HP has joined forces with Canonical to offer the Ubuntu Linux distribution on its server hardware.

According to an article over on BetaNews, HP – which already has some experience with the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution on its netbook hardware – has partnered with Canonical to certify the Ubuntu Server operating system on Proliant server hardware.

The deal sees Canonical's Ubuntu join Red Hat and SuSE as the officially-approved and fully-supported server operating systems available as standard with HP Proliant hardware. Alliances manager at Canonical, Mark Murphy, hopes that the move will “give another layer of assurance to users and customers – particularly in the enterprise – with market leader HP recognising the growing importance of Ubuntu to enterprise and SMB customers.

The certification process – which has not yet been completed – will see Ubuntu listed as a supported operating system on Proliant hardware, and Canonical and HP engineers working together to ensure harmonious operation.

The move is a big win for Canonical in the enterprise sector, and expands on work the company has already done with IBM – who partnered with the company to produce a virtual desktop system which runs on Ubuntu servers – and Sun Microsystems. The company is also running a beta with Amazon's EC2 cloud computing platform, offering customers the opportunity to use Ubuntu Server as their cloud operating system.

Do you believe that the server is where Canonical should be concentrating its efforts, or has Linux already won that battle? Should Canonical be trying to get more Ubuntu Desktop distribution deals in the bag? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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