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Canonical Goes Corporate With Ubuntu Remix

Ubuntu Landscape
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Canonical is taking aim at corporate users with the launch of Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix

Canonical has continued to expand the available markets for its Ubuntu Linux operating system with the release of Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix.

“Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix based on Ubuntu 11.10 is now available for corporate and government institutions evaluating Ubuntu as a desktop solution,” explained Canonical CEO Jane Silber in a blog post.

Business Focus

The news of an Ubuntu Linux variant designed specifically for businesses comes after Canonical staffer Jonathan Riddell revealed last week that his company will stop funding the Kubuntu variant of its popular Linux distribution for commercial reasons.

However the release of Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix will see the combination of “Ubuntu’s ease of use, outstanding free software applications, certified commercial apps, and Canonical’s management solution makes for a compelling enterprise desktop scenario that saves time and money while keeping users productive,” explained Silber.

She went to add that in the past year, many businesses have adopted Ubuntu as a desktop.
“This remix simplifies the process of customising Ubuntu for corporate needs,” she wrote. “Most businesses deploying Ubuntu on corporate desktops perform a similar set of tasks; removing consumer-focused applications like games, and installing corporate-focused software such as thin client apps. The Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix is a simple base image with the most common corporate changes pre-configured. It can be deployed into a corporate environment or used as a starting point for further customisation.”

Silber wrote that the Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix contains all the software needed for businesses, but games, social networking, file sharing, development and admin tools have been removed. The first release apparently includes VMware View, Adobe Flash Plugin, and OpenJDK 6 Java runtime environment.

Interested parties can download Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix here (registration required).

No Conspiracy

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth also chipped in with comments of his own about the remixed Ubuntu for the enterprise desktop.

“This remix takes the most common changes we’ve observed among institutional users and bundles them into one CD which can be installed directly or used as a basis for further customisation,” wrote Shuttleworth in a blog post.

“Before anyone gets all worked up and conspiratorial: everything in the remix is available from the standard Software Centre,” he added. “Packages out, packages in. No secret sauce for customers only; we’re not creating a RHEL, we already have an enterprise-quality release cadence called LTS and we like it just the way it is. This is a convenience for anyone who wants it. Having a common starting point, or booting straight into a business-oriented image makes it easier for institutional users to evaluate Ubuntu Desktop for their specific needs.”

Last October Canonical revealed it was going to expand its Ubuntu Linux operating system beyond the world of the PC and into mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Ubuntu’s controversial new interface, Unity, is at the heart of the multi-platform strategy.

But the Unity interface does not seem to be universally loved, after annual web ranking figures from Distrowatch showed Ubuntu’s top spot had been snatched by Mint, which seemed to be growing at a rapid rate.