After a three-month beta testing period, Canonical announced the general availability of Ubuntu Pro, promising better and more timely CVE patches and compliance with a host of regimes, including HIPAA and PCI-DSS.
It’s set to be available to a diverse user base and promises to be particularly affordable (or in some cases, free).
Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu operating system, is keen to emphasize its nearly two-decade history, delivering timely security updates and hoping to appeal to a stricter market with its new Pro release.
Pro subscribers will unlock an additional 23,000 packages, in addition to the 10 years of security and optional technical support Ubuntu users already receive. Coverage extends to “thousands” of applications and toolchains, including Node.js, Python, Rust, and WordPress.
Pro will work on all LTS versions starting with 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), which was released in April 2016.
Ubuntu Pro has been in beta testing since October last year, and many well-known companies such as Nvidia, Google, and VMWare have participated.
As part of the package, Pro users will have access to FIPS-certified encryption packages, which are often required by the federal government and other organizations subject to compliance regimes such as FedRAMP, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS.
Pricing depends on your use case, starting from $25 per year workstation Servers are $500 per year with a 30-day free trial. It’s also available on public cloud marketplaces like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, with an hourly pricing structure, which Ubuntu says is about 3.5 percent of the average base computing cost.
For personal and small business users with up to five machines, such as during testing, Ubuntu Pro remains free, while official Ubuntu community members can use Pro on up to 50 machines.