BitRock Network Service

You are probably already familiar with our multiplatform installer and customized open source stacks. Over the past year, we have been quietly working with leading software vendors to add BitRock's Network Service capabilities to their deployments, allowing them to deliver messages and updates to their users and evaluators. The BitRock Network service also provides ISVs with valuable insight into how their products are used, allowing them to streamline support and prioritize product development. Curious? Read what GroundWork open source, one of our customers, has to say.


Our Film Debut

Last year, Microsoft approached us with a unique opportunity; they wanted to send a film crew out to our office in Seville, Spain, to make a short documentary about BitRock. Their aim, as expressed to us, was to show that software companies working in the open source space can benefit from partnering with Microsoft. After speaking with the videographers, a couple of very cool independent filmmakers (as opposed to the typical producers of talking-head corporate videos), and being assured that we would have a chance to view and approve the video before it was released, we decided to give it a shot. The video turned out to be much less about Microsoft and much more about a few of the people who make up the BitRock and BitNami teams. Here it is, our film debut:

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-US&amp;playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:1e409ce4-a615-4ffd-816d-2a7cff331f9c&amp;showPlaylist=true&amp;from=shared" target="_new" title="Open Source Documentary: BitRock">Video: Open Source Documentary: BitRock</a>


Join the BitRock team

We have a ton of exciting things going on at BitRock and we are looking to expand our team overseas. If you are interested in one of the positions below, please send your CV to careers@bitrock.com including a brief paragraph on which position you are applying for and why you would like to work for us.

You would be working mostly with US customers, during US business hours, so ideally you are located in US, Canada or South America. We are looking for smart, get-things-done attitude, responsible developers that enjoy working with open source technologies.

InstallBuilder Support Engineer: You will be supporting InstallBuilder customers, answering usage questions, troubleshooting installation processes, providing proofs of concept and improving our documentation. As you gain more experience, you will take part on the development process of InstallBuilder itself.

Stack Engineer: You will use InstallBuilder and our in-house automated build tools to provide customized integrated stacks for our customers. The stacks commonly include Apache, MySQL, PHP, Tomcat and many different open source projects. This position is a bit difficult to explain, but if you are a distro packager or a sysadmin who likes to automate its work, you will enjoy it. Take a look at BitNami for an example of what the stacks look like

You need to be fluent in a scripting language such as Ruby, Python or Tcl, and familiar with common open source development tools. Interaction with customers is mostly over email so you need to have excellent communication and written english skills. A big chunk of the development team is in Spain, so a bit of Spanglish would not hurt :)


Speed improvement on Windows for InstallBuilder

If you are using InstallBuilder to package installers that target Windows and contain a large number of small files, our latest release should significantly increase the speed of installation. Please give it a try and let us know if you run into any issues.

Open Source Think Tank Europe

The 21st to the 23rd of September our CTO, Daniel Lopez, will be in Paris attending Open Source Think Tank . It is an invitation-only event that brings together Open Source CEOs (including many of our clients), system integrators and venture capitalists for some brainstorming on the future of commercial open source (and wine drinking too!). On Wednesday we will be attending VAR/SI meeting in which we will looking at different partnering and business opportunities.



Please come to say hello if you are going to be at one of these conferences where we will be presenting / exhibiting:
  • ZendCon 15-17th September, Santa Clara, CA.
  • TrollTech Dev Days Europe, 14th-15th October, Munich, Germany
  • OSWC 2008, 20th, 21st and 22nd October, Malaga, Spain
  • TrollTech Dev Days US, 29th-30th October, RedWood City, CA


5.4.8 Released

We released 5.4.8 last week. This release includes a lot of small improvements. You can take a look at the ChangeLog, but here are some highlights:

When you are installing a server application such as MySQL or Tomcat, it is necessary to prompt the user for a specific TCP/IP port in case the default one is in use. You can skip this step simply by using the new action, which allows you to select a free port from a given range. For example, the following snippet will take the first free port in the range 3306 - 3406 :

This release allows you adding regular action lists, such as , , etc. to each in your project file. An for a component will always be executed, but the rest of action lists will only be executed if the component has been selected for installation.

There were some cases in which the installation would abort, but no error code will be returned by the application. This was causing problems when running from unattended scripts, etc. as it would seem that the installation finished correctly when it was not the case. We went over the code and made sure the exit code is the right one in every situation.

Enjoy this release and let us know what else would you like to see in future versions of InstallBuilder


5.4.7 Released

We are pleased to announce that BitRock InstallBuilder 5.4.7 has been just released. You can find this new version under the following links:



Among its new features you may find:
  • New showProgressDialog action, allows showing an indeterminate progress bar when executing actions.
  • New Relax-NG schema included with InstallBuilder.
  • New examples for actions, components and parameters included with InstallBuilder.
  • Ability to generate 64-bit RPM packages from a Linux-x64 machine.
  • Improved display of slide show images on GTK mode.
  • Fixed uninstaller creation when defaultUnixOwner and requireInstallationByRootUser are set.
  • Improved feedback to the user when an unknown error is detected during the postInstallationActionList.
  • Fixed an error on machine_ipaddr, it was returning multiple addresses on Windows on certain scenarios.
  • New addChoiceOptionsFromText action allows to obtain a list of options from a text source to be inserted into a choice parameter.


Variables at build time

Sometimes it is convenient to set project variables at build time. There are a couple of ways that this can be accomplished:

Use the preBuildActionList:

<setinstallervariable name="version" persist="1" value="${env(BUILDVER)}" />

Or, starting with 5.4.6, it is possible to pass variables directly in the command line to the builder

$ builder build project.xml --setvars version=1.2.3 project.shortName=newName



Several members of the BitRock team are on their way to Fosdem. If you're attending the conference and you'd like to meet up with them, keep your eye out for a Spanish, Polish, Belgian or Portuguese guy in a navy blue BitRock fleece.

Radio Silence

Yes, this post is *very* long overdue. Rest assured that the lack of blog posts is due to the fact that we have been very hard at work on not one, but two new projects. The first is BitNami, a site we launched that has over 20 very easy to install open source application stacks available for download. We covered that project briefly in an earlier post, and it has come quite a long way since then. The second is the Network Service, which we'll be announcing at the end of March at OSBC. We'll follow up with more information on both in the next couple of weeks.