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Appliance distro broadens Linux options

Dec 18, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

rPath announced that its rBuilder “build and release” customizaton and management system for ISVs (software vendors) building hardware appliances and/or virtual appliances is adding support for Ubuntu and CentOS Linux. rPath previously supported Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise, as well as its own rPath Linux “software appliance” distribution.

rPath says rBuilder reflects the company's motto of “Just Enough OS” (JeOS). The tool creates minimal filesystem images particularly suitable for deployment in virtualized environments, the company suggests. The new Ubuntu and CentOS options work with rPath's Lifecycle Management Platform, a part of rBuilder aimed at managing application images in virtualized environments, via a web interface.

rPath Linux and Conary

In May, rPath announced version 2.0 of its rPath Linux distribution, which is use by ISVs (independent software vendors) to deliver their products as pre-installed hardware-appliances, or as “software appliances” — pre-configured Linux server stacks suitable for installation by users on real or virtual commodity hardware. For example, ISV Digium tapped rPath for its AsteriskNow software appliance, an open-source IP PBX (private branch exchange) system. Version 2.0 of rPath Linux reduced footprint, while adding a brandable boot splash, new security features, and an “appliance installer.”

rPath was founded in 2006, by Eric Troan, former Red Hat CTO, and Michael K. Johnson and Matt Wilson. The three are known for inventing Conary, the flexible package management system used in both rPath Linux and rBuilder.

Stated Al Gillen, program VP, System Software at IDC, “By expanding the list of Linux deployment options, rPath opens up new market opportunities both for itself and for its customers.”

Stated rPath CTO Troan, “We're committed to an open and independent approach to the operating system.”


rPath did not provide availability information for the Ubuntu and CentOS versions of rBuilder. More information on rBuilder may be found here, and more on the rPath Lifecycle Management Platform should be here.

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