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Ubuntu is going to become the reference architecture for a Linux distribution, backed and developed by the Chinese government, reports The Register.

Canonical will work with China’s National University of Defense Technology, and China Software and Integrated Chip Promotions Centre (CSIP) to develop a Chinese-flavored version of the popular Linux distribution.

This software will help China provide “a flexible, open, widely-used and standardized operating system,” Canonical said on Thursday.

A “CCN Open Source Innovation Joint Lab” has been create in Beijing where where engineers from all three organizations will code “an enhanced version of the Ubuntu desktop with features specific to the Chinese market”.

The first distribution made under this scheme will come out in April 2013 and will be named Ubuntu Kylin, says Canonical. Chinese specific features in the 13.04 release include Chinese input methods and Chinese calendars, along with weather indicators and integration of various Chinese sites into the Dash.

Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution on desktop/laptop personal computers, says Wikipedia, but it is also popular on servers and for cloud computing. Development of Ubuntu is led by Canonical, a UK-based company owned by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth.

Ubuntu’s support for smartphones, tablets, TVs and smart screens is scheduled to be added by Ubuntu 14.04.

HP is selling WebOS, which it acquired from Palm, to LG Electronics. LG plans to use the operating system for its “smart” or Internet-connected TVs. However HP will still hold on to patents underlying WebOS as well as cloud-based services such as the App Catalog, according to Wikipedia.

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