What is FIPS?
FIPS 140-2 is a US government computer security standard. It defines security requirements related to the design and implementation of cryptographic modules. It is a requirement for U.S. Federal agencies to use FIPS 140-2 validated cryptography to protect sensitive information. Canonical’s FIPS 140-2 Certified Modules are available to customers who have purchased qualifying Ubuntu Advantage products.
Anyone deploying systems and cloud services for Federal government agency use, whether directly or through contractors and vendors, is required to use FIPS 140-2 compliant systems. FIPS 140-2 has also been adopted outside of the public sector in industries where data security is heavily regulated, such as financial services, healthcare, legal and manufacturing.
FIPS crypto modules are available for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and 18.04 LTS. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is currently undergoing the certification process.
Understanding the UA client
The Ubuntu Advantage (UA) client is a tool designed to automate access to UA services like Extended Security Maintenance (ESM), CIS, FIPS, and more. The client is available for all Ubuntu LTS releases, however some services, such as FIPS, are not available for all Ubuntu LTS releases.
What you’ll learn
- How to check which version of the UA client is installed on your machine and how to update it if necessary
- How to attach the UA client to your Ubuntu Advantage account using your UA token
- How to enable FIPS modules on your Ubuntu machine
What you’ll need
- An active Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure subscription or Ubuntu Pro*, or a free subscription (can be used on up to 3 machines)
- An Ubuntu machine running Ubuntu server or desktop 16.04 LTS or 18.04 LTS
Note that we provide the Ubuntu Pro FIPS images to ease access to FIPS, and reduce the necessary time to enable FIPS on a standard Pro image.