On April 29, Microsoft announced that it has acquired open source company KInvolk GmbH. Chris Kuhl, CEO of KInvolk, also announced the news in an official KInvolk blog.

The following is the full text of Microsoft’s official message:Microsoft acquires Kinvolk to accelerate container-optimized innovation

The ability to run Kubernetes anywhere, whether in the cloud or within the enterprise, has been a top priority for Azure customers looking for rapid innovation, who are increasingly focusing on the benefits of container-optimized workloads and operating systems, lean application modernization, ease of use and platform resilience.

To support this rapid development, we announce that Microsoft has acquired Kinvolk GmbH.

Kinvolk’s founding mission is to “build and market an enterprise-class open cloud native stack “– which we think fits perfectly with our growing customer needs and our continued investment in open source and Kubernetes.

Kinvolk has a rich history of innovation in open source cloud native distributed computing, including Kubernetes, EBPF, community building and container optimization for Linux, as well as important early work with CoreOS on the RKT container runtime. Kinvolk eventually created FlatCar Container Linux, a popular alternative to CoreOS Container Linux, and the Lokomotive and Inspektor Gadget projects.

Microsoft is excited to bring the expertise of the Kinvolk team to Azure, where they will be major contributors to Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Azure Arc and future projects that will expand Azure’s hybrid container platform capabilities. And increase Microsoft’s upstream open source contribution to Kubernetes and containers. Stay tuned for more technical details.

Build with the open source community

In addition, Microsoft respects and wants to learn from the KInvolk team’s track record of launching, building, and nurturing open source community projects. Microsoft is committed to maintaining and developing the open source culture of KInvolk. The KInvolk team will continue to be active in their existing open source projects and will be crucial to driving further collaboration between the Azure engineering team and the wider open source container community.

Flatcar Container Linux has a sizeable user community in Azure as well as other clouds and within the enterprise. We know the CoreOS community has been on a tortuous journey over the years — we want to assure the FlatCar community that Microsoft and the KInvolk team will continue to collaborate with the larger FlatCar community on the development of FlatCar Container Linux. Microsoft is committed to the Flatcar Container Linux community and will invest in partnering with the Flatcar community to create a path of growth. We will be holding our first meeting with the community in the next few weeks and invite anyone interested to come and join the dialogue.

We’re excited to bring the KInvolk team and their technology to Microsoft, and look forward to their contribution to Azure, our customers, and the open source community.

The following is the full text of the Kinvolk official message:Microsoft acquires Kinvolk

Today, we’re happy to announce that Kinvolk has been acquired by Microsoft.

Back in 2015, we set out to create a company focused on building and improving open source Linux technology in the cloud native space. Our primary goal is to have a significant positive impact on the open source community in which we participate, and to work on projects and technologies that allow us to focus on collaboration rather than competition. We joined Microsoft to advance these goals in ways that we could not have done alone.

The name “Kinvolk “(from “kinfolk”, meaning” big family “, with German character) was chosen to highlight the importance of community in our broadest sense: Employees, clients, partners, collaborators, and supporters of All the activities Kinvolk supports, such as Cloud Native Rejekts or All Systems Go! .

Our early projects for customers like CoreOS and Weaveworks established our reputation as Linux and cloud native experts, and when CoreOS was acquired by Red Hat, we saw an opportunity to help the community, Filling the gap with our own Flatcar Container Linux distribution, and soon followed by Lokomotive and Inspektor Gadget, our suite of EBPF-based tools for debugging and inspecting Kubernetes clusters.

In the process, we have built close relationships with many people in the cloud native community based on our values (” cooperative > competition, “” community > products,” “contributing > consumption,” and “welcoming > exclusion”). In particular, we’ve built a very close partnership with Microsoft, dating back to our collaboration on the Service Mesh Interface, and then brought FlatCar container Linux to Azure and supported the migration of Azure’s major customers from CoreOS to FlatCar, It also recently added support for Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) with Lokomotive and Inspektor Gadget.

We look forward to focusing on our open source work, realizing the full potential of EBPF in Kubernetes through tools such as Inspektor Gadget, and working on Kubernetes, Systemd, and the many other communities in which we are active. We are also looking forward to working with Microsoft’s product teams to help bring these leading open source capabilities to an even larger customer base through Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Arc, and many other services and products. However, our main focus will remain on our open source projects and making them available on all platforms.

There will no doubt be many problems, especially among the Flatcar Container Linux user community. Microsoft has made it clear that we want to ensure continuity for users who have experienced a lot of upheaval over the last few years. It won’t be a replay of a movie you’ve seen before. In fact, we and Microsoft are both committed to doubling down on the FlatCar community: we want to expand the range of partners, contributors, and users to ensure FlatCar has a vibrant, successful, and sustainable long-term future as a truly open, community-driven project. As a first step towards that future, we welcome you to our new monthly community meetings.

When you do open source right, you don’t do it alone, you do it in partnership with the open source community. As part of Microsoft, we intend to continue this practice.

We look forward to continuing to work closely with you, even as the KInvolk team moves into the next stage of our journey.

Same team, different company, Volks. ❤ ️