Sun will certify Canonical's Ubuntu Linux on its x86 servers, the company has said.

Earlier this year, Ubuntu became the first Linux distribution to support Sun's UltraSparc T1 processor, also known as Niagara, which powers Sun's CoolThreads servers, the Sun Fire T1000 and T2000.

The closer alignment with Sun comes alongside Ubuntu's move to expand from its well-known desktop Linux into servers. Sun, meanwhile, is relatively new to the x86 server business and faces plenty of competition.

The two companies have nearly completed certification work for Sun's X4100 and X4200 servers and Ultra 20 and 40 workstations, according to a report from IT news website News.com. The partnership will reportedly later extend to Sun's "Rev F" Opteron-based servers. The deal means that enterprises will be able to run Ubuntu on Sun servers with tech support from Canonical.

Last month, Canonical released Ubuntu 6.10, code-named Edgy Eft, less than five months after the first enterprise-focused release of Ubuntu, Version 6.0 LTS (Long Term Support), code-named Dapper Drake. That release included five years of support on the server and three years of support on the desktop.

In addition to a speedier boot time, the 6.10 release, which will be maintained for 18 months, provides a sharper design, new desktop applications and enhanced security, Canonical says. Canonical executives said, however, that if enterprises are looking for long-term support and a more "polished" operating system, their best bet is to stick with 6.0 LTS.

Ubuntu's Developer Summit is held this week in Mountain View, California.