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Canonical and Microsoft Add .NET 6 Support to Ubuntu Linux

Developers using the Ubuntu 22.04 ("Jammy") operating system can now install .NET 6, Canonical and Microsoft announced on Tuesday.

The .NET 6 support in open source Ubuntu Linux 22.04 is available for x64 machines right now. The two companies are collaborating to add support for Arm64 machines as well.

Additionally, .NET 6 is available on the new Chiseled Ubuntu Containers at the preview stage. Chiseled Ubuntu Containers are smaller container images that strip away things like a shell and package manager, plus root access. Such an approach trims off megabytes from the software size and reduces the attack surface of these container images.

For instance, Ubuntu 22.04 with the ASP.NET layer is about 213MB in size, while Chiseled Ubuntu 22.04 with the ASP.NET layer is less than half that size at 104MB.

Chiseled Ubuntu Containers just contain the files and directories that are needed for a software package, explained Richard Lander, a program manager on the .NET team at Microsoft.

Chiseled Ubuntu Containers are the Canonical take on the distroless concept, originally popularized by Google. With the original implementation, a distro is stripped bare and only necessary packages are installed. Chiseling takes this one step forward by installing only the directories and files in each package that are necessary.

Lander credited Google "for getting us all started down this path."

Chiseled Ubuntu Containers are "appliance-like and are not general-purpose" but Microsoft likes the concept of non-root images, which will be "informing our policy going forward," Lander explained. These containers also represent an alternative from "pulling from Docker Hub," Lander added.

The addition of .NET 6 as an Ubuntu.deb package is part of broader collaboration between the two companies that aims to "secure the software supply chain between .NET and Ubuntu and to provide enterprise-grade support," Canonical's announcement indicated. Lander clarified that Microsoft has "a shared private virtual mono repo for sharing monthly patches" with Canonical, which also gets shared with Linux distro-maker Red Hat. The Microsoft .NET Bounty Program also applies to Canonical's .NET packages, Microsoft indicated.

Microsoft is working to add signed .NET container images into the mix, which will be "coming relatively soon," Lander indicated.

Canonical is a participant in newly set up .NET distro maintainer group. The two companies' long-term supported (LTS) releases are said to be "perfectly aligned," with .NET LTS shipping in Novembers with odd years and Ubuntu LTS shipping in "April of the following even year."

Lander indicated that ".NET 7 builds are not yet available, and likely won't be until .NET 7 GA [general availability]." .NET 7 is expected to get commercially released sometime in November. Also, there is no package support for .NET SDK workloads and .NET MAUI workloads on Linux, Lander indicated.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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