Rancher Labs

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Rancher Labs is a software company working on operating-system-level virtualization tools, more commonly known as Linux Containers. Founded in 2014,[1] Rancher Labs introduced two main tools: Rancher, a container management platform for Docker container systems, and RancherOS, a Linux operating system distribution simplified to host containers.[2][3]


Rancher Labs was founded in 2014 and was funded with $10 million in 2015 and $20 million in 2016.[4] Executives include CEO Sheng Liang, Shannon Williams, Will Chan and Darren Shepherd. It is located in Cupertino, California.[4]



DeveloperRancher Labs
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Latest release2.1.4[5] / 17 December 2018; 4 months ago (2018-12-17)
Marketing targetCloud
LicenseApache 2.0
Official websiterancher.com/products/rancher/

Rancher 2.x[edit]

Rancher 2.x is a multi-cloud Kubernetes management platform. It is built on top of Kubernetes, and includes an upstream Kubernetes hyperkube distribution. Rancher 2 uses Docker as the underlying container runtime and utilizes Kubernetes to coordinate running containers between multiple discrete physical nodes.

Rancher 2.x is a complete rewrite from Rancher 1.x and was built off of user and customer feedback regarding the desire to run Kubernetes in a multi-cloud/hybridized fashion.[6]

Rancher 1.x[edit]

Rancher 1.x is a management platform for Docker containers. It includes a Kubernetes distribution as well as the option to choose from Docker Swarm and Apache Mesos. These all use Docker as the underlying container runtime and coordinate running containers between multiple discrete physical nodes. Rancher also includes modular infrastructure services including networking, load balancing, service discovery, monitoring and recovery.[7]


DeveloperRancher Labs
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Latest release1.5.0[8] / 29 December 2018; 3 months ago (2018-12-29)
Marketing targetCloud
Platformsx86-64, ARM
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
LicenseApache 2.0
Official websiterancher.com/rancher-os/

RancherOS is a minimized version of Linux focused on hosting Docker containers, including only the bare minimum amount of software needed to run Docker. This keeps the binary download of RancherOS very small. Everything else can be pulled in dynamically through Docker when needed.[9][10] Rancher Labs announced version 1.0 in April 2017.[11] RancherOS is open source and can be downloaded from GitHub.


  1. ^ Kerner, Sean Michael (2016-03-29). "Rancher Rolls Out Docker Container Management Platform". Eweek. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Rancher Labs homepage". Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  3. ^ Yegulalp, Serdar (15 June 2015). "Rancher lassoes up Docker containers for production deployments". Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b Lardinois, Frederick (May 9, 2016). "Rancher Labs raises $20M Series B round for its container management platform". Tech Crunch. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  5. ^ https://github.com/rancher/rancher/tree/v2.1.4
  6. ^ https://rancher.com/blog/2018/2018-05-01-rancher-ga-announcement-sheng-liang/
  7. ^ "Rancher Labs Provides Infrastructure Platform for Container-Based IaaS Clouds". Web Host Industry Review. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  8. ^ https://github.com/rancher/os/releases/tag/v1.5.0
  9. ^ DistroWatch. "DistroWatch.com: RancherOS". distrowatch.com. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  10. ^ Tsidulko, Joseph (2017-04-12). "Rancher Labs, Leveraging Container Tech, Releases World's Lightest Linux Distribution For Servers". CRN. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  11. ^ Sean Michael Kerner (April 13, 2017). "RancherOS 1.0 Container-Optimized Linux Operating System Debuts". eWEEK. Retrieved June 17, 2017.

External links[edit]