The following was written by Slashdot Reader def con cyber
An open letter to Red Hat
I have been a Redhat user since release 4.2. I have always been so impressed with your desire to advance Linux technology and bring Linux to the world with your ease of use and easy installations. My Linux experience started off downloading images of slackware Linux off of the net. When I loaded my first Redhat distribution, I swore I would never use anything else.
But now, I find myself waivering on that decision for several reasons. First, I was so excited to get my copy of Redhat Linux, I surfed on over to your website and decided to give you guys a little extra business. For the first time, I will take the plunge, dig deep into my wallet and buy the extra pack. Well, it looks like I will have to dig a little deeper than I expected $99.00. But what the hell. Lets do it.
So, for the next week, I listen to my Linux cohorts telling me about their new Redhat 6.0 Linux boxes. So, I break, I run off and buy a retail version. I still have the perks to look forward to when my plus pack comes. Again a dent to my wallet. $79.00
I load it onto my box, new install. Looks just like the old. Finally, I am up and running. A flawless install. Unfortunately Gnome is buggy and crashes (a lot). I have never spent more time rebooting my system since I ran Microsoft products on it. I type "glint" to install some additional packages. What? Glint is nowhere to be found and GnoRPM is very confusing to use. Why would you drop something tried and trued just like that.
I attempt to install Redhat on my laptop. Glitch, I am trying to install from a superdisk which is recognized as second device, second ide controller or in the Linux world hdd. Not a problem, I am sure I can override Linux trying to mount fd0 and telling it to mount hdd. I try for a few days and fail. Well, I'll try later.
I finally get my Redhat extra pack. I excitedly rip it open. I thow the powertools and application disk into /dev/floppy and spin it up. Well, they are both full of lame application which can be easily d/l'd from the net or that Redhat used to distribute with their standard distrubution. What the hell, I am going to get my moneys worth. I phone Redhat to redeem my free technical installation support about the superdisk problem.
Well, little to no wait, very impressed. I find out why in a minute. I explain my problem and my proposed solution and the tech support says cheerfully, "That sounds reasonable". After being on hold for 5 minutes she comes back and informs me that she spoke to some techs there and, "they could not understand why I wanted to do what I was asking therefor, they could not support the problem." Wow, from, "that sounds logical" to "no way in hell" in five minutes flat.
The problem has since been fixed (without the help of Redhat). Well, this past weekend I get the chance to really tweak my system. I find liks that point to old versions that were not loaded into the system (Ironically when I tried to use the Redhat 'support disk' (a hi-jack of out of date usenet lists)).
I go to the Redhat errata page. I try to dowload the update to Netscape. Broken links. So I ftp into Redhat's updates.redhat.com. What do I find, but a bunch of empty directories. This wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that the errata page had several fixes that pointed to this area. I dreamed of the day Redhat would go public and actually have been putting money aside for when it finally happened. When I read about the Redhat IPO, I wasn't the least bit excited.
Redhat, please know that I am not flaming you. I have tried to fill this with legitimate complaints. I am not anti-Redhat. You and I have been together for many years. I am an Internet content provider and run 5 boxes 24x7x365, and one laptop. All running Redhat Linux.
I have always "bought" your distribution to support you because you were supporting me the user. I have purchased every release since 4.2. I have always recommended you to newbies and helped them setup their systems.
I do not ask for perfection. But you are now charging $79.00 for your basic distribution. As a customer, I am getting less, quantity, and quality. My web server (Redhat 5.0) has been up since Sept. 98 without a glitch. My Redhat 6.0 workstation locks up every few days (much like my wife's Windows machine).
I appreciate your need and desire to win corporate business. But I am "common joe Linux user". I feel I helped you get where you are. Please tell me there is still room for me within your business plans and future goals. If not let me know now so I can find a different distribution who is still looking out for the little guy.
With respect and hope for the future of Redhat, Stuart MacKenzie