CoreOS Linux distro lands on the Google Cloud Platform

Designed for massive server deployments, CoreOS consumes less than 200MB of working memory per instance

CoreOS, a new lightweight Linux distribution customized for massive server deployments, has found a home on the Google Cloud Platform, giving organizations an easy way to test and use the software for their clusters and distributed computer programs.

CoreOS will be offered in the Google cloud alongside other Linux distributions such as Debian, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Suse.

Two Rackspace engineers, Alex Polvi and Brandon Philips, along with Michael Marineau, developed CoreOS to better fit Linux into what they saw as an emerging use of the open-source operating system kernel, that of powering lots of cloud-based virtual servers. They forked Google's Chrome OS, also Linux-based, to use as their starting point.

Google has offered CoreOS as a preview since December, but on Thursday it went live as a full-fledged service offered on the Google Cloud Platform.

The distribution has a number of novel engineering designs intended to make it work especially well in the cloud.

The average CoreOS instance consumes only 161MB of working memory, less than half of what other distributions typically consume.

The distribution can be updated more quickly due to its novel use of two partitions. One can contain the current version of the OS while the OS is being updated in the other. That means the software can be updated all at once instead of package by package. Users can also elect to have the distribution update itself automatically.

All applications that run on the distribution run in Docker virtualized containers, so they can be started almost instantaneously.

CoreOS is also designed to work natively in a cluster. Applications can run across several nodes and be managed through a service directory. The distribution also has several built-in tools for distributed computing, including distributed locking and master election.

The distribution has built-in support for the Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE), which allows for remote booting.

In addition to Google, CoreOS is also offered by Amazon EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute), Rackspace Cloud, Brightbox Cloud and Vultr VPS (Virtual Private Servers). It also runs on a variety of cloud hosting platforms, including OpenStack, VMware, Libvirt and Eucalyptus.

The current version of CoreOS, called CoreOS 317.0.0, runs Linux kernel version 3.14.4 and Docker 0.11.1.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags open sourceLinuxGooglesoftwareoperating systemscloud computinginternetInfrastructure servicesrackspaceCoreOS

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?