I work in an enterprise environment--at a major university to be more specific--as desktop support. It's largely a Windows environment. I'm not looking to install Ubuntu for our end users--rather may question is am I allowed to boot up an Ubuntu live USB (or install it on a VM) and use the OS to do things at work?

Things like open terminal, connect old drives from our environment and use the shred command to wipe them? It's obvious to me that I'm allowed to do this for one of my own personal drives at home, but is this legal to do at my work as part of the operations of a university IT team? Can I legally use Ubuntu as part of my job as a commercial technician for free?

If so, can someone please cite the legalese?

If not, can someone please suggest other Linux distros which can be?


Yes, it can be used for free. As explained on unbuntu.com, an organization may use it freely for internal use:

Ubuntu is freely available to all users for personal, or in the case of organisations, internal use. It is provided for this use without warranty. All implied warranties are disclaimed to the fullest extent permitted at law.

If your organization were to use Ubuntu for external use, meaning redistribution to others outside the organization, it would have to abide by both (a) the GPL and (b) Ubuntu's copyrights on logos and other such intellectual property. Your uses all appear to be internal and, therefore, are not subject to these restrictions.

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