Snappy Ubuntu Core

A new, transactionally-updated Ubuntu for IoT devices, clouds and more.

Snappy Ubuntu Core is a new rendition of Ubuntu with transactional updates - a minimal server image with the same libraries as today’s Ubuntu, but applications are provided through a simpler mechanism.

Try Snappy

Ubuntu Core provides transactional updates with rigorous application isolation. This is the smallest, safest Ubuntu ever, on devices and on the cloud. We’re excited to unleash a new wave of developer innovation with snappy Ubuntu Core!

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical.

Amazing developer experience

Creating snappy Ubuntu apps with Snapcraft is much easier than traditional packaging, simply bundle or pull all the files you need in a single package and publish, then users can download it instantly. Snappy packages can be statically linked and include their own copies of any file they need. Developers can use the exact library versions they want, and they get to control when those libraries are changed, or use the core system libraries from Ubuntu if they prefer.

There is no need to become an Ubuntu developer or to comply with complex packaging rules in order to publish applications for Ubuntu Core, anybody can publish any application, easily and instantly, to a global audience.

How does it work?

We originally created the snappy technology and application confinement system to ensure a carrier-grade update experience for Ubuntu mobile users and set a new standard for application security in the mobile era.

Ubuntu Core brings that technology to the cloud and devices.

  • The OS and application files are kept completely separate, as a set of distinct read-only images.
  • Transactional, image-based delta updates for the system and applications that can always be rolled back.
  • These files are read-only, which means they cannot be tampered with and can be updated perfectly and predictably every time.
  • Signatures and fingerprints ensure you’re running exactly what was published by the developer, no funny business even if the bits came from the internet.
  • Delta management keeps the size of downloads to the bare minimum.

System overview

Snappy Ubuntu Core diverges from the standard model of Server and Desktop Ubuntu distributions. This new rendition of Ubuntu is a lightweight, transactionally updated OS for devices and containers.

The fundamental unit of the Snappy system is the “snap”. In snappy Ubuntu Core everything is a snap. The most minimal system is comprised of only a set of three snaps:

  • Kernel
  • Gadget
  • Core

All of the application software sits on top of this base system. This is provided as application snaps, complementing the basic kernel, gadget and core snaps.

The general idea of a Snappy system is that all snaps are self contained, protected and isolated pieces of code that perform a well defined set of functions. This is even extended to the special type of snaps (core, gadget and kernel), of which you can only have one set.

Snappy Ubuntu Core is supported on

Most public clouds, VMs and devices, such as:







What about the Ubuntu desktop?

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS introduces the snappy Ubuntu Core experience to the desktop by allowing you to create, install and distribute snaps (snappy apps).

With snaps on the desktop, developers are able to:

  • Push their free or paid apps to the Ubuntu Store via an automated review process
  • Use a modern approach to deliver software updates frequently and on their own terms
  • Take advantage of a simplified and flexible package format
  • Overcome the limitations of the archive and benefit from an improved security model

Participate in Ubuntu Core development

Ubuntu is famous for being a welcoming, productive community where people get to pursue the things they are interested in and share the fruits of that with millions of users. We would welcome your ideas and code for this new rendition of Ubuntu!

To participate in Ubuntu Core development join our mailing list, and IRC channel, #snappy on Have fun with Ubuntu Core and see you soon!