Leaner: RPath Linux 2

May 16, 2008

RPath has released version 2 of its Linux distribution which is mainly designed for producing customized software appliances.

The kernel (version is about one third smaller than its predecessor, and the base system is just half the size. This is very much in line with the manufacturer's strategy, and one that both Ubuntu and Suse follow with operating system variants under the motto of "Just enough Operating System (JeOS)": The Linux distribution becomes a basic platform on which software vendors can distribute bootable live or appliance versions of their applications. Examples of appliances based on Rpath include Sugar CRM, the Joomla CMS, and Mediawiki.

RPath uses its own Conary package management system, with Syslinux providing a boot loader. A graphical boot splash is displayed when you fire up the system; the splash can easily be modified to reflect your own needs. Software vendors interested in doing so can call in the RBuilder online service to have appliances built for them.

The image files for the current Rpath version 2 are also available on the Rbuilder system here and include virtual system images in Vmware format as well as installable ISOs.

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