Ubuntu and CentOS are now in the rPath. The company yesterday began shipping a version of its rBuilder build and release management system for Linux that adds those distros; the tool previously worked only with Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise and its own rPath Linux.

rBuilder packages a Linux application with essential parts of its underlying operating system into a single, virtualized image. That image can then be delivered via network, disc or other means, or installed on dedicated hardware and deployed as a stand-alone appliance. According to the company, this approach provides IT departments with a scalable platform for software deployment and maintenance and eliminates the need for manual hardware infrastructure configuration.

rPath explains how apps made with rBuilder can be used in virtualized and cloud-based environments, in which the operating system is split in two. "Hardware-based services are handled by the hypervisor, and application-based services are attached to the application image, which becomes a self-contained and fully functioning set of virtual machines," explained the company in a statement. This approach is typically based on just enough operating system—or JeOS—a practice that assembles only the pieces of the operating system and tooling needed for the application's run-time requirements. "This makes the application simple to deploy, portable across run-time environments and far more cost-effective to maintain over time."

The company was founded in 2006 by former Red Hat VPs Billy Marshall (sales) and Erik Troan (engineering).