Flynn Preview Release and Meetup

Today we’re excited to announce the first preview release of Flynn!

There’s still a lot of work to do but today’s release lets developers start experimenting with Flynn and get a sense of what’s still to come.

We would like to stress that Flynn is definitely not production ready. It shouldn’t be used for customer-facing or critical services yet. We’re working hard on stability, security, and performance, but there are certainly many bugs of which we are unaware (and a few we know about).

Try it now or check out the code on GitHub to get started with Flynn.

Flynn is an open source project and strongly encourages community contributions.

Our current focus is on stability. Until we have complete test coverage for all the major components and feel that Flynn is stable in production, we generally won’t accept pull requests for new features.

We strongly encourage you to report any bugs or unexpected behavior and to help with test coverage and stability fixes. Check out our contribution guide for more information on how to help out.

We will be hosting a meetup in San Francisco at 6:30pm on Thursday, April 24. We’ll do our best to record the event for everyone who can’t make it in person.

Questions and feedback are appreciated on GitHub, IRC (#flynn on freenode), and the new development mailing list.

Thank you all, especially sponsors for your patience and support. We’ll keep working hard to make Flynn the best it can be!

– The Flynn Team

Flynn Meetups in London and Dortmund

The Flynn team is in Europe this week and will be holding meetups in London, England and Dortmund, Germany. Thanks to a few community members we were able to set up last minute events. We’ll demo Flynn, talk about the project, and discus the best ways to get started using and contributing to Flynn.

We’d love to see you there! Anyone who would like to meet with us privately in London should also email

§ London, England

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Shoreditch Village Hall

§ Dortmund, Germany

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM
Ständige Vertretung
Hoher Wall 15, 44137 Dortmund

More news on the Flynn preview release coming soon.

Flynn Demo and Roadmap

Greetings from Flynn!

Lots of news from the world of Flynn today including the first demo of Flynn, a video of our first meetup, and a status report.

Today we are launching the first Flynn demo. The demo includes basic features of Flynn layers 0 and 1 including the host service, service discovery, and git receive. The demo is on GitHub and a screencast is embedded below. After you try the demo check out some of the underlying components also on the Flynn GitHub repo.

Thanks to everyone who attended our first community meetup last week in San Francisco. As promised, a video of the event was recorded, and is embedded below. A special thank you to Twilio for hosting the event.

§ Where we are

Basic versions of most components already exist. There are only a few remaining questions about the overall architecture, most of which will be resolved in the near future.

§ What’s next

Next month we will announce a more polished, complete, and documented version of the Layer 0 components: the host service, scheduling framework, and service discovery. This layer can be used on its own to schedule and run jobs (e.g. replace Mesos). A similar release of the major Layer 1 components will follow in early 2014. This will likely include the management API, git receiver, support for Heroku buildpacks, and the router. Other Layer 1 components will arrive later in the year.

§ Money

Our team has put more time into Flynn than expected (less than half the time spent has been paid). We’ll run out of funds entirely around the Layer 1 release in early 2014. We really want to continue our work on Flynn, especially as companies are starting to deploy Flynn — we want to be there to provide bug fixes, security updates, and additional features throughout the year. We’re asking for an additional $350,000 for 2014 to support the existing team for the year and possibly bring in a few additional developers. We also expect to see significant contributions in the form of pull requests from users of Flynn as the project evolves. If we reach this goal we expect Flynn to be extremely stable and feature-rich by the end of 2014. Based on the results of our first campaign, we are focusing on companies who can contribute on a monthly recurring basis, but of course all types and amounts are appreciated.

We encourage everyone to check out the demo and dive into the code. We will be in IRC and on GitHub to answer any questions and respond to comments. You can also email us anytime.

Thank you for your support and encouragement and being part of the Flynn community.

—The Flynn Team (Jonathan, Jeff, and Daniel)

Flynn Update and Meetup

Hello from the Flynn Team!

We’ve been hard at work for the past few months and things are moving along very well.

Everything is on schedule and we expect to have an MVP of the major components ready in early November. We will post more details about the MVP and the roadmap forward as that date approaches.

The entire Flynn team will be in the Bay Area in early November to meet with potential users and sponsors for 2014. We will also be hosting a Flynn meetup at the Twilio offices at 8pm on November 5th. We’ll demo what we have so far, talk about what’s coming, and answer any questions you have. Please RSVP so we can plan an appropriate volume of refreshments and seating capacity.

We hope to see many of you in a few weeks and speak with the rest of you online after the MVP launch. If you have any questions in the meantime or would like to schedule a meeting with the team while we’re in SF, drop us an email. Our time is limited but we’d love to meet as many of you as possible.

—The Flynn Team (Jeff, Jonathan, and Daniel)

What's next for Flynn

The community and industry response to Flynn has blown us away. We launched the project site two weeks ago as an easy way to explain what we were working on to potential collaborators and users. The crowdfunding campaign was only added at the last minute– we thought it might raise a few hundred dollars to help cover airfare for the team. Two weeks later more than 50 donors have contributed over $75,000 – almost the entire budget for the project. This support and enthusiasm from the industry, open source community, and potential users means the world to us.

We used a contribute button (powered by and Stripe) to avoid the all-or-nothing limitation of Kickstarter. We always planned to build Flynn with or without financial support. Cash would allow us to ship the project sooner and add more features, but we were committed to creating Flynn on our own if necessary. The amount raised so far will allow the core team to spend more time on the project for the rest of the year than we hoped. This improves our chances of staying on schedule and implementing all the core features. If you have not contributed yet, please consider doing so– more money means more features and the best chance of shipping on time. We are very excited about the list of reach features like autoscaling, ACLs, and log aggregation which are not funded yet. We will continue to accept contributions as we develop the project as well.

Everyone on our team is a major contributor to open source from creating SuperHappyDevHouse, Hacker Dojo, and Tent to publishing hundreds of open source repositories. We have also all been primarily employed by startups. Those experiences have left us wondering if there was a better way to fund major open source projects. Major open source software projects usually either start small and grow organically or have the support of a large organization. While open source software is widely used, few users contribute back to the maintainers. For some projects, even the MVP takes months of full time work. The success of crowdfunding models suggested another way: developers could publish a spec or description of a project online and request support in advance. Instead of rewards, reach features are promised if funding goals are reached. Finally, we strongly disapprove of early access or open sourcing a project as a reward. We believe that open source projects should be developed in the open and permissively licensed from day one. With your support this model allowed us to meet all those goals.

We thank the organizations and individuals who already sponsored Flynn, the Lockitron team for creating Selfstarter, the dotCloud team for the creation of Docker and their incredible moral and technical support, and the growing community who have reached out since we launched. We are honored by the opportunity to contribute back something as substantial as Flynn and look forward to the opportunity to serve the needs of the community.

We plan to ship an MVP by the end of October. Until then stay tuned to GitHub, this blog, our mailing list, and IRC channel for the latest on our progress.


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