On Thursday, Ubuntu Linux distribution organization Canonical flipped the switch on free public downloads of Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop Edition and Ubuntu 8.10 Server Edition, both of which will be supported for 18 months.
Improvements to Ubuntu 8.10 Server Edition focus on virtualization, Java development, system management, and email security. It includes a Virtual Machine builder with which developers can construct customized virtual images, which is based on the most recent version of the Just Enough Operating System (JeOS).
Java developers now have the option of using Apache Tomcat 6.0 and OpenJDK, and ClamAV and SpamAssassin have been added to the main repository to handle anti-spam and anti-virus tasks.
Earlier this week in a conference call with reporters, Mark Shuttleworth, leader of Ubuntu distribution organization Canonical, said the company has yet to turn a profit, but he plans to continue funding it for an additional three to five years.