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A Snap-based, containerized Ubuntu desktop could be offered in 2024

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Snap apps laid out in a grid

Enlarge / Some of the many Snap apps available in Ubuntu's Snap Store, the place where users can find apps and Linux enthusiasts can find deep-seated disagreement. (credit: Canonical)

[Update, 2:00 pm ET, May 31: Ubuntu published a blog post about its Ubuntu Core desktop work after this Ars Technica post was published. Noting that Snaps "are a little famous for having some rough edges on the desktop," Product Manager Oliver Smith writes that, "[n]evertheless, we are excited to explore the idea of a fully containerised [UK sic] desktop, where each component is immutable and isolated." Ubuntu, Smith writes, has been "steadily improving" desktop snaps, and, "in due course, when we think the entire system can be delivered this way," a desktop Core version will be offered.

Ubuntu's post suggests that a Core-based desktop would allow for "secure boot, recovery states and hardware backed encryption," experiments "with alternative desktop environment snaps," and opting in to certain kernel channels, such as those with the latest NVIDIA drivers. Original post follows.]

Ubuntu Core has existed since 2014, providing a fully containerized, immutable Linux distribution aimed at Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing applications. Each piece of the system contains all the dependencies it requires, and just enough of its own tiny Linux architecture, that applications are largely sandboxed from one another, providing better security and, in theory, stability and ease of upgrades and rollbacks.

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