back to article Ah lovely, here's something you can do with those Raspberry Pis, NUC PCs in the bottom of the drawer: Run Ubuntu Appliances on them

Ubuntu has launched its Appliance Portfolio, an initiative designed to enable secure smart devices linked to cloud services. All Ubuntu appliances are "free to download and install" but may include an up-sell to paid-for services. The idea of the Ubuntu Appliance Portfolio is to “enable secure, self-healing, single-purpose …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to solve

    To be honest, I didn't understand half the article but I got the distinct impression that a lot of work has gone in to make something that is as useful in the real world as a chocolate tea pot that will only be of interest to a hand-full of geeks with time on their hands.

    1. not_equal_to_null

      Re: Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to solve

      You appear to have stumbled upon this site from The Daily Mail.

      This site, you see, is about technology and is mostly inhabited by 'geeks'. You may have more luck at T3 or somewhere like that. Please close the door behind you on your way out.

      Kisses,

      Dan

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to solve

      "will only be of interest to a hand-full of geeks"

      Maybe.

      "with time on their hands"

      The purpose seems to be to simplify installation and hence save time.

      So really for geeks with a job to do but no time to spare.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - Re: Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to solve

      Sounds like you're the one who has too much time on his hands. Didn't bother to down-vote your post.

    4. XSV1
      Megaphone

      Re: Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to solve

      You use the word "geeks" in a pejorative sense. I am proud to be a geek/nerd.

      “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”

      — Bill Gates

    5. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to solve

      "chocolate tea pot"

      Computers. One day every city will have one.

      PS Be more honest, you didn't understand any of the article.

      I am tempted to make a functional chocolate teapot though, just to kill off that daft insult.

      1. GrapeBunch

        Re: Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to solve

        Chocolatey pot. Tomorrow's dread double whammy addiction scourge. Way worse than philately with Geraldo.

  2. Marco van de Voort

    What about sheevaplugs ?

    Checked my drawer, what about old sheevaplugs ?

    1. monty75

      Re: What about sheevaplugs ?

      Now there's a name I've not heard in a long time

      1. Glen 1 Silver badge

        Re: What about sheevaplugs ?

        pogoplug?

        Still supported under debian...

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It sounds a bit like Turnkey Linux but with less choice, both in terms of platforms and applications.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Coat

      Isn't that only available around Christmas?

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Isn't that only available around Christmas?

        Has Santa promised to make 2020 the year of Linux on the Rooftop?

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Facepalm

          I think so, I heard something about it on Linux (Chimney) Stack

  4. IGotOut Silver badge

    Odd one.

    NextcloudPi does everything this does.

    Not sure what it adds, unless it simplifies the install maybe?

    Mine certainly updates pretty much every day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @IGotOut - Re: Odd one.

      It adds a revenue stream opportunity for Canonical. It's like a lock-in but with nobody inside.

    2. Graham 32

      Re: Odd one.

      I think it means the NextcloudPi maintainers could use this instead and stop worrying so much about keeping the OS layer up to date. ie it's a platform to make getting into the IoT space easier and more secure. Although it will need to have broader device support to grow beyond the hobbyist market.

    3. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Odd one.

      Nextcloudpi - keep your data close.

      And your errata closer.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If at first attempt Canonical did not succeed

    they are trying again this time with a shorter bungee cable.

  6. Woodnag

    Daily updates?

    If I build something web-facing, it would be locked down from web-sourced changes. There are going to be pwned stories about this.

  7. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Just cannot be bothered

    to read very far into an article about a product from Canonical or Microsoft.

  8. Andrew Scaife
    Coat

    No sale

    Hmm. I currently have a VIA Mini ITX shoebox running Lubuntu from a USB stick as a printer server, and it locks up often enough that it's proctalgic, but this isn't selling me on replacing it. The Canonical link? Well, it's...a Canon laser printer. I'll get my coat.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: No sale

      Yes to me it does seem odd that widely useful appliances aren't in the initial offering. I would take a closer look if they included a print server or even a basic (Ubuntu) desktop with a remote desktop client - currently looking at Pi's as a cheap home computer solution to avoid clients having to buy loads of desktops/laptops for staff to use at home in addition to the office equipment when all they need is remote access (RDS and web) to corporate systems.

      1. Qumefox

        Re: No sale

        Using this offering as a desktop isn't an intended use case. If you're already actively interacting with it, you can just tell ubuntu 'yes' when it bugs you about updates.

        The appliance distro's seem to be targeting devices that you generally aren't going to be interacting with at the os level much, so the self updating feature would be a huge plus and aims the counter the usual security issues of IoT things in that they very rarely get patched and updated, even if patches and firmwares exist.

        A print server would be a good use case. A desktop environment, not so much since it's going to have a human interacting with he OS all the time.

        Also, what you want to do with using Pi's as 'thin clients' is pretty much already easily doable with raspbian, etc.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Regi

    Pi-Hole

    I have been using Pi-Hole for some time & find it works really well on a Raspberry B or above, so if you want something useful for a drawer filler to do - give it a go

    1. ICL1900-G3

      Re: Pi-Hole

      Agree entirely. It just works, the Pi is incredibly reliable and cheap to run.

  11. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

    From the article, "Even a certified device could have a commitment to support for only five years after the release date of the underlying version of Ubuntu Core. That means you could have a certified appliance based on Ubuntu Core 18 and it might only be kept updated until 2023 (though the OS itself has updates at least until 2028)."

    And here is the major problem (and not just with this Canonical project). Support should be for x years after EoL, not from release. I'm also a strong advocate of legislation making EoL software open source, to reduce the deliberate obsolescence manufacturers insist on.

  12. Blackjack Silver badge

    Be responsible

    And don't make a sadist toaster.

  13. Andrew Yeomans
    Happy

    Too simple for The Register readers?

    From the comments so far, I think the average Register reader must prefer something more complex!

    I see this announcement as simplifying the installation, so that anyone capable of installing NOOBS or Buster on a raspberry Pi can now get a full-blown appliance.

    One catch not mentioned in the article is that this is for Raspberry Pi 2/3/4, it does NOT work on Pi 0 or 1. Due to the different CPU architecture for Pi 0 and 1, Ubuntu Server does not run on those devices, and the appliances are based on that plus snap images. I suspect too that Pi 0 and 1 might be a bit underpowered, but might try NextCloud Pi on a 0 sometime.

    It's certainly convenient to have the auto-updating snap packages so it stays up-to-date. Of course you have to trust Canonical and Nextcloud, but you are doing that already if you run their software.

    Re PiHole - Adguard Home has a comparison of features https://github.com/AdguardTeam/AdGuardHome#comparison-pi-hole - I'm sure our lovely commentards will comment on the accuracy of that list.

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