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Red Hat To Help Develop CentOS 186

Posted by Soulskill
from the taking-a-more-direct-role dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news that Red Hat and the CentOS project are "joining forces" to develop the next version of CentOS. For years, CentOS has been a popular choice for users who want to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux without having to pay for it. Some of the CentOS developers are moving to Red Hat, but they won't be working on RHEL — they say the "firewall" between the two distros will remain in place. CentOS Project Chair Karanbir Singh said, 'The changes we make are going to be community inclusive, and promoted, proposed, formalised, and actioned in an open community centric manner on the centos-devel mailing list. And I highly encourage everyone to come along and participate.'
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Red Hat To Help Develop CentOS

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  • Re:Odd... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icannotthinkofaname (1480543) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @09:04PM (#45893681) Journal

    At a guess, it could be the same logic that makes Bill Gates not care that people pirate Windows. Sure, they might not be paying you for all the effort you put into the product, but one day, when they can pay, yours will be the system that they know, so they'll come to you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @09:04PM (#45893683)

    ...and dumping all of our Redhat licenses. There's no need to pay Redhat thousands of dollars when Centos is the same thing. We already have a mix of Centos and Redhat and the Redhat licenses don't give us anything.

  • Re:Odd... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by supremebob (574732) <> on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @09:11PM (#45893729) Journal

    If given a choice, I'd imagine that Red Hat would have users choosing CentOS than Ubuntu if they are looking for a free Linux distribution with longer term support. At least Red Hat can then give them the option to easily upgrade to RHEL without forcing them to reinstall their systems.

    Switching between the two distributions (or even Scientific Linux) is already as easy as switching repos and updating a few branding specific packages. I'd imagine that Red Hat would make the process even easier to do so in the next release.

  • by InPursuitOfTruth (2676955) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @09:14PM (#45893759)

    Those of us who've been using Centos understand that if you use it to deploy, and ultimately in your data center, often in place of Windows, then it is just a matter of time before you begin to use RHEL to get support for at least their mission critical production boxes. Centos and RHEL are a nice mix. So, this definitely makes sense for RH. Plus, they have nothing to lose since Centos thrives with or without their endoresment.

    Yet, the back and forth relationship RH has taken over the years with the community-driven open source from which it was born and has built its business suggests that, despite this move, they only seem to consider relationships that produce pofits from no more than one degree of separation. This makes the end to this very long estrangement, where Centos only referred to Redhat as the "upstream provider" to keep RedHat's trademark legal team at bay, just plain-old WEIRD.

    The question is, how will RH help Centos? That isn't very clear from this announcement.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @09:30PM (#45893857)

    I've been using CentOS and other Red Hat derivatives for 15 years. When I want to get a certification, who do you think I'll get it from? Microsoft? I'll get Red Hat certified, of course. When my employer, a government agency, adds new servers and wants enterprise support, which OS am I going to recommend. Hint - not Ubuntu.

    Red Hat isn't competing with CentOS. They are competing with other large companies selling enterprise support, certifications, and training. More people using Linux is good for Red Hat and especially more people being comfortable with Red Hat derived systems is good for Red Hat.

    Originally, Red Hat Linux was free. The company was built on cooperating freely with the communityand
    contributing, while earning a reputation that allowed them to sell support, training, etc. Working with the CentOS community is classic Red Hat, that's the kind of thinking that once made Red Hat THE Linux distribution and the #3 operating system behind Windows and Mac.

  • Re:Odd... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @09:49PM (#45893937)

    Closer ties prevents Oracle from "helping" CentOS instead.

  • by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @10:10PM (#45894045)

    Red Hat support can be worth it when you don't want to scour the internet for a solution to changes made between RHEL5 and 6 for example - and just asking a Red Hat tech support guy will be a lot quicker. Some organisations see value in that, aside from the obligatory "point of blame" when things go wrong. Solving problems quickly saves time AND money in various business scenarios, where downtime equals lost profits. YMMV however.

    Some info on the finer points of using RedHat simply aren't available on-line, much less will you have anyone to chat with you about them if you are scouring blogs.

    Furthermore, RedHat support is actually good, compared to say, Oracle... who despite their thinly veiled attempts to try and eat RedHat's lunch and cut their grass, have pretty horrid support all around. I know orgs that run Oracle applications on RedHat just for RedHat support (despite Oracle's attempts to hijack their own customers on RedHat in an attempt to move them to Oracle Linux)

    In addition RedHat does the lion's share of development for the Linux kernel, and other companies with distros that leech from RedHat would likely know less about the dev and design decisions in their own distros that they claim to support.

  • by ancientt (569920) <> on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @10:41PM (#45894215) Homepage Journal

    There's a little more to it than that. The announcement doesn't cover the history CentOS has had with RHEL, but when CentOS people found bugs or made improvements, they would pass the info back to RHEL. It makes sense for CentOS because when they make improvements, they can hope that in the next release, they can just reuse RHEL work rather than having to apply the patches each time. It made sense for RHEL because they were getting a better product to offer their customers than they would have without the CentOS contributions, and by integrating the work of their biggest potential competitor, they decrease the incentive to move to somebody who has patches and improvements they don't.

    It's rare to read about "synergy" between companies that actually makes sense, but RHEL and CentOS have benefitted from each others' work. The more RHEL helped CentOS, the better RHEL software was. The more CentOS helped RHEL, the better CentOS software was. This move to actually formalize their relationship makes sense for both of them.

  • by ancientt (569920) <> on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @10:46PM (#45894243) Homepage Journal

    The advantage of RHEL is being able to call somebody when you have a problem that you can't resolve by reading or need to resolve faster than you can on your own. RHEL generally has patches and improvements quicker than CentOS does which is important if you're running a heavily used server exposed to the internet.

    I've been quite happy with CentOS and use it in the majority of systems that I set up. However, if I need somebody to call when it crashes and the boss is standing in my doorway demanding to know what I'm doing about a problem, I want to be able to make that all important call to the experts. I have made that call once or twice and I was quite happy in feeling like my company's money was being well spent when I did.

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @11:27PM (#45894477) Journal

    Not only does that just work but so does my approaching 5 year old Windows 7 too!

    As a desktop user I do not have to worry about an update killing something because it uses a standard abi like other OSes and unlike Ubuntu throughout 6.x. My scripts will work without breaking, all the apps have matured and are well tested. Driver makers target it, and I keep gnome 2.x and don't have to worry about guis designed for teenagers.

    I get a minor update each year! ... Oh and every 5 years I get that huge update 7.x where you Ubuntu guys worked on all the bugs for me :-)

    What's to hate about it? I have work to do and do not want to play with operating systems too much.

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman