Amazon Workspaces Now Supports Ubuntu Virtual Desktops

AWS (Amazon Web Services)

Amazon WorkSpaces added support for Ubuntu-based virtual desktops last week. If you’re unfamiliar with WorkSpaces, it’s an Amazon Web Services solution that enables you to securely provision and distribute virtual desktops to your workforce. This can be useful for scenarios like securely enabling remote workers or quickly provisioning desktops for contractors.

Previously, customers could only choose between Microsoft Windows or Amazon Linux virtual desktops. The addition of Ubuntu desktops gives developers and engineers a familiar and compatible environment with access to a wealth of open-source tools and libraries. Ubuntu WorkSpaces includes support for expanded security patching for 10 years.

“We’ve brought Ubuntu Desktop to WorkSpaces so developers can streamline the design, coding, pipelines, and deployment of Ubuntu-based workloads, whether instances or containers, all within the AWS environment,” said Alex Gallagher, VP Cloud for Canonical.

How Ubuntu desktops on Amazon Workspaces work

The new Ubuntu virtual desktops use the version 22.04 LTS of the OS. Canonical has optimized the base image for cloud development use cases, and the AWS CLI and SDK are preinstalled.

You can select from the Value, Standard, Performance, Power, or Power Pro bundles. These bundles provide you with computer configurations starting at 1 vCPU and 2 GB of RAM, with up to 8 vCPUs and 32 GB of RAM.

An Ubuntu virtual desktop running on Windows 10 with Amazon Workspaces
An Ubuntu virtual desktop running on Windows 10 with Amazon Workspaces

You can connect to Ubuntu on Workspaces using the Windows or web-based Workspaces clients. Linux and macOS clients will be supported at a later point. Likewise, the GPU-based Graphics.g4dn and GraphicsPro.g4dn bundles will be available in the near future.

Ubuntu Workspaces are available in all AWS regions where Workspaces is available, except China (Ningxia) which is scheduled for a future date. The pricing for Workspaces is either per month or per hour. Ubuntu Workspaces start at $23 per month and per desktop, or $0.19 per hour. More details are available on the Workspaces pricing page.