Hard on the heels of last week's news that Canonical will no longer financially support the Kubuntu variant of its popular Linux distribution, CEO Jane Silber on Friday announced a brand-new version of Ubuntu Linux designed specifically for businesses.

Now available in a release based on Ubuntu 11.10, Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix targets corporate and government institutions evaluating Ubuntu as a desktop solution, Silber said. Essentially, it's a version of Ubuntu Linux with the most common corporate changes pre-configured, and can be deployed directly into a corporate environment or used as a basis for further customization.

"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," Silber explained.

Packages that are included in this first release include VMware View, Adobe Flash Plugin and the OpenJDK 6 Java runtime environment.

All software in the new Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix is actually already available to anyone through the Ubuntu Software Center, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth pointed out.

"No secret sauce for customers only," he explained. "We already have an enterprise-quality release cadence called LTS and we like it just the way it is."

Indeed, the next version of Ubuntu Linux, version 12.04 or Precise Pangolin, is designated a Long Term Support (LTS) release, and so will be another one of particular interest for business users. That version will be supported for a full five years, Canonical has said.

Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix, then, is simply "a convenience for anyone who wants it," Shuttleworth said.

One thing that may seem a little strange for those accustomed to downloading and using free and open source software is that registration is required to download the new Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix, which is available from a dedicated page on Canonical's site.

That requirement is because some of the included applications, such as VMware View, use a proprietary licence, requiring an end-user licence agreement (EULA), Shuttleworth pointed out.

In any case, Canonical will seek feedback from those who download the new package, as well as offering information about its own deployment services and management solutions, including the Landscape management tool for large scale deployments.