Microsoft is introducing the general availability of Linux desktop management in Microsoft Intune, as part of Microsoft Endpoint Manager, to bring support for device registration, endpoint management and secure web access to Microsoft 365 and Azure resources for Linux Ubuntu LTS.
The new capabilities come with the October release of Intune, which will allow organizations to include Linux desktops as endpoints in their device management and security workloads. This adds Linux devices to Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices that IT admins can manage and better secure by ensuring that only compliant devices access company resources.
According to Microsoft, bringing Linux devices into the fold and giving IT the ability to manage and protect those endpoints can help organizations achieve a zero trust security model.
The company also announced a new Microsoft Teams progressive web app for Linux desktops that will be available in the coming months that can be managed and secured via Intune and Azure AD.
The first release of Linux management in Intune will include the following functionalities:
- 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
To help ensure devices are compliant and help protect company resources, custom compliance policies in Endpoint Manager will enable IT admins to write their own Bash scripts to evaluate attributes of the Linux endpoints most important to the organization. These policies also allow organizations to cover their specific compliance scenarios.
According to Microsoft, IT admins can also use Endpoint Manager to set Azure AD Conditional Access policies targeted at Linux devices, just like other platforms. This ensures that only compliant Linux endpoints can access corporate resources. This enables Linux users to securely access the Teams web app using Microsoft Edge.
Users who try to access Teams from the Edge browser without first securing the device won’t be able to sign in and will be guided through the process to download Intune for Linux. This allows the organization to apply the configuration that optimizes productivity and automatically registers the use with Azure AD so risk and app-based Conditional Access policies can be tied to that Linux endpoint.
The enrollment is complete with a compliance evaluation to verify that device distribution and other elements meet company policies. Once resolved and complete, users will have full access to relevant corporate resources.
Another feature being released for Linux in the coning months is in the Teams web client that will provide Linux users with access to popular capabilities via Microsoft’s new progressive web app (PWA) and will be available through both Edge and Chrome browsers. It doesn’t require installation and offers access to more capabilities, such as custom backgrounds, gallery view, large gallery and together mode, among others. PWA also offers desktop-like app features such as system notifications for chat and channel, and more, Microsoft says.
The company is also planning on releasing a custom device configuration solution for Linux in Endpoint Manager that customers can use to configure devices with Bash scripts. Customers can use this solution to deploy Wi-Fi profiles and certificates to Linux desktops and other actions.
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