Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Debian start-up seeks new funding

Filed under

Ian Murdock, chief strategy officer and a co-founder of both Debian and Progeny, said his company has been running profitably off its Series A funding round, completed in 2000, but now it's time for a more assertive phase at the company.

"We're looking to accelerate our growth," Murdock said in an interview here at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo. "It's nice not to have to worry about raising more money to keep the lights on, but it's frustrating; there are always more opportunities than you have the resources to tackle."

The investment round likely will close by the end of 2005 or early 2006. It's actually the second time it tried for a Series B round, but the first, during the technology bubble burst of 2001, was a "bad time," Murdock said.

Debian, run largely by volunteers, has long been a noncommercial alternative to top Linux versions from Red Hat and Novell's Suse. Progeny is trying to make a business by customizing Debian Linux for particular devices such as telecommunications gear, storage systems or special-purpose dedicated servers. In these devices, Linux is typically embedded but not visible to outside users.

Competitors include the general-purpose Linux companies as well as embedded computing specialists such as Wind River and MontaVista Software.

Progeny is one of several companies involved in the Debian Common Core (DCC) Alliance, an effort to try to bring more weight to the Linux version. For example, software and hardware companies wanting to certify that their products work with Debian now will have fewer partners to worry about, Murdock said.

"We're stronger together than individually," he said. The DCC Alliance hopes to make a version of Debian that's compatible with version 3.0 of the Linux Standard Base. Other alliance members are Knoppix, Xandros, Linspire, Mepis, Credativ, GnuLinEx, Sun Wah and User Linux.

Such alliances have been tried in the past, however. UnitedLinux fell by the wayside after one of its members, the SCO Group, chose to attack Linux rather than boost it. Its members, plus Progeny, gathered again in 2004 to form the Linux Core Consortium.

The DCC Alliance will fare better, Murdock predicted. For one thing, the alliance members all share the same core technology--Debian 3.1, called Sarge. For another, they have diverse, non-overlapping business models despite a similar technology foundation.

By Stephen Shankland


Yes, they said with funding they anticipate going from one new release every 3-4 years to nearly twice that many in the same time frame. Funny how Debian Developer's still think that the folk tale about the tortoise and the hare is true.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

EU-Fossa project submits results of code audits

The European Commission’s ‘EU Free and Open Source Software Auditing’ project (EU-Fossa) has sent its code review results to the developers of Apache HTTP server target and KeePass. The audit results are not yet made public, however, no critical vulnerabilities were found. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Docker: Making the Internet Programmable
    Docker, and containers in general, are hot technologies that have been getting quite a bit of attention over the past few years. Even Solomon Hykes, Founder, CTO, and Chief Product Officer at Docker started his keynote with the assumption that people attending LinuxCon Europe know that Docker does containers, so instead of focusing on what Docker does, Hykes used his time to talk about Docker’s purpose saying, “It really boils down to one small sentence. We're trying to make the Internet programmable.” Hykes described this idea of making the Internet programmable with three key points. First, they are focused on building “tools of mass innovation” designed to allow people to create and innovate on a very large scale. Second, applications and cloud services are allowing the idea of the Internet as a programmable platform to be realized, and they want to make this accessible to more people. Third, they are accomplishing all of this by building the Docker stack with open standards, open infrastructure, and a development platform with commercial products on top of the stack.
  • How to benchmark your Linux system
    The Software Center list will also include individual tests. These can be fine to use, but they can be tedious to open and configure manually. Keep your eye out for an entry called Phoronix Test Suite, or PTS for short. The Phoronix Test Suite is a powerful program that can run a single test, or an entire battery. PTS offers some built-in suites (collection of tests), or you can design your own suite. When tests are completed, you can choose to upload the test results to, where other users can see your results and even run the exact same tests on their PC.
  • Wunderlist Electron App for Linux
    Missing Wunderlist on Linux? You don’t need to thanks to Wunderlistux, an Electron-based desktop app. It doesn’t claim to be anything more than a wrapper around the official Wunderlist web app (which, yes, you could just open in a new browser tab).
  • Enter the Wasteland: Mad Max now available for Mac and Linux
  • What a lovely day! Mad Max releases for Mac and Linux
  • Mad Max Comes to Linux and Mac
  • GNOME at Linux Install Fest
    It’s an event organized in order to help first year students install a Linux distro on their laptops (here at our uni, we work almost entirely on Linux, so we need to help those that have never used it and set up their distros

today's howtos

Red Hat News