Canonical announced that it will introduce Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, the latest version of the OS. The LTS designation means that Canonical will maintain support for the next five years. Although the long-term support for the OS is beneficial in and of itself, a new software feature inherent in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will arguably be the more attractive aspect of the operating system called "snap."
Snap is new application format designed to work side-by-side with traditional deb packages. Snap is designed to be easy to produce using a new tool called "snapcraft," which can compile applications from deb packages or from source code.
Snap applications are completely isolated from the rest of the system, which has several advantages. As it cannot interact with other files on the system, it is inherently secure against malicious software, and it helps to ensure that it is compatible with existing software. As snap files are essentially self-contained, it's also easier for them to be migrated to other devices with widely varying hardware configurations. This eases the creation of software capable of running unaltered on systems from IoT devices to high-end servers.
Canonical intends to use snap to help extend long-term software support for this Linux distro.
The company also added support for the LXD pure-container hypervisor, which is used in conjunction with OpenStack on the OS as a cloud computing platform. LXD is capable of 14x the workload density and significantly higher performance compared to traditional virtualization technologies for each guest device connected to the cloud platform.
The OS also supports the ZFS-on-Linux software, which functions as a file system and volume manager with a wide array of data management tools. Alternatively, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS also supports the CephFS file system, which can better handle large-scale enterprise storage devices and cluster computing.
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will be available on April 21.