Linux Client Device Management Coming to Microsoft Intune
Microsoft Intune, the mobile management solution that's offered as part of the Microsoft Endpoint Manager suite, is getting the ability to manage Linux desktops with an update that'll be arriving this month, per a Tuesday Microsoft announcement.
Ubuntu LTS versions 22.04 and 20.04 will be the first Linux desktop operating systems supported for Intune management when Microsoft updates Intune this month. Other Linux OS distributions will be supported for Intune management as well. Microsoft's announcement didn't name them, but indicated "we plan to add additional [Linux] distributions in the coming months."
Many people may have thought that Intune already supported the management of Linux-based devices, but it's a new capability. Intune already can manage "Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices," Microsoft indicated.
October Intune Update and Linux Support
The exact timing of when Intune will get its October update wasn't described. After the update gets installed, though, Intune will have the following capabilities:
- Enrollment of Ubuntu LTS (22.04, 20.04) desktops
- Conditional Access policies protecting web applications via Microsoft Edge
- Standard compliance policies
- Support for Bash scripts for custom compliance policies
The use of Azure Active Directory Conditional Access policies will let IT pros set conditions for Linux devices before accessing organizational resources. Linux devices can be compelled to meet compliance policies set up by an organization.
Microsoft is planning to permit Microsoft Endpoint Manager users to create Bash scripts for Linux device configurations, which will be coming "later this fall." This scripting capability will let IT pros do things "like deploying Wi-Fi profiles and certificates to Linux desktops," the announcement explained. Also, "pre-defined scripts" will be coming at some point.
Teams Progressive Web App for Linux
Microsoft simultaneously announced that it has created a Microsoft Teams progressive Web app for Linux desktops, which "will be available in the coming months."
The progressive Web app doesn't get installed as an application, but is instead accessed through a Web browser. Microsoft Edge was the browser described as getting access to this Teams progressive Web app for Linux.
Microsoft also will release an updated Teams Web client for Linux "in the coming months." It'll offer another way to access the Teams progressive Web app for Linux.
Here's how Microsoft characterized it:
This [Teams Web client] will provide Linux users with access to popular capabilities through the use of our new progressive web app (PWA) and will be available through both Edge and Chrome browsers.
The progressive Web app for Linux, when available, will offer "access to more capabilities, including custom backgrounds, gallery view, reactions, and raise hand in meetings, as well as large gallery and together mode views," the announcement added.
IT pros will be able to use Microsoft Endpoint Manager to set Conditional Access configurations for both the Teams Web application and the Teams progressive Web app for Linux, the announcement indicated.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.