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Oracle Makes Red Hat Kernel Changes Available As Broken-Out Patches 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the hey-why-not dept.
Artefacto writes "The Ksplice team has made available a git repository with the changes Red Hat made to the kernel broken down. They are calling this project RedPatch. This comes in response to a policy change Red Hat had implemented in early 2011, with the goal of undercutting Oracle and other vendors' strategy of poaching Red Hat's customers. The Ksplice team says they've been working on these individual patches since then. They claim to be now making it public because they 'feel everyone in the Linux community can benefit from the work.' 'For Ksplice, we build individual updates for each change and rely on source patches that are broken-out, not a giant tarball. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to take the right patches to create individual updates for each fix, and to skip over the noise — like a change that speeds up bootup — which is unnecessary for an already-running system.'"
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Oracle Makes Red Hat Kernel Changes Available As Broken-Out Patches

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  • Gift horse = Mouth (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blade8086 (183911) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @08:55PM (#41975971)

    Yes, and I'm sure Oracle-owned K-Splice has NO alterior motive for doing this, esp considering the RH change was purportedly made in response to oracles so-called 'unbreakable linux' (Aka oracles for-$ RHEL builds)

    • Who cares? It's a free source of individual patches. Enjoy it while it lasts.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Billly Gates (198444)

        It is free. .. unless you didn't buy that Oracle RDBMS license?

      • by blade8086 (183911)

        you mean like patches you could already get from following lkml? or just running the red hat kernel as is?

      • by Ash Vince (602485) * on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @09:10AM (#41979273) Journal

        Who cares? It's a free source of individual patches. Enjoy it while it lasts.

        That sort of attitude is incredibly short sited.

        Red Hat have contributed a HUGE amount to the open source community over the years. If they were pushed under by Oracle taking all their work and selling it at half the price (this is effectively what Oracle do) then these patches will dry up forever and Linux will lose its largest and most open source friendly commercial distributor. At that point Oracle may well pick up the majority market for commercially supported Linux and they will be far worse to the open source community than Red hat are.

        • Red Hat have contributed a HUGE amount to the open source community over the years.

          Then Red Hat understands the GPL license used by the Linux kernel and the association risks. Red Hat still makes money. I wouldn't worry about Red Hat.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:06PM (#41976075)

      How eviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiil of them to make the individual patches available for all. Slaughtering babies isn't even this evil.

      • by blade8086 (183911) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:18PM (#41976203)

        I have 0% problem with the patches - but 100% problem with the dishonesty motivating the effort and the lack of transparency behind it.

        • by zidium (2550286) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @10:41PM (#41976777) Homepage

          Yeah, it's called a "hostile fork", and several good projects have **died** because of it.

          I remember the first ED2K GUI client for UNIX, xMule. The coder seemed to work on it full-time, because, he said, he believed in creating a secure messaging/sharing mechanism to use in dictatorships and such. Then along came aMule, which started off as a full copy of his GPL code. They even replaced all of the copyright licenses and removed his name from every file except brief mention in a hidden document. Then they proceeded to copy every single change he did. It seemed they were copying quickly while he was slowly developing. Then, all over the Internet (especially the wikipedia page), they would attack him personally and his project.

          I still used it until he gave up on it completely (he said it wasn't worth the heartache of being attacked for trying to create something useful for people) after about a year. He would always say he had no alternative under the GPL. That there was nothing he could do except take down the public SVN access and mash up all the source into one gigantic file, but even that didn't stop the copiers.

          • by aliquis (678370)

            One are of course free to not use GPL code if one doesn't like it.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            He would always say he had no alternative under the GPL.

            Then, clearly, he didn't know what he was talking about. Licenses don't apply to the copyright holder; they apply to redistributers. He could certainly have release xMule as binary-only, or as open source with a license that prohibits copying and redistribution (think Microsoft's "Shared Source" licenses). Perhaps he didn't want to do those things, given his goals in creating the project, but to say he had no choice is simply nonsense.

            • by nebulus4 (799015)

              Then, clearly, he didn't know what he was talking about. Licenses don't apply to the copyright holder; they apply to redistributers. He could certainly have release xMule as binary-only, or as open source with a license that prohibits copying and redistribution (think Microsoft's "Shared Source" licenses). Perhaps he didn't want to do those things, given his goals in creating the project, but to say he had no choice is simply nonsense.

              It's not a nonsense. Maybe he used alot of GPL code in his project. He is no longer the only copyright holder in this case. And rewriting major parts of the program might not have been the option for him.

          • by oobayly (1056050)

            Care to provide a link to details on the conflict? Not that I don't believe you, it's just that it'd be interesting to see what went on,

          • by Kjella (173770)

            They even replaced all of the copyright licenses and removed his name from every file

            That alone is a criminal offense, at least in the US. Specifically USC 17506(d):

            (d) Fraudulent Removal of Copyright Notice. - Any person who, with fraudulent intent, removes or alters any notice of copyright appearing on a copy of a copyrighted work shall be fined not more than $2,500.

            I do believe they count that per notice - that is per file.

            He would always say he had no alternative under the GPL. That there was nothing he could do except take down the public SVN access and mash up all the source into one gigantic file, but even that didn't stop the copiers.

            If it was done under the terms of the GPL, then no. If it wasn't, then there's plenty he could have done. Though I can sort of understand that as a coder you don't want to get involved in legal paperwork and just say "fuck it". But it sounds to me that he didn't make any effort to protect his rights legally.

            • by Rich0 (548339)

              Well, the GPL gives you the right to modify anything as long as you license it under the GPL and include the license, and that would include the copyright notices. Otherwise we'd have a problem with something like the BSD advertising clause.

              Now, if they didn't release their code under the GPL then that is a problem. You could sue them for re-using your code if they didn't release it under the GPL (and it wasn't fair use).

              • by TypoNAM (695420)

                Well, the GPL gives you the right to modify anything as long as you license it under the GPL and include the license, and that would include the copyright notices.

                The GPL gives nobody such rights to remove/move copyright notices. You only have the right to append your name and year to such a notice when you contribute changes to the work. Original copyright notices must be left alone as Kjella mentioned for United States in USC 17506(d), and it is required in the GPL as mentioned on the FAQ: I want to get credit for my work. I want people to know what I wrote. Can I still get credit if I use the GPL? [gnu.org].

                Otherwise we'd have a problem with something like the BSD advertising clause.

                The classic BSD license is incompatible with the GPL as only the so

                • by Rich0 (548339)

                  The FAQ merely requires an "appropriate" copyright notice.

                  You can remove somebody's name from a copyright notice if they give you explicit permission to do so. If they license the source to you under the GPL, then they did exactly that. If you don't want somebody to remove your name from the copyright notice, then don't tell them they're allowed to do it!

        • They are dishonest because they are Oracle? Like Red Hat and Google offer their services solely out of the goodness in their heart?

      • by tgd (2822)

        I have 0% problem with slaughtering babies - but 100% problem with the dishonesty motivating the effort and the lack of transparency behind it.

    • Ulterior in the sense that shooting someone 30 times suggests murder as an ulterior motive.

  • RHEL.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:00PM (#41976001)

    If you want a real enterprise class O.S. ditch RHEL and go with Solaris 11.

    • by blade8086 (183911)

      So you're saying - if you want a real 'enterprise class' OS, be sure you are using an Oracle(TM) Brand Product? (either ksplice or solaris)?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      On the other hand, if you want an OS that actually runs the software you need, correctly, smoothly, efficiently and with fewer crashes, go with Linux.

      I am a Sysadmin in a Solaris shop. The amount of extra effort involved in taking apps that "supposedly" run on Solaris and making them actually run, without absorbing all of the available CPU, and the amount of time spent restarting them after they have crashed, is obscene. Getting the same apps running on Linux is a breeze, but we can't possibly do that.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    First Post

  • by angryfirelord (1082111) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:12PM (#41976123)
    Red Hat wouldn't need to start obfuscating their patches in the first place. You'd think with all the billions of dollars Oracle and its consultants mooches off of companies that they would at least be able to develop their own Linux distribution instead of relying on something else.
    • by See Attached (1269764) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:25PM (#41976265)
      Based on the job Oracle does maintaining their Tech Stacks, they would destroy the kernel. Case in point, the huge security issue with Java that Oracle feels best to be fixed in February. http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/topics/security/javacpuoct2012-1515924.html#PatchTable [oracle.com] Just because you can, doesn't mean you should republish source code developed and collimated at considerable expense by someone else. Responsibility? http://blog.mozilla.org/security/2012/08/28/protecting-users-against-java-security-vulnerability/ [mozilla.org] ?? Wait till February. Anonymous's best friend.
    • Red Hat wouldn't need to start obfuscating their patches in the first place. You'd think with all the billions of dollars Oracle and its consultants mooches off of companies that they would at least be able to develop their own Linux distribution instead of relying on something else.

      FYI: CentOS exists. You'd think with all of Red-Hat's money they would at least be able to give back the patches to their downstream in a usable separated form, considering that's how they got them from upstream sources. I'm against any form of making it harder for your users to support themselves, even if your business is the support business. I just vote with my feet and wallet, and stopped using and recommending them.

      By your logic, one could make the statement: "You'd think with all the free software Red-Hat and their consultants mooches off of Linux and other upstream FLOSS projects they would at least be able to develop their own Kernels and Compilers instead of relying on the existing work of others."

      Don't like Oracle much either, but I take open sourced work wherever available.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Don't like Oracle much either, but I take open sourced work wherever available.

        That's very naive. Any company can take open source and close it, assuming they own the entire copyright. Didn't some company close the Solaris source code? Any company that had a history of closing the source should not be trusted. I bet such a company would close ANY source they could at the first opportunity. Fortunately, no single company owns GNU/Linux source code, but Oracle is specifically keeping as much proprietary as it possibly can (ksplice, dtrace for linux).

      • I can see what you're saying, but the problem with that comparison is that Red Hat does contribute back in other ways to the community. They're one of the largest contributors to the Linux kernel and they've also paid developers to create their own projects, such as with the nouveau driver. Meanwhile, Oracle seems to go in the opposite direction, such as the recent moves with MySQL. So, from an ethical perspective, Red Hat is a hell of a lot higher compared to Oracle or other companies.
    • by Anonymous Coward


      Red Hat wouldn't need to start obfuscating their patches in the first place. You'd think with all the billions of dollars Oracle and its consultants mooches off of companies that they would at least be able to develop their own Linux distribution instead of relying on something else.

      You'd think with all the billions of dollars Oracle and its consultants mooches off of companies that they would be able to afford an intern to diff out the Redhat patches. In fact, Redhat must have anticipated this very thing

    • this just seems like a wasted cost by Oracle to maintain a large parallel fork. Oracle could simply pay Red Hat to maintain the changes that Oracle's customers require. Instead, they are having to develop their own in-house Red Hat Linux development team. That's certainly got to be a more expensive and less efficient route than paying Red Hat to do the work for them.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Desler (1608317)

        Considering Oracle made $37 billion in revenue and $10 billion net income last fiscal year, I doubt the costs are all that much to them.

        • Making a good profit is not a good reason to run a business inefficiently.
          • by fnj (64210)

            No, but it's damn good evidence that it's not being run inefficiently.

          • by Desler (1608317)

            How exactly is Oracle running things inefficiently? They gain customers for their products and support contracts from their fork. What exactly is the "inefficiency"?

          • by S.O.B. (136083)

            Making a good profit is not a good reason to run a business inefficiently.

            That's precisely how business works. Companies answer to shareholders and shareholders only care about profit. You can talk all you want about "ethical investors" or "green investors" or other such investors but at the end of the day profit rules all.

        • by Sollord (888521)

          Oracle could buy Red Hat and still have $8billion in net income so moneys probably not much of an issue

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:12PM (#41976125) Journal

    release patches that upgrades Oracle 9 to 11.

  • RedPatch? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @09:25PM (#41976263)

    Better cover that RedPatch with an iPad

  • MySQL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 13, 2012 @11:10PM (#41976891)

    Would be nice if Oracle would break out their MySQL patches.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You don't understand. MySQL is dead. That situation is not going to get better. Use something else.

  • Where are Oracle's testicles? Larry has a pussy? Oracle is sinking lower and lower? Normally someone stands up for the benefits which are given to them. In this case small-ball Larry or any of his sons appears to have abused their undersized gifts; it is known that small men with small penises tend to overdo their fits. The father of the chickens children with small-sized genitals should amend and rather help out - RedHat is no large enemy; it is not the Red Army. Microsoft is. Apple may become, and current

    • by Sollord (888521)

      WTH?

      Does this rambling rant mean you hate Oracle and Larry Ellison and have some deep seated mental issue related to your hate?

    • What's with your fascination about Ellison's genitals? Is this thing supposed to have the kind of sexual innuendo as it has?

    • You're looking at *one* specific release. What if Oracle only once sent in code and it made it into 2.6.33? You need a larger dataset in order to come up with anything significant.

      What sort of code was committed? If it were some hardware drivers for SUN hardware they made themselves, it's not that much benefit to other companies, only to a few end users that buy very expensive SUN hardware to run Linux on it, that will run just as well on "generic" hardware that's in a lower price class. I'm not saying th

  • There fixed the title

    If 'Oracle Linux' is a whole independent distro, then why does Oracle have to clone RHEL update service?

    "The Ksplice team has made available a git repository"

    The Ksplice team have stolen Red Hats kernal patches.

    "This comes in response to a policy change Red Hat had implemented in early 2011, with the goal of undercutting Oracle and other vendors' strategy of poaching Red Hat's customers".

    What other vendors are attempting to poach Red Hat customers?
  • by nukem996 (624036)
    How is this news? Anyone can get the current sources for any Redhat package, customer or not. Those sources contain the patches. All Oracle is doing is downlaoding them and importing them into git and making that git repo public. The company I work for already did the same thing since we use a custom kernel but still want the Redhat patches.

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