      Nope libraries to support unnecessary crap like JSON.

      1. Phil_Evans

        Re: Still too big

        Yes, who is JSON, anyway?

        Actually the fundamental lingua franca of Cloud apps...somewhat important, wouldn't you think?

        Or do we all go back to MySQL stacks running Apache with HTTP -1 ?

        1. asdf

          Re: Still too big

          Says more about the cloud than anything. A big puffy inefficient bloaty bag of hurt.

      2. Zane

        Re: Still too big

        Yea right get rid of this crappy light-weight JSON - better to use XML, XSL, XSLT and then lots of SOAP. This way we'll be clean - and can simply ignore the REST.


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still too big

      ...and security.

    3. Jes.e

      Re: Still too big

      The command line core of OS/2 could be, booted from two floppies.

      The second one largely contained drivers so you could access your SCSI card and hard drive controllers for example.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Still too big

        Same actually for NT and LInux, except one Floppy I think.

        I have a floppy that expands into RAM running a Linux, then allows a USB boot of full Linux (for laptops / PCs with USB, Floppy, no CD/DVD and no BIOS option for USB boot, i.e. before May/June 2002 approx.)

        1. asdf

          Re: Still too big

          Who needs a floppy? Again to toot Slitaz horn a bit (neat little distro for ancient computers) you can actually web boot the OS just using the rom in your network card if you change a few lines your router's dhcp config. Who needs floppies and hard drives lol.

  5. asdf

    110 meg is bloaty

    110 meg will very little functionality? Hell with a 40 meg iso with Slitaz you get a full desktop environment that is surprising complete. Amazing how small and efficient linux can be without systemd and all the other freedesktop bloat.

  6. PNGuinn

    Supper Time

    Hope Umbongo have a very long spoon.

  7. Charles Manning

    Slimmed down... bah!

    If you want a small Linux build then build something with buildroot.

    It is easy to build a whole system (kernel + rootfs) that's less than 5M.

  8. John Sanders

    Here we go again.

    Why does anyone with an interest in any kind of IT market get in bed with Microsoft at the slightless opportunity?

    Don't they know MS will F**k them at the slightless opportunity?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Here we go again.

      If this takes off then MS could provide the exit path that Mr Shuttleworth has been seeking for sometime.

      Yay, MS to buy Canonical

      Yeah and Steve Jobs has risen from the dead and fired Tim Cook.

  9. Joseph Haig

    MS Linux?

    In other news, a herd of pigs have just flown in carrying news about record low temperatures in Hades.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: MS Linux?

      I remember installing MS Xenix on 286 boxes very long ago.

      Maybe Linux is MS plan B if MS Win X is a fail?

  10. nematoad

    A bit whiffy?

    Does this have the smell of Xamarin about it?

    I've had my doubts about Canonical for a while now and to see them snuggling up to MS just adds to my disquiet. Seems to me that both De Icaza and Shuttleworth are being seduced by the lure of MS's money. AS PNGuinn says best take a long spoon with you if you are going to get invited to MS's table or you might just feature on the menu instead!

    There may be tears ahead.

    1. asdf

      Re: A bit whiffy?

      Canonical's biggest sin was losing the battle with RedHat over the future of LInux.

  11. Mikey

    You linux types are bloody weird, you know that?

    You try for ages to convert us to a desktop OS that doesn't really give us all that much more than what we already use (think average user, not how you yourselves use it), then complain when the maker of an OS you like to slag off at every opportunity starts to utilise it in its own core business.

    Are you rooting for the mass embrace of linux, or campaigning to keep it within its own niche area for good? Can't have both, I'm afraid.

    Yeah, I'll get the downvotes, but at the same time, those same votes show I've touched on a nerve. So your call ;O)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: paranoia

      You just carry on believing that people disagreeing with you proves you're right... but you might find it helps if you also convince yourself that people laughing at you is a sign of them being in awe of you.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      You linux types are bloody weird, you know that?

      I prefer contrarian, but I'll answer to "bloody weird".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      We hate Ubuntu because they got it right, then screwed it up. The writing was on the wall as far back as 2007. It's fitting for them to get in bed with Microsoft. Good riddance!

  12. Kev99 Silver badge

    OS size

    Anyone remember MS Windows came on 3 1.4MB floppies? And was just an operating system? Now you need 1 GB for server OS. Get real. How much crapware are they foisting upon users?

    1. asdf

      Re: OS size

      Still waiting for the Amigatards to pipe up how they could not only boot an OS with a floppy but one with a GUI and modern features like preemptive multitasking, etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: OS size

        I was trying to resist doing that!!!!

      2. Chemist

        Re: OS size

        "Still waiting for the Amigatards to pipe up.."

        Indeed you could but on my A1000 it was a 2-floppy process

        1. asdf

          Re: OS size

          Oh kk never had one myself. Went straight from an Atari XL jobby to a 286/386 (can't remember which now, getting old sucks).

    2. asdf

      Re: OS size

      Do you also remember when Windows 3.x would randomly crash several times a day due to one misbehaved app running the OS out of memory (or for no reason at all) and quickly teach you to save in your word processor after every paragraph?

  13. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Originally Risc Os came on 4MB of ROM.

    Hack that scammers!

  14. present_arms

    I remember in 1995 that slackware came on BOOT and ROOT floppies that did the whole desktop, using FVMW windows look-a-like Window Manager, and that Win95 was a 30 Floppy affair with far less functionality than the 2 floppy of slack, same today too in that on a dvd you can get a shed load on linux, and a bare shell of an OS on windows, is how it is.

    1. asdf

      calling out nostalgia

      Do you also remember having to set monitor timings by hand to get X windows to show all the while praying you didn't FUBAR your CRT? Do you remember what a bitch it was to get PPP setup for dial up internet back in the day especially if you were dumb enough to buy a winmodem (at least I didn't make that mistake)? Slackware even today is generally not the distro for you if don't have serious vi skills (yes yes emacs or nano instead for you kids). Still kudos for them for resisting the freedesktop.borg. For the record not defending the garbage windows was until at least windows 2K.

  15. Crazy Operations Guy

    Is it really still Ubuntu?

    At what point does this go from being Ubuntu and just being a Linux kernel with a small smattering of libraries on top?

    But this goes up against a bigger question I've always had: what makes a distro a distro?

    1. asdf

      Re: Is it really still Ubuntu?

      >what makes a distro a distro?

      If RedHat has their way the name will be the only difference between most of them.

  16. keithpeter Silver badge

    back on topic - small virtual linux servers...

    Will anyone here actually be running tasks that need 100s of small dedicated virtual servers within Azure? What would one use a brace of these for exactly?

    The CentOS crew have been talking about an absolute minimal CentOS 7 image for some time[1] (one of the Special Interest Groups) and Mr Singh seems to be quite keen to get one off the ground.

    Is this a thing people see a big market for?


    1. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: back on topic - small virtual linux servers...

      I can think of a couple uses (most of which I've seen out in the wild):

      * DDoS prevention (the tiny machines cushion the brunt of the attack while still passing through legitimate traffic)

      * Extra security layer to analyze/sanitize user-input to prevent injection / overflow attacks

      * CDN-like systems to handle requests for a large number of tiny objects (Prevent TCP port exhaustion on a busy site)

      * run legacy apps that don't play well with others (Such as needing a specific version of the Java Runtime, or specific versions of some libraries)

      * Hosting sub-domains that are rarely used but are required to be on a separate machine for one reason or another

      * reverse proxies to load balance for the bigger machines

      * pre-prod platform testing

    2. Gorbachov

      Re: back on topic - small virtual linux servers...

      The main reason is that many people these days provision their systems with something like Puppet or Ansible. If you have scripts that will install your app, pull in dependencies and configure everything, you only need the base distro to boot and be reachable over the network. Any other needed functionality will be added by the provisioning scripts.

      Even Windows Server has a stripped-down minimal install option.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is this news?

    This is the third year in a row we've been treated to "Canonical partners with Microsoft on Azure" headlines. Sure the specific Ubuntu spin changes from year to year, but almost every article that comes out makes it sound like such a shocking development. If the mainstream media has the memory of a 9 year-old, then the tech press has to have that of a 5 year old. Is there anyone out there old enough to recall when Microsoft "partnered" with LinuxTag, you know, way back in 2011 and 2012 (Redmond had a presence at the conference from at least 2004)? About how MS actually sponsored a lot of Linux and FOSS related events as part of its rapprochement with Novell in 2006?

    This isn't news. Not really. It's just more advertising.

    Having said that I'm happy to see that the comment section, as always, is a consistent source of genuine entertainment. For example, "...libraries to support unnecessary crap like JSON". Confirmation that reason still exists in the world.

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