Virtualization Technology News and Information
Linux customization tool revised


A start-up has revised a tool aimed at helping application developers deploy their software on Linux-based appliances and virtual machines. RPath says rBuilder 2.0 helps software developers create custom Linux implementations and binary images that can be installed on commodity hardware or "live" demo CDs, or run using VMWare Player.

RPath was founded in January of this year by former Red Hat VPs Billy Marshall, who serves as CEO, and Eric Troan, who serves as CTO. The company's "rBuilder" tool aims to help software developers create "software appliances" -- the company's marketing term for binary images containing a software application and the necessary Linux filesystem components to support it.

Software appliance 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 rBuilder 2.0 "simplifies installation, configuration, and maintenance." Other touted features include:

  • rPath Appliance Agent provides baseline functionality such as first-time configuration, activity scheduling, event notification, and logging. An extensible framework lets ISVs (independent software vendors) customize administrative interfaces
  • rMake build tool
  • rPath Mirror and rPath Entitlement Appliance, for deploying updates over the Internet to customer locations
  • Live demo CD/DVD creation tools

Troan stated, "Developers can easily create and maintain software appliances for their customers. End-users receive software that is simple to install, administer, and use."

Al Gillen, VP of system software research at IDC, stated, "The rapid adoption of virtualization is changing the way computer resources are allocated and consumed, and how applications and their underlying operating systems can be provisioned and managed through their lifecycle. IDC believes that software appliances can and will leverage this virtualized infrastructure and empower customers to simplify their IT environments by using application-specific software appliances for some workloads."


RBuilder 2.0 appears to be available now. Also available are a number of actual downloadable software appliances created for popular open source software packages, such as SugarCRM, Firefox, Asterisk, LAMP, and so on.

Additionally, rPath is demonstrating rBuilder 2.0 at LinuxWorld this week in San Francisco, where the software was nominated for a product excellence award.

Read the original article, here.


Published Wednesday, August 16, 2006 7:12 AM by David Marshall
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