This year Canonical joined Embedded World 2017 for the first time with a booth. And the initial reaction from anyone visiting the booth was one of surprise quickly followed by the question: ‘Ubuntu is what I run on my desktop, not on my embedded systems. Why is Ubuntu at an embedded show?’
First of all let’s celebrate the fact that so many developers use Ubuntu at home or work on their desktop! A good enough reason for them to come and say hello.
But it’s not the primary reason. In the same way that consumer technology has consistently made its way into enterprise, a lot of so called development technology make their way into production. Ubuntu is a very good example of that move – going from desktop to the cloud, and instances of Ubuntu now going from the desktop to embedded.
For example, Ubuntu is used on digital signage to drive 100,000s of advertising or informational screens worldwide. Dell and others have been shipping industrial PCs running Ubuntu for a long time. Robots running ROS (Robot Operating System) on Ubuntu are in production across hospitality, retail and mining. After all, the workhorse of embedded development, the Raspberry Pi, has no less than 3 Ubuntu and derivative options available: Ubuntu Mate for a desktop environment, Ubuntu server for a development environment and Ubuntu Core for a production environment.
So, yes, Ubuntu is present in embedded – and that’s why we were at Embedded World. We also showcased a few surprise demos on our Canonical booth:
- A Basler camera running Ubuntu Core and acting as a home hub thanks to the openHAB snap
- An Orange Pi and its newly launched app store
- A number of boards running Ubuntu Core: DragonBoard 410c, Intel Joule or the newly announced LS1043A by NXP
- A surprise Ubuntu Core powered PLC proof of concept
To be fair Ubuntu would have been present even if Canonical hadn’t been exhibiting as Ubuntu based demos were running on many booths, from Intel, AMD, Arrow and Qt to name a few. And whether you call it embedded or IoT you can find out more about Ubuntu for the internet of Things here.