Can your computer run Ubuntu Core?

Ubuntu Core snappy

Ubuntu Core beta, a version of Ubuntu for Cloud deployment that comes with snappy a system and application management utility with support for transaction updates, was released just a few hours ago.

Though it was made available for testing on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform, Mark Shuttleworth said in a blog post that you can download a KVM image of Ubuntu Core that “you can run on any Linux machine.”

But can you really run Ubuntu Core on any Linux machine?

Only if your Linux machine is compatible. Take that to mean that the processor needs to have the hardware virtualization extension feature.

Most recent computers come with a processor that has that feature, which you can verify by running the lscpu command. On a computer with Intel inside, the bottom part of that command’s output should read:

Model name:            Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz
Stepping:              7
CPU MHz:               1609.523
CPU max MHz:           3300.0000
CPU min MHz:           1600.0000
BogoMIPS:              6585.39
Virtualization:        VT-x
L1d cache:             32K
L1i cache:             32K
L2 cache:              256K
L3 cache:              6144K
NUMA node0 CPU(s):     0-3

The Virtualization: VT-x line is what you’re looking for.

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On a computer with an AMD processor, the same command should output (the bottom part only):

Vendor ID:             AuthenticAMD
CPU family:            15
Model:                 127
Stepping:              2
CPU MHz:               800.000
BogoMIPS:              1595.78
Virtualization:        AMD-V
L1d cache:             64K
L1i cache:             64K
L2 cache:              512K
NUMA node0 CPU(s):     0

Again, the Virtualization: AMD-V line shows that your computer’s good.

You can also use the kvm-ok to determine whether your computer can run Ubuntu Core. If true, you should get this output:


INFO: /dev/kvm exists

KVM acceleration can be used

If you get the “command not found” message after typing kvm-ok, then install the cpu-checker package. If your computer is good to go, download an Ubuntu Core beta image, then launch a virtual machine with KVM by typing the set of commands in this code block.

# Download Ubuntu Core

wget http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-core/preview/ubuntu-core-alpha-01.img

# From the same folder you downloaded Ubuntu Core into, type

kvm -m 512 -redir :8090::80 -redir :8022::22 ubuntu-core-alpha-01.img

Typing that last command should open a Qemu window installing Ubuntu Core. Once installation is completed, you should have a window with a console waiting for you to login.

Ubuntu Core virtual machine
Figure 1: Login console of a Qemu virtual machine running Ubuntu Core beta.

System messages on Ubuntu Core beta after logging in.

Ubuntu Core console
Figure 2: Console interface of Ubuntu Core running in a Qemu virtual machine after first login.

Playing with snappy.

Ubuntu Core
Figure 3: Test-driving snappy on Ubuntu Core running in a Qemu virtual machine.

All of snappy‘s commands. Have fun snappy-ing.

Ubuntu Core snappy
Snappy commands of Ubuntu Core.

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