Today, we are excited to announce that Kinvolk has been acquired by Microsoft.
Back in 2015, we set out to create a company that focused on building and improving open source Linux technologies in the cloud native space. Our main goals were to have a significant positive impact on the open source communities we are involved in, and to work on projects and technologies that allowed us to focus on collaboration over competition. We join Microsoft to further these goals in ways that we could not have done alone.
The name “Kinvolk” (from “kinfolk”, meaning extended family, with a German twist) was chosen to highlight the importance to us of community in the broadest sense: employees, customers, partners, collaborators, and everyone who attends Kinvolk-backed events like Cloud Native Rejekts or All Systems Go! .
Our earliest projects for customers like CoreOS and WeaveWorks established our reputation as Linux and cloud native technology experts, and when CoreOS was acquired by Red Hat, we saw the opportunity to help the community by filling a void with our own Flatcar Container Linux distribution, soon followed by Lokomotive and Inspektor Gadget , our suite of eBPF-based tools for debugging and inspecting Kubernetes clusters.
Throughout this journey, consistent with our values (“Cooperation > Competition”, “Community > Product”, “Contributing > Consuming”, and “Welcoming > Excluding”), we have built close relationships with many of you in the cloud native community. In particular, we have had a really close partnership with Microsoft, going back to our collaboration on Service Mesh Interface , then bringing Flatcar Container Linux to Azure and supporting the migration of major Azure customers from CoreOS to Flatcar, and most recently enabling support for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) with Lokomotive and Inspektor Gadget.
We look forward to being able to focus our efforts on our open source work, to realizing the full potential of eBPF in Kubernetes with tools like Inspektor Gadget, and working on Kubernetes, systemd, and the many other communities we are active in. We are also eager to collaborate with the Microsoft product teams to help bring these leading-edge open source capabilities to a much larger customer community via Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Arc, and many other services and products. Our primary mission, though, will remain our open source projects, and enabling those projects to be used across all platforms.
There will doubtless be a lot of questions, particularly among the Flatcar Container Linux user community. Microsoft has been clear that we are to ensure continuity for users who have already gone through a lot of upheaval over the past couple of years. This will not be a replay of the movie you’ve seen before. In fact, we and Microsoft are committed to doubling down on the Flatcar community: we want to expand the universe of partners, contributors, and users, to ensure a vibrant, successful and sustainable long-term future for Flatcar as a truly open, community-driven project. As a first step towards that future, we welcome you to join the first of our new monthly community meetings .
When you do open source right, you do not do it alone, you do it in collaboration with the open source community. And we intend to continue that approach as a part of Microsoft.
We look forward to continuing to collaborate closely with you all, even as the Kinvolk team moves into the next phase of our journey.
Same team, different company, volks. ❤️