News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Linux appliance startup attracts $6.4M venture funding

Jan 25, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

A start-up specializing in tools that help developers deploy software on Linux-based appliances and virtual machines has received $6.4 million funding. rPath was founded this month by two former Red Hat VPs. Although the principal focus is enterprise software appliances, the company's tools could also be useful to embedded developers.

rPath CEO Billy Marshall formerly served as vice president of sales at Red Hat, while CTO Erik Troan was VP of engineering there.

rPath plans to market an “rBuilder” tool aimed at helping software developers create “software appliances” — the company's marketing term for binary images containing the software application and Linux filesystem components needed to support it. The filesystem components are drawn from “rPath Linux,” the company's own Linux distribution.

Rather than using rpm or dpkg package management, rPath Linux and the rBuilder tool use the Conary package management system, which was invented by CTO Troan, along with rPath “founding engineers” Michael K. Johnson and Matt Wilson. Conary aims to provide fine-grained control over filesystems assembled with components from multiple Linux distributions, and from “loosely connected repositories” elsewhere on the network, according to its Wiki

rPath says its “software appliance” approach simplifies and speeds up installation, freeing users from the complexities of installing and maintaining Linux. The approach is also said to facilitate remote management, and bring “the simplicity of SaaS (software as a service) to on-premise application deployments.”

rPath says it will use its new funding to extend its market reach in the “rapidly growing Linux market.” CEO Marshall stated, “Our mission at rPath is to help software developers take full advantage of open source technology.”

Michael Skok, general partner with North Bridge Venture Partners, stated, “We have backed many companies who have experienced the pain of configuring Linux for specific applications, and have often seen companies that cannot deploy and support open source on a cost-effective basis. We believe that rPath is providing the right solution for these problems.”

Gary Chen, SMB (small-medium business) analyst with the Yankee Group, stated, “The software appliance approach makes perfect sense for end-users who are interested in simplifying the deployment and management of applications. With this model, users are sheltered from operating system issues.”

Progeny, a start-up founded by Debian project creator Ian Murdoch, offers a similar service in partnership with NCS Technology.

The current rPath investment was led by North Bridge Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.