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Resin.io changes name to balena, releases open source edition

Today we’re excited to announce that resin.io is becoming balena. That’s right, we’re changing our name! Coinciding with the new name, we’re also releasing a beta version of openBalena, the open source edition of our core platform.

Our team just returned home from our annual summit, where we discussed the accelerating growth of our fleet over the past year, as well as all of the released and upcoming features, with particular emphasis on our plans to continue scaling to keep up with our rate of growth. We also spent a lot of time making our new name and openBalena a reality, and we can’t wait to share the results with you today.

So why are we changing our name?

The name resin.io represents what we originally set out to do over four years ago: “git push for devices.” As we’ve learned more about what was missing in the world of edge computing and IoT, we realized that we’d need to offer more than just “git push for hardware” to help fleet owners scale their projects. Over the last few years our product offering has grown by leaps and bounds. We’ve released Etcher; resinOS; balena, the container engine that we’re taking our new name from; wifi-connect; our collection of thousands of base images; the balenaFin, our first hardware product that has been pre-released to early customers; and many other projects.

As we've evolved beyond a developer tool and into a company focused on reducing friction for people building and growing fleets of devices, we've long sought a way to bring our set of tools and solutions under a single name, while distinguishing our cloud service from the broader set of tools we make available. At the same time, the resin name has caused confusion; from trademark issues, to cannabis references, to people mishearing it as “raisin.” In the meantime, we released our container engine under the name balena and increasingly fell in love with it. So after quite a bit of deliberation, we decided to take the plunge: say goodbye to resin.io and hello to balena.

balena logo

The balena family

We’d like to introduce the new names and logos of the resin.io balena projects you know and love. Since balena will be the name to encompass all of our products and services, we’ll rename the core platform to balenaCloud. This also means that resinOS will become balenaOS, our container engine will become balenaEngine, Etcher will become balenaEtcher, and of course there’s the balenaFin.

resin.io The cloud platform for IoT fleet deployment and management
resinOS A portable and lightweight operating system designed to run containerized payloads on edge devices
balena Our optimized, moby-based, container engine for edge computing
Etcher The fastest and safest way to write to flash
Project Fin An industrialized board built for fleet owners

For existing resin customers, there's no urgent action required. All your devices that are connected to resin.io should continue operating on balena without any issues. If you are using resin.io API calls, you'll see them continue to work as expected for the foreseeable future. If you're using an environment variable with the RESIN string, it too will continue to work fine. What you will notice, of course, is that our dashboard, our landing page, as well as several other of our tools will change names and colors, and new releases of tools such as our base images and our SDK will be made under the balena name, though the current versions will, of course, continue to be available as they have been.

You'll notice the URL for our dashboard has changed, too. During the rename, we took the opportunity to secure and migrate to a .com domain name with the aim of improving the reliability and stability of our service. You can now login at: dashboard.balena-cloud.com

Open source

We wanted to introduce the balena name to the world with a splash, and what better way to do that than releasing our open source server. This release is something we promised a while ago but we wanted to do it in a way that will allow us to release updates for the project as we update our cloud product, while also allowing open source contributions to flow back into the cloud product. Doing this without requiring heavy manual effort needed several new deployment workflows and tools, which we will describe in more detail soon.

Without further ado, please welcome the newest addition to the balena family, openBalena!

openBalena logo

The openBalena project allows anyone to set up a server that manages balenaOS devices. In deciding what features would be part of openBalena, we focused on the core items needed to manage a fleet reliably. As such, openBalena is single-user, and is used solely via the balena CLI tool, which was already open source. OpenBalena still shares several core features with balenaCloud, including the powerful API, the built-in device VPN, as well as our spectacular provisioning workflow.

We also added a feature to balenaOS giving devices the ability to join and leave a server. In practice, this means that balena customers will always have the option of setting up an open source server and no longer using the cloud service, while open source users can always migrate to balenaCloud. At balena, we want our relationship to be defined by the value we provide you, not by the lockin created by your inability to move away. We see the open source release as a big step towards removing those barriers to exit (and entry!).

You can get started with openBalena by visiting the openBalena repo and following the instructions. Maybe even give it a star while you’re there? We have marked the current version as a beta release. The beta designation will remain until we have completed all the device migration workflows, have seen significant deployment and use of the server by non-balena engineers, and until we release the ability to remotely update the hostOS of the devices. After this point we will feel comfortable recommending its use for production deployments.

We will continue to evolve openBalena in lockstep with balenaCloud, and we hope to make the experience of deploying it, managing it, and contributing your improvements back to the openBalena project a breeze. As with all our other projects and products, we depend on your feedback to continue improving, and hope to continue the conversation on github and on the openBalena forum.

A new era

It’s incredibly exciting to welcome this new stage in our evolution, and we hope you will find in balena all the things you’ve known and loved in resin.io, as well as a renewed spirit of openness and a continued commitment to our mission:

Unlock the potential of physical computing by slashing the friction faced by fleet owners when developing, deploying, managing, and updating fleets of connected devices.

On behalf of the whole resin.io balena team,

Alexandros Marinos
Founder & CEO, balena

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