Former Red Hat Execs Start New Linux Company

Former Red Hat and Cygnus technology executives Kim Knuttila and Erik Troan have joined forces to found a new, customized-Linux company.

Former Red Hat Inc. and Cygnus Solutions Inc. technology executives Kim Knuttila and Erik Troan have founded a new open-source company, Specifix Inc., that produces tailored Linux solutions targeting enterprises, hardware OEMs and other Linux users.

Specifix Inc. will soon be delivering Conary—an open-source technology for building, deploying and managing a single Linux code base across an unlimited number of configurations and hardware platforms. With Conary, officials of Specifix, based in San Jose, Calif,. says users will be able to modify Linux source code to suit their needs, track and merge changes with the Specifix Linux reference implementation, and build their own tailored distribution. This cycle can be repeated through multiple versions of the users tailored Linux operating system.

The Specifix management team had more than 35 years of Linux, GNU tools and open-source development experience. Kim Knuttila, the companys co-founder and CEO, was most recently the vice president of Engineering Services at Red Hat. There, he managed the former Cygnus business unit to deliver open-source and embedded Linux solutions. Before coming to Red Hat, Knuttila was vice president of Engineering with Cygnus Solutions, a tools developer acquired by Red Hat in 1999.

Erik Troan, co-founder and executive vice president of Operating Systems, also brings extensive open-source and Linux development experience to Specifix. For the past decade, Troan was Red Hats chief developer and vice president of Product Engineering. In this capacity, Troan was responsible for specifying and building all products developed by Red Hat, including RedHat Package Manager, Linux operating systems, the Red Hat Network, high performance Web servers and the infrastructure for Red Hats Web site. Most recently, Troan was senior director of Product Marketing at Red Hat, where he was responsible for the marketing and positioning of Red Hats product lines, including software products and service offerings.

"We are extremely excited about having the opportunity to execute on a dream that Erik and I share to deliver open-source solutions designed for a companys unique needs," Knuttila said. "Weve built groundbreaking development and deployment technologies to enable OEMs, internal IT groups and device manufacturers to take advantage of the power and infinitely customizable nature of open source."

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