Open source software distributor Red Hat has released the source code for its OpenShift platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, allowing developers to run the platform on multiple cloud fabrics, including OpenStack.

Red Hat first launched OpenShift in May 2011, as an alternative to VMware's Cloud Foundry. The PaaS can run programs written in Java, PHP, Python, Perl and Ruby, and provides a variety of databases and caching layer tools, as well as the Red Hat JBoss application server.

In November, Red Hat also added the open source Maven and Jenkins application development management programs to simplify deployment on the PaaS.

Until now, OpenShift has only been available as a service on Amazon's EC2 compute cloud. However, the release of the source code behind OpenShift means that developers can run the PaaS locally on their laptops, on a server behind their own firewalls, or in their own data centres.

They can also integrate their own middleware, write their own applications and build their own cloud stack using an open source infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) codebase.

“The cloud in general, and IaaS and PaaS implementations specifically, should not be vehicles that promote vendor lock-in, nor should they be under the control or 'guidance' of vendors,” said Red Hat's senior consulting software engineer Jim Jagielski in a blog post.

“For the cloud to remain open and vibrant, implementations should be truly open, not only in license, but in governance.”

The open source project has been named OpenShift Origin, and is intended to serve as the upstream for code and enhancements for Red Hat's OpenShift PaaS service, said Jagielski. The codebase is licensed under the Apache License v2, and will have a community-based development philosophy akin to Fedora.

A LiveCD image of all the software components can be downloaded here. OpenShift Evangelist Mark Atwood also has written a blog post describing how to get up and running.