Red Hat Enterprise Linux v3 now out

jason andrade jason at
Thu Oct 23 16:09:00 CDT 2003

On Thu, 23 Oct 2003, Adam Williams wrote:

> so every 6 months I will have to update RH Linux on 5 of my servers.
> sounds like beta software to me.

this exchange (and others like it) isn't very constructive IMHO.

if we step back (and take a deep breath..) what are the facts ?

o Red Hat are not a non-profit organization.  They are in this to
  make money.  If they can do Good Deeds within the community while
  doing so, great.

o If anything they are closer to the Dell model than others, which
  is to identify a market (software) and provide a more efficient
  product and distribution system and pass on the most part of
  those savings to their customers in order to grow their market share.

o Red Have have changed their licencing and support model as their
  old one was not sustainable.

o They announced they would do this about 9 months ago.

o There were clear indications they would do this from the first
  announcement of the RHEL2.1 product - it was difficult to see how
  the RHL boxed set/download product was going to continue, though
  they let it drift for a while.

o They didn't communicate (or consult?) well with their server
  customer base on how to manage the changes in their business model.
  It is a pity they don't seem to be doing this yet, a transition
  period would have helped a lot, e.g you were a RHN/server customer
  and you can takeup RHEL for a 50% discount for the first year or
  something along those lines.

o They are extremely unlikely to change back - the change was for a
  reason.  All the wishing and complaining won't change that (but hey,
  i've been proved wrong before :-)

o Fedora - and it's taken a while for me to work out that this means
  the Fedora Core, Extras and Alternatives is a distribution that is
  community driver but sponsored by Red Hat.  It allows Red Hat to
  continue to put efforts into the community but under the 80/20
  rule - 80% of their business effort will go into RHEL and they'll
  be able to explain to the shareholders and bean counters that the
  20% being put into the community is beneficial to the business.

  They will not have to try to explain to shareholders how putting
  80% of the money into something that loses money for them will

o If you have a need for a robust, open source based and commercially
  supported OS and application set then RHEL is for you.  If you have
  a need for a robust, open source based and community supported OS and
  application set then Fedora is for you.  If you have previously
  run Debian or Gentoo or Mandrake then Fedora more closely approximates
  this model.

o You are free to pick a particular release of Fedora and as long as there
  is enough interest in the community then bug fixes and errata will keep
  being released for that version.



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