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Red Hat Software Businesses Linux Business Operating Systems Software

Red Hat Returns To the Linux Desktop 192

Posted by timothy
from the sequels-can-be-good dept.
CWmike writes "Red Hat used to be in the desktop business along with all the other Linux distributors. Then, they left. Now, however, Red Hat is switching from Xen to KVM for virtualization. As part of that switchover, Red Hat will be using not only KVM, but the SolidICE/SPICE desktop virtualization and management software suite to introduce a new server-based desktop virtualization system. Does this mean that Red Hat will be getting back into the Linux desktop business? That's the question I posed to Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens, in a phone call after the Red Hat/KVM press conference, and he told me that, 'Yes. Red Hat will indeed be pushing the Linux desktop again.'"
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Red Hat Returns To the Linux Desktop

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  • by firespade (1030302) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:11PM (#26972677)
    In other words instead of going out and purchasing, let's say, a Xen license to run a cluster of VMs (as my company does). They're pushing to trump the VM industry with their own software. How this differs from the rest? I haven't the slightest clue. I honestly don't think it's even worth looking into. All they can say is the the VM Manager will reduce your budget to a fraction of what it is with the competitor, but isn't that the whole point of capitalizing on technology????
  • Re:About time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:19PM (#26972849) Homepage Journal

    I never understood why the[y] left in the first place.

    1. They weren't making money in that area.
    2. Most of the problems with desktop Linux at that time revolved around the fact that you need to need to break the law to in Red Hat's country of origin to distribute a useable system
    3. They didn't want to compete head-to-head with Microsoft.

    Things have improved somewhat since then: Other projects like Ubuntu and FreeDesktop.org have paved the way for desktop Linux; a lot of codecs have been re-implemented as open source and patents are expiring on some codecs; Microsoft doesn't quite have the teeth they used to have.

  • by davecb (6526) * <davec-b@rogers.com> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:19PM (#26972851) Homepage Journal

    No utopia, just an improvement.

    A desktop workstation or fast laptop is optimal for a developer or fairly heavy user, but in a business context requires

    1. buying the darn things
    2. an imaging server, to create/update them
    3. a backup and/or synchronization server (samba, unison and a tape changer).
    4. Etc, etc.

    However, many users don't actually need any more than a cheap diskless netbook or a glorified X-terminal, and can do all their computing on a back-end timesharing server.

    As in "The Unix Timesharing System" that we grew up with, which was always orders of magnitude more cost-effective than individual shared-nothing workstations.

    --dave

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:32PM (#26973025)

    I'm not a big fan of virtualization, but there's some truth to it. When I buy servers I buy for a worst-load case. So yeah, my machines aren't totally busy 100% of the time. Using the spare cycles for something else increases the cost/performance thingy.

    Of course, if all hell breaks loose and all of the VMs are busy at the same time you kind of lose...

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:57PM (#26973355)

    Yum and up2date both sucked compared to apt-get.

    Do this;
    remove all your kernels, then add one back and see how it treats it. Last time I did that yum left me with a non-booting box.

  • Re:Desktop Redhat? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @03:05PM (#26973475)

    Ubuntu, a long way ahead of other desktop distros, when they have no distinctive feature whatsoever ? When they depend on software that competitors write and maintain, and merely repackage six months later, without contributing anything valuable to the ecosystem ? When they -already !- have most of their work cut by Debian proper ? When do not have any more expertise at supporting their own distro than any capable Debian freelancer as shown by their absence of upstream contribution of any magnitude ? And when they maintain this most hypocritical attitude toward free software with on the one hand all the bullshit about the Ubuntu philosophy and on the other hand proprietary compromises galore ?
    Technically, Ubuntu is probably the blandest distribution around, yet it is surrounded by some disturbingly powerful and irrational goodwill. Say, like... Apple ?
    The difference is that the FreeBSD people are certainly OK that Apple take advantage of their work without giving much back. Freeloading in a mostly GPL environment when you pretend to be a major commercial player, however, sucks big time.

  • by Richard W.M. Jones (591125) <rich@NoSpAm.annexia.org> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @03:41PM (#26973903) Homepage

    How did the parent comment get "+4 interesting" when it so full of gross errors?

    Ubuntu depends on the kernel and GNOME developers funded by Red Hat. Red Hat contributes everything back into the upstream projects, which Ubuntu has been noticeably bad [lwn.net] about doing.

    RHEL has both GNOME and KDE (and obviously X11).

    Rich.

  • Re:About time (Score:2, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:10PM (#26974329) Homepage Journal

    If the answer seems obvious, you aren't thinking critically. A critical thinker knows good arguments for both sides.

    Your signature line seems oddly appropriate here. ;)

  • Re:Desktop Redhat? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@pitabre ... rg minus painter> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:44PM (#26974761) Homepage
    Ubuntu may not do any one thing better, but the overall end-user experience is much better with Ubuntu than with any other desktop distro I've tried lately. There's something to be said about streamlining existing work. Just because they don't contribute a ton of actual code doesn't mean they aren't contributing anything. Of course, it's only typical that a programmer thinks that if you aren't writing code, you can't be doing anything useful...
  • by kingmundi (54911) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:56PM (#26975565)

    I just want to reinforce Wee's original statement. I am not sure that he was misinformed. When RedHat changed their direction from having a RedHat 9.0 product, to Fedora for the desktop, and RHEL for the server, it left administrators wondering what should they do for a migration path from RedHat 7,8,9 to the new products.

    RedHat pushed their RHEL as a paid service. Administrators were left with the impression of "now" they would have to pay $500 a year or so to get updates for the server product. Or to use the less well test Fedora.

    CentOS was a risky move. How were we to know what kind of quality CentOS would have? Hell, I did not even hear about CentOS around that time. I recall doing quite a bit of research "at that time" trying to figure out what is the best, most reliable migration path. And my conclusions were that other distributions, that had been around for quite some time, with a proven record, were a better option.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @07:42PM (#26976741)

    The issue with Ubuntu is that it's buggy as hell. RedHat at least admits that Fedora Core is an open beta; Ubuntu 8.10 is an open beta but Ubuntu didn't inform me of this fact.

    That's true enough (somewhat), except that RH started by saying that FC was to be their "free" offering and you actually had to read between the lines to figure out that you were a beta tester for the paying customers that were to come further along (which is what made me leave RH for good).

    Except that Fedora (no longer FC as they dropped the "Core" part from their name) is not beta for Red Hats products. It is upstream of Red Hat Enterprise Linux which has nothing to do with a beta version. Fedora is more like a general, fast moving playground of all the latest OSS technologies and software which Red Hat pulls out a snapshot from at regular intervals to tidy up and release as their Enterprise product line.

    To call Fedora beta testing for Red hat is like calling the Linux kernel for beta testing of the distro kernels.
    In some ways it may be true but it is not a accurate description of the relationship.

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