Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has added a new offering to its training and education initiatives. This fall, the company is introducing a five-day OpenStack cloud computing training program, which it no doubt hopes will help generate expertise and familiarity with Ubuntu-friendly OpenStack distributions.

The first training session in the new program will take place during the week of Oct. 27-31 in Paris, where the next OpenStack Summit will occur the week after. Additional sections will be offered in the future on an ongoing basis, according to Canonical, and the company is offering certifications of completion for students who successfully finish the course, which is classroom-based and involves both lectures and labs.

This is the third training initiative that Canonical has undertaken. The company already offers a longer Ubuntu OpenStack training program that lasts two weeks, as well as a "Jumpstart" training option that includes two days of instruction and loaner "cloud-in-a-box" Orange Box hardware.

While Canonical will likely see healthy demand for the Paris training program and the sessions that follow elsewhere simply because of the popularity of OpenStack and its growing importance in the enterprise, it's clear that the offering is about more than capitalizing on the need for OpenStack skills in general. In addition to covering OpenStack itself, the sessions will familiarize participants with complementary components of the cloud computing ecosystem Canonical has built, including the Juju orchestration tool, MAAS hardware provisioning software and Landscape systems administration and management platform.

That means that, for Canonical, the training is also part of the effort to fortify Ubuntu's position within the cloud computing ecosystem, where the company faces stiff competition from other major open source vendors, including Red Hat (RHT), as well as a variety of proprietary vendors. Ubuntu already enjoys enormous popularity as a cloud computing platform, with 55 percent of all OpenStack instances running on Ubuntu, according to data compiled earlier this year by the OpenStack Foundation. But to cement its stake of the OpenStack market, Canonical needs to promote adoption of the entire stack of cloud computing software that it has built around Ubuntu, and the new training offering stands to do that very well.