Canonical has released Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix, a version that is specifically tailored to the needs of corporate and government users.
The remix, announced on Friday, provides a version of Ubuntu 11.10 with thin client apps and other business-friendly tools preinstalled, and without consumer-focused apps.
"The Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix contains all the software needed to integrate into your IT infrastructure while removing games, social networking and file sharing applications, development and sysadmin tools, and other software that organisations don't commonly support," Canonical chief operating officer Jane Silber said. "The first release includes VMware View, [the] Adobe Flash plugin, and [the] OpenJDK 6 Java runtime environment."
The purpose of the business remix, Silber explained, was to preconfigure Ubuntu so that businesses do not have to make such alterations themselves. She said the release could be deployed as is, or modified further.
Silber also noted that Ubuntu 'Precise Pangolin' 12.04, a long-term support (LTS) release, is coming up, suggesting this will also get a business remix. LTS releases come with five years of support for server and desktop deployments, making them the versions of Ubuntu that are most suited to business and government rollouts.
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.– Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical
In a separate post, Canonical chief Mark Shuttleworth insisted that his company was not creating a "secret sauce" version for paying customers only — Canonical provides commercial support for Ubuntu.
"Before anyone gets all worked up and conspiratorial: everything in the remix is available from the standard Software Centre," Shuttleworth wrote. "We're not creating a RHEL [Red Hat Enterprise Linux], 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."
"Some applications like VMWare View are included in this release under a proprietary license so download is covered by an EULA, and this image can't be mirrored unless you make prior arrangements with the relevant [software vendors]," Shuttleworth added. "Boring, but better to do it once than for every individual app. We will ask users who download it to provide feedback on how we might improve the product, and provide them with details of Canonical's deployment services and management solutions."