Canonical CEO and founder Mark Shuttleworth recently said he sees more demand for the Ubuntu Linux desktop than ever. True. "We never got the desktop into the consumer space. We're still happy to give developers and system admins a platform," he said. And, Canonical, we now know, wants to see the Ubuntu Linux desktop succeed in a new frontier: Windows SubSystem for Linux (WSL).
Ubuntu was the first Linux supported by WSL on Windows 10. Since then, many other Linux distros have appeared on WSL. These include Debian, Fedora, Kali, openSUSE, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), and the WSL-specific distribution, PengWin. Now, from a recent Canonical job advertisement, we know Ubuntu's founding company wants to be the leading WSL Linux.
In the ad for an Ubuntu desktop software engineer, Canonical stated it's looking for someone who can keep "Ubuntu at the forefront of what's possible on WSL. We think WSL is a fantastic way for Windows users to experience Ubuntu on their desktop, easing their development processes and allowing for local development and testing on Windows before deploying to Ubuntu in the cloud."
Specifically, it's "looking for someone to lead the engineering in Ubuntu for WSL features and Windows integration." This is a leadership role, in which the engineer "will have direct influence over the roadmap for Ubuntu on WSL and will specify, architect, and develop features in association with other leaders such as tech leads, engineering managers, product managers, and developer advocates."
It's looking for not just someone with superb technical chops but someone with strong communication and relationship skills, as well. For the right person, this could be a great job.
What this move tells me is Canonical is doubling down on the Linux desktop on every and all platforms. It also tells me that Whitewater Foundry, the company behind PengWin, will have real competition going forward as the leading WSL distribution.