After a three-month beta testing period, Canonical has announced the general availability of Ubuntu Pro, which promises even better, up-to-date CVE fixes and compatibility with a range of regimes such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS.
It aims to be accessible to a diverse group of users and promises to be particularly affordable (or, in some cases, free).
Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu operating system, wants to highlight its nearly two-decade history of providing up-to-date security updates, and hopes to appeal to a more rigorous market with its new Pro version.
In addition to the 10-year protection and optional technical support that Ubuntu users already receive, Pro subscribers will unlock an additional 23,000 packages. The scope covers “thousands” of applications and toolchains, including Node.js, Python, Rust and WordPress.
The Pro version will be available for all LTS versions from 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) which became available in April 2016.
Ubuntu Pro has been in beta testing since October last year, with various well-known companies such as Nvidia, Google, and VMWare taking part.
As part of the suite, Pro users will be able to access FIPS-certified crypto suites that are generally required by federal governments and other organizations subject to compliance regimes such as FedRAMP, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS.
Pricing depends on the use case and ranges from $25 per year working station up to $500/year per server, with a 30-day free trial. It is also available in public cloud markets (such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud) with an hourly pricing structure that Ubuntu claims is around 3.5% of the average base compute cost.
For individual users and small commercial users with up to five computers, for example during the beta period, Ubuntu Pro remains free, while official members of the Ubuntu community can use Pro on up to 50 computers.