Back in March last year, following Red Hat’s acquisition of CoreOS, Inc., we announced Flatcar Container Linux, a fork of CoreOS Container Linux. At the time, we saw this as a kind of insurance policy for a future when Red Hat might terminate ongoing support and maintenance of the widely-deployed CoreOS platform. As we put it at the time:

The strongest open source projects have multiple commercial vendors that collaborate together in a mutually beneficial relationship. This increases the bus factor for a project. Container Linux has a bus factor of 1. The introduction of Flatcar Linux brings that to 2.

Today we announced the general availability of the Kinvolk Flatcar Container Linux Subscription. The subscription includes:

  • technical support including optional 24x7x365 response time service level agreement
  • access to the Kinvolk customer portal for ticket management and knowledge base articles
  • new software releases across four delivery channels: stable, beta, alpha and edge (experimental)
  • regular security updates
  • the new Kinvolk Update Service, available hosted or on-prem, for fine-grain control and visibility of Flatcar updates across an entire fleet of machines (for more about the Kinvolk Update Service and the technology behind it, check out this post by project lead Joaquim Rocha .

We are particularly pleased at the broad welcome this announcement has received from both end users and our industry partners:

“As we realized CoreOS Container Linux was reaching end of support, we reached out to the team at Kinvolk and were impressed by their commitment to the original CoreOS vision, and their ability to support us through a seamless transition to Flatcar. With a Flatcar Container Linux subscription in place, we now feel comfortable that we have a viable long-term platform strategy.”
– Michael Ferraro, VP Platform at UpGuard

“We believe Flatcar Container Linux will be welcomed by developers and administrators who rely on CoreOS today for its lightweight approach, built-in support of the Docker container engine, and as a proven platform for Docker Enterprise.”
– Justin Graham, VP Product Management at Docker, Inc.

“We’re longtime fans of CoreOS Container Linux, and it remains the most popular substrate for container environments in our bare metal cloud. With Flatcar Container Linux, the community now has a strong roadmap upon which to continue the momentum of CoreOS, backed by a proactive support model and the stellar Kinvolk team. We are inviting our CoreOS users to migrate to Flatcar Container Linux, which has been fully integrated into the Packet platform.”
– Zac Smith, CEO at Packet, a leading bare metal cloud provider based in New York

“At Container Solutions, we’re in the business of helping customers shift their businesses to modern software development and deployment practices. CoreOS Container Linux has been one of our customers' most popular options, so we are pleased to see Kinvolk taking the initiative to enable them to continue with the same software foundation on a commercially supported basis.”
– Jamie Dobson, CEO at Container Solutions

“CoreOS Container Linux has seen wide adoption across the industry, and many users are looking for a path forward that doesn’t entail significant operational disruption. Over the past 18 months, Kinvolk has demonstrated their commitment and ability to do this with Flatcar Container Linux, and I’m pleased to see they are now backing that up with commercial support and managed update service.”
– Joe Sandoval, SRE Manager, Infrastructure Platform at Adobe, and OpenStack User Committee member

“We are excited to be collaborating with Kinvolk to enable an upgrade path for our customers who are currently deploying Kubernetes with CoreOS, as well as supporting future Kubernetes adopters who need a secure operating system foundation.”
– Matt Barker, CEO at Jetstack, a leading Kubernetes consultancy based in London, UK

“At Giant Swarm, we strongly believe in the minimal and immutable container Linux approach, which is why we built our managed Kubernetes service on CoreOS (in part with the help of Kinvolk’s engineering team). Going forward, Flatcar Container Linux offers us an identical operational experience, with the commitment to long-term maintenance, support and security updates that we need to ensure a stable platform for our demanding enterprise customers such as Adidas and Vodafone.”
– Timo Derstappen, chief technology officer, Giant Swarm

“The market is looking for a container Linux distribution maintained by an independent, community-oriented team, and Kinvolk has the right pedigree to deliver it. We are excited to collaborate with them to help our Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform customers adopt Flatcar Container Linux.”
– Sebastian Scheele, co-founder and CEO, Loodse

The Kinvolk Flatcar Container Linux Subscription is available today, and is already being adopted by multiple large enterprise customers across thousands of container hosts. Pricing is per node (physical or virtual, without CPU limits). From now until March 31, 2020, Kinvolk will commit to matching the price of any existing CoreOS Container Linux support contract, and will beat it by at least 10% for the first year’s subscription.

Download the Flatcar Container Linux datasheet for details, or get in touch to find out more.

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