Contributing to Open Source Projects Is Key to Igalia’s Business


Igalia is an open source development company offering consultancy services for desktop, mobile, and web technologies. The company’s developers contribute code for several open source projects, including GNOME, WebKit, and the Linux kernel.

The company was founded in September 2001 in A Coruña, Spain, by a group of 10 software professionals, who were inspired by Free Software and shared the goal of creating a company based on cooperation and innovation.

“Open source and Free Software are part of Igalia’s DNA,” says Xavier Castaño García, one of the company’s founding members.  

Besides focusing its participation on desktop, mobile, embedded, and kernel development initiatives, Igalia also sponsors many events, including the recent Open Networking Summit, the Embedded Linux Conferences, and the upcoming Automotive Linux Summit. Here, Castaño explains more about the company’s current projects. What does Igalia do?

Xavier Castaño García: Igalia is an open source consultancy specializing in the development of innovative projects and solutions. Our engineers have expertise in a wide range of technological areas, including browsers and client-side web technologies, graphics pipeline, compilers and virtual machines.

Leading the development of essential projects in the areas of web rendering and browsers, we have the most WPE, WebKit, Chromium/Blink, and Firefox expertise found in the consulting business, including many reviewers and committers with very strong presence in the communities. Igalia designs, develops, customizes and optimizes GNU/Linux-based solutions for companies across the globe. Our work and contributions are present in almost anything running on top of a Linux kernel. How and why do you use Linux and open source?

Castaño: Open Source and Free Software are part of Igalia’s DNA. At Igalia, we all share the free software philosophy and believe that open source collaboration is fundamental for sprouting innovation. Since the very beginning, Igalia decided to invest in open source, in particular, in projects and communities that have been important for the company.

Igalia contributes actively to many open source projects including WebKit, Chromium, Servo, Mesa 3D, and GStreamer. Most of these projects are state-of-the-art open source technologies, and most of the big players of the industry are involved in them. Because we have committed many years of intensive contributions to these projects, we have a wide range of experience. Companies that are interested in getting involved in those projects find Igalia a great partner. We can help them use, improve, customize, optimize, and contribute back any changes to any of these projects. How has participating in the Linux and open source communities changed or benefited the company?

Castaño: GNOME and WebKit open source communities have been key for Igalia. All the contributions done in GNOME ecosystem were the main reason why some of our developers contributed to integrate Epiphany with WebKit. This is one of the most important milestones in our history. Thanks to these contributions, Igalia became the independent consultancy with the most contributions to Chrome and WebKit. Why did you join The Linux Foundation?

Castaño: The Linux Foundation is a reference organization in open source and business. Additionally, The Linux Foundation is nowadays a platform for boosting open source ecosystems. In parallel, Igalia is very active in associations. Hence, Igalia considered that becoming a member of The Linux Foundation would be a natural step for the company.

Furthermore, Igalia is currently sponsoring many events hosted by The Linux Foundation. For example, we sponsor Open Source Summit in North America, Japan, and Europe, the Embedded Linux Conferences, the Automotive Linux Summit, and Open Networking Summit. What interesting or innovative trends in your industry are you seeing and what role do Linux and open source play?

Castaño: Linux has become the key and the core foundation in the embedded world. Most of the embedded devices deploy a Linux-based distro and open source components. In addition to this, there is also a trend in many industries of introducing HTML5 user interfaces in those devices, which means that they need to deploy an open source web engine either based on WebKit or on Chromium. Is there anything else important or upcoming that you’d like to share?

Castaño: We have recently released WPE as an official port of WebKit. WPE is a new WebKit port optimized for Embedded platforms that can support a variety of display protocols like Wayland or X11. WPE serves as a base for systems and environments that mainly or completely rely on web platform technologies to build their interfaces.

WPE is now part of the Reference Design Kit (RDK) and has been accepted upstream at as a new official port of WebKit. We expect WPE to be deployed in millions of set-top boxes by the end of Q3. As an open source project, we welcome new contributors and adopters to the project.

Open Networking Summit, the industry’s premier open networking event, brings Enterprises, Carriers and Cloud Service providers together with the ecosystem to share learnings, highlight innovation and discuss the future of Open Source Networking. Watch the ONS keynote presentations now.