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Ubuntu becomes #1 OS for OpenStack deployment

One of the core values of Canonical, that we all identify with, is the mission of bringing the power of open source to everyone on the planet. From developing to developed countries. From individuals to big enterprises. From engineers to CEOs. And there is only one way to find out if we are efficient in what we do. This is community feedback. 

It is no different this time. The OpenStack User Survey 2022 results are out and Ubuntu was appointed by the entire OpenStack community as the most popular platform for OpenStack deployment. This is great news for Canonical and the entire Ubuntu community. It was a long journey, sometimes bumpy, but we made it. And we are not going to stop there!

#1 OS for OpenStack deployment

The OpenStack User Survey is an event organised by the Open Infrastructure Foundation on an annual basis. Participation is open and voluntary. All participants have to answer a few questions about their OpenStack deployment, including some demographic information as well as cloud size and deployment decisions. One of those questions is about the main operating system (OS) running this OpenStack cloud deployment.


According to the survey results from last year, 48% of respondents indicated Ubuntu Server as their main OS. This means that in practice, Ubuntu Server is considered as the default OS for OpenStack deployment in the majority of organisations worldwide. No wonder. OpenStack and Canonical have come a long way together. From the very beginning of OpenStack.

10 years together

Although OpenStack was founded as an open source project by NASA and Rackspace, Canonical has been involved in OpenStack development from the very early stages. For years we have been contributing to the OpenStack source code (Canonical is one of the biggest contributors of all the time) and packaging OpenStack binaries for straightforward consumption on Ubuntu. Canonical has also pioneered a number of solutions in the OpenStack deployment and operations automation space, effectively eliminating the complexity of OpenStack from its end users. 

As a board member of the Open Infrastructure Foundation, we have been driving the evolution of the project towards new challenges, including network function virtualization (NFV), containers and the edge. We have been representing the entire community during various events and promoting the idea of open infrastructure. Even OpenStack and Ubuntu release cadences are synchronised, enabling users to benefit from new features and bug fixes brought by new OpenStack versions on their Ubuntu machines right after the upstream release.

Why do people choose Ubuntu for OpenStack deployment?

So what makes Ubuntu the preferred OS for OpenStack deployment? Well, there is no single answer to that. The commitment, the mission, the trust – all of that matters. However, there are a few advantages of OpenStack that are only available on Ubuntu. Those include:

Straightforward installation methods

If you have ever tried OpenStack before, you already know how complex it is. The complexity is just part of the nature of OpenStack. Fortunately, Canonical provides tools to eliminate this complexity. MicroStack, for example, enables you to install a single-node OpenStack cluster in just 2 commands and ~20 minutes. Start simple and evolve according to your needs.

Day-2 operations support

Another challenge OpenStack users usually face is day-2 operations support. How to ensure that the OpenStack cluster continues to run for a week, for a month, for a year since its initial deployment and continues to evolve at the same time. To deal with this challenge, Canonical packages OpenStack operations code, enabling full automation of typical operations tasks, such as database backups, scaling the cluster out or even OpenStack upgrades.

Predictable release cadence and upgrade path

Since the OpenStack release cadence follows the Ubuntu release cadence, users always know when to expect a new version. Canonical commits to release every new version of OpenStack on Ubuntu within 2 weeks from the upstream release. With Ubuntu, you are always up to date and even more importantly, you can easily upgrade from old versions to benefit from new features and bug fixes brought by the latest release.

100% open source

Contrary to other Linux distributions, Canonical delivers OpenStack using tools that are 100% open source. This avoids unpleasant surprises post-deployment or, even worse, unexpected costs. On Ubuntu you can use OpenStack for free as long as you want, benefitting from its openness and community support. 

Optional enterprise support subscription

And last but not least, if you are looking for enterprise support for OpenStack, this is also something that Canonical provides. The Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure (UA-I) support subscription includes production-grade service-level agreements (SLAs), phone and ticket support, 10 years of security updates and more.

Join the community

If you are wondering now how to join the OpenStack Ubuntu community, here are some useful tips for you:

Try OpenStack on Ubuntu by following our simple installation instructions. MicroStack enables you to get fully functional OpenStack up and running on your workstation in just 2 commands and ~20 minutes.

Or get in touch with Canonical if you are planning a migration to Ubuntu from other Linux distributions. We will happily help you choose the best architecture that fits your needs and optimise your private cloud for price-performance.

You can also fill in the OpenStack User Survey 2023 to influence the community and software directions moving forward.

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