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Red Hat Software Businesses

Red Hat Takes Aim at SuSE, Mandrake 450

gowen writes "The gloves have come off in the competition between commercial linux distributions. The Register is reporting that Red Hat is offering a $10 rebate to people who upgrade to Red Hat 7.3, including those who previously used Mandrake and SuSE. Previous users of Windows are not eligible for a rebate."
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Red Hat Takes Aim at SuSE, Mandrake

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  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @08:57AM (#3496011)
    Mandrake comes with so many extra packages that I reckon anyone who moves over to Red Hat will wonder what the hell they were thinking.

    The one place RH probably beats Mandrake is in polish, in the UI and the packages but it's still a major sacrifice.

    • what the heck does Mandrake offer that RH does not?

      I would not trust my Server to a draketool, they are clunky unintigrated programs that have bad interfaces.

      if anyone has better total package, it is Suse, though the problems with CD-R setup and ZAxisMapping in the XF86 file are anoying, as are the problems with sax....though I have not tried 8.0, sounds like it still has some bumps in it.

      • Suse, hmmph! (Score:2, Insightful)

        by r_barchetta ( 398431 )
        Except for the part where my entire Suse system would freeze any time it even tried to talk with my modem. I'm talking reset-button freeze.

        Yes, it is a hardware modem and Red Hat (barring an odd, non-fatal quirk) has worked with it since 6.1.

        Bottom line (often overlooked): different people, different needs, different distros.

        The one that is best is the one that does what you need it to.


        (apparently I previewed this comment last night at 8:00pm: 'by r_barchetta on Thursday May 09, @08:00PM')
  • by shaldannon ( 752 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:00AM (#3496028) Homepage
    The whole point (usually) of offering competitive upgrades is to get someone to switch to your product, but in this case, I think it would be better to make that offer to Windows users (e.g., send in your authorized Windows media and key with a purchase of Red Hat Linux and we'll pay you the cost of the Microsoft tax) than it does to compete with other Linux vendors. This kind of internecine fighting is what let Micrsoft get a foot in the door on UNIX to begin with. The last thing we need is fragmentation and infighting in the Linux space.
    • It's the Chewbacca Defence! It makes no sense!

      Everone who has ever owned a computer and his brother have a Windows license. A competitive upgrade from Windows makes no sense. The base price already includes a competitive upgrade from Windows. Perhaps a competitive upgrade from OTHER versions of Unix might make more sense. RedHat REALLY competes with other versions of Unix, whereas people WISH it competed with Windows.

      But I think your idea is slightly different - the "competitive" part means you only get $$ if you give up a copy of Windows.

      Hellooooo Chewbacca!

      First, Linux is not ready to completely 100% replace Windows for most people. The few who can switch probably have already. End gain: nada. But wait, there's more! Where does RedHat get the money to pay everyone's Windows tax? Hmmm... let's see:

      1) Get the money from Venture Capitalists
      Ya! RedHat gives everyone their Windows tax back, and then makes the money back on advertising! I'm sure the VC's will back it!

      2) Subtract it from the cost of a RedHat distribution
      Right-O. RedHat is already losing money selling CD's and support, how about losing even MORE money? And since CD's and support are money-losing ventures, they can make the money of off advertising. Yay!

      3) Get the Money from Microsoft

      This idea makes the most sense. Since Microsoft is already collecting the "Windows Tax", of course they'll have the money to give the Windows Tax back to people! I'll write my letter to Steve Ballmer today!
      • Everone who has ever owned a computer and his
        brother have a Windows license.

        i dont have one, and i've owned about 3 computers personally. i realize i'm not the normal user, but i'm not the only person i know of who has a computer and never had a real version of windows. hell i've never actually owned a copy of msdos.

      • Hah!! ( [tm] Chris Matthews, for you Hardball fans )

        The only Microsoft "licenses" I own are the ones for the copies of Internet Explorer that came with my Macs .. unless I secretely paid Microsoft tax on my intel motherboard or something .. I don't think this is uncommon among Linux users!

      • No, no, no, no, no, no, no. A competitive upgrade from Windows makes a great deal of sense.

        You see, right now I think the retail version of RH 7.3 is selling for $60, give or take. So you offer a $10 competitive upgrade for anyone who brings in ANY evidence that they've used Windows. A CD, a case with a sticker, a printed screen shot, doesn't matter.

        Sure Red Hat is giving up $10 a box if they do this. But, assuming they can still make money on every box they ship at $50, this gets them a ton of publicity that whatever they pay out in rebates could never buy otherwise.

        Magazines would cover it -- and I'm not talking about the usual ZD rags, I'm talking about Time and Newsweek. It's a natural for thirty seconds of coverage in the business section of every local TV news show in America. If whoever does Red Hat's publicity is smart, they'd be making or fielding calls from talk shows and newspaper reporters.

        I wouldn't expect they would sell all that many more copies of Red Hat with the Windows competitive rebate, but in the end it doesn't matter. One of the big obstacles to Linux right now is the public's complete lack of awareness that it exists, or if they know about it, it's some high end computer smart guy thing they see on those IBM commercials.

        I don't know how much this could help, but I can't see how it could possibly hurt.
    • by martinflack ( 107386 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:50AM (#3496338)
      People coming off Windows need a good 12-step program, not a rebate.
    • by Chuck Chunder ( 21021 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @10:07AM (#3496460) Homepage Journal
      Part of what you pay for when you buy Red Hat installation support. People who already own a Linux distro are unlikely to need it so it seems reasonable to pass some of that saving back to them.

      Windows users on the other hand are more likely to use that support.

      It seems to me that Redhat aren't targetting other distros so much as passing some savings on to those who already know Linux to some extent and therefore will be less of a drain on Redhat Support.
  • RedHat Installer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mixbsd ( 574131 )
    As someone who tried to upgrade from RH5.2 to RH7, but couldn't because the stupid installer did weird things to my hardware (ie. switch off my monitor) I doubt I'm going to upgrade to any version of Linux soon. SuSE did it to me too, but at least FreeBSD's installer didn't do that. Anyone else had that problem?
    • I'm thinking that the installers probably had trouble with such an archaic OS :)

      I've been on the Red Hat upgrade path since 4.2, and in my experience, any time you want to move up a major revision number, your best bet is to back up anything you want to keep, wipe the disk, repartition, make a clean install, and restore from backup. I'm not sure what changed between the 4.x and 5.x series, but between 5.x and 6.x, they changed network config stuff, apache's location (iirc), the default window manager, and a bunch of other stuff. The 6.x to 7.x change was fairly radical too. They moved all the networking stuff to xinetd, moved the wm to Sawfish and Ximian, moved apache (again), switched to openSSH, etc.
      • Re:Upgrade 5.2-7.x (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MeNeXT ( 200840 )
        Better yet partition disk in such a way that /home and /usr/local/mysh1t have their own partitions. save your files there. Before loading a new sys copy /etc and move it there. make bacup of partion. load new OS copy back /etc files you need.

        Have done this a couple of times and it took me less than 15 min to upgarde.

  • Hmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Apreche ( 239272 )
    The fact that there are so many different flavors of linux has its pros and cons which we all know about. But why are they competing against each other? The open source community should be one group of like minded people fighting to make open source a viable alternative to closed source, and making it recognized as such to a large number of people. RedHat should try letting people upgrade from windows to RedHat for free. People who are already using Mandrake or SuSe know what RedHat is like and choose their current distro for reasons such as better hardware compatability, better packages, etc. They aren't going to switch to RedHat. I switched out of RedHat to Mandrake. And I'm planning on trying out SuSe.
  • I paid $80 for SuSE. I don't have to do that with RedHat--the ISOs are already free. Why would I want to switch? Obviously I have compelling reasons to use SuSE, or I wouldn't have forked over $80. Dumb move by RedHat in my opinion--just gives me one less reason to use their distro.
    • please share with us your compelling reasons for using Suse. I tried it 2 years ago and I didn't like it as much as RH or Mandrake. I'm interested to know what is so great about it that makes you willing to put down $80 for it.
      • YaST2, SuSE's Administration, is probably the biggest reason to switch. As far as apps go, linux apps (including the kernel) are pretty much the same - the main difference between any
        two distro's is their admin tools.

        SuSE tends to come with more apps, and their default install is much better (in RH7.2, for some reason, tcpdump doesn't go on by default).

        I use RH7.2, but the admin tools kinna suck. Networking in particular. I haven't installed S8 on one of my systems, but I tried YaST2 on a friends box and it's quite nice.

        And oh yeah, SuSE never shipped a beta C compiler.

        (Counting the seconds until bero-RH replies to this)
      • It really is the configuration tool. I've tried Mandrake 8.1, and SuSE 7.3, and SuSE blows Mandrake away. YaST2 is a very, very nice tool. I'm a complete Linux newbie, and I expected to have lot of configuring headaches after I jumped off Bill's ship, but YaST2 makes Linux easier to use than Windows. Prettier, IMO, as well.

        I started out with SuSE, and after about two weeks, I decided to ty Mandrake, just to see what the differences between distros were (I never found a good piece telling me what they were). I found both to be a lot easier than Windows, but Mandrake just couldn't stack up to SuSE. I uninstalled Mandrake within a day or so, and am very happily using SuSE.

        Also, the $80 version of SuSE is the Professional version, which you can get for (according to today's ad) $60 at Fry's. The Personal edition costs $40 direct from SuSE, and $30 or $35 at Fry's.

        I would also venture to say that SuSE comes with more packages (personal vs personal) than Mandrake.

        In addition, SuSE's manuals are AWESOME. There are 3 books for differenmt subject groups, and each of them are quite awesome.

        And finally, SuSE just looks better. Booting up (little things like the LILO screen included), YaST2 compared to Mandrake's tool (I forget the name), plus Mandrake boots up ultra slow.

        But the only real complaint I have for either is that neither had drives for my leadtek GF3 Ti200, so I have to use this TNT2 for now...
      • please share with us your compelling reasons for using Suse

        It's "SuSE", by the way.

        I use it primarily because it conforms to the Linux Standard Base. I also like the fact that it is KDE-centric rather than Gnome-centric, and the YaST2 configuration tools (particularly the one for printers, SANE, and runtime level editing) have saved me a tremendous amount of time.

        Not to mention that SuSE was the first to provide USB support for Linux and they are a driving force behind driving ALSA. Didn't they also have something to do with getting gcc/linux running on AMDs new 64-bit processor? And before all of that they wrote XFree86 servers for numerous unsupported cards. Back in 1998 they were the first and only distro to have support for my offbrand Trident 3D card.

        They give me a great, easy to use distribution and they keep Linux cutting edge. I don't know about yall, but to me that's worth a few greenbacks.
    • I guess everyone has different tastes, otherwise there would only be one distro out there. Personally I've bought SuSE twice, and absolutely hated it (I bought it the second time as I thought it must have improved and I like to show a bit of support for the Linux distro makers).

      Anyway, the last time (can't remember the version, but it was the end of last year), it installed easily enough, but /var/log/messages was growing by the second due to module/USB and other problems with the laptop it was on. Memory usage was ridiculous, thrashing the swap file when idle. Using Yast2, well, I don't know how I managed to resist the urge to throw the laptop out of the window waiting *minutes* for it to update simple network settings. I'd always used RH before and after the SuSE episodes, and I'll never use another SuSE distro, or have it anywhere near any machines I administer. Sure, the problems probably could have been solved with a few days work, but RH installed and worked great on the same hardware out of the box. No waiting around for Yast, no swap thrashing or any of the other multitude of problems.

      Maybe it was just me, but I like to think I'm pretty handy with a command prompt and know my way around a *nix box and that was the worst experience of my I've always used KDE as my desktop with RH, VERY rarely using Gnome, so people claiming RH is Gnome-centric are just plain wrong...
  • by Limburgher ( 523006 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:04AM (#3496063) Homepage Journal
    If I send them my download logs and a pdf copy of my SuSE installation guide, do I get my $10?

    What if I download the iso's a second time? :)P

  • Distros are getting so expensive anyway...
  • Windows Rebate (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jadenjahner ( 529182 )
    It would make more sense to offer the rebate to current Windows users, since Red Hat needs to gain users from Windows, not from another distro. Red Hat is realizing their market slip even more to Mandrake and SuSE, but they should all be fighting to increase the Linux desktop market, notover current users. Chances are, the person already tried Red Hat, so they will not go back to it from SuSE, or even Mandrake, for that matter. Perhaps Red Hat forsees the Desktop market slowing for Linux.
  • Upgrade (Score:2, Funny)

    by xactoguy ( 555443 )
    What??? You mean I can't upgrade Win XP Pro to RedHat 7.3? Is it because Win XP sucks so bad that they don't even want to let the non-l33t people come up? ;)
  • I won't use Redhat, or for that matter any linux distribution based in the US. It doesn't matter if they are good (and Redhat is) or if they offer me a rebate, or even a free boxed set.

    The reason I won't is that I don't trust people like the senator from Disney (Hollings).
    I think there is a real chance that oss will be outlawed or at least restricted in nasty ways in the US in the next five years.
    Especially if Linux makes a dent in the desktop market. (Microsoft isn't widly known for it's scruples... and it they start losing serious money and marketshare they might be tempted to side with the **AA's.)
    And I don't want my distribution to go down in flames because of a bought-and-paid-for law.

    So I'll stick to European distributions. (As if my sig didn't give that away already...)
    At least until such a time as the US lawmakers get their shit together.
    • RH has offices in England, and if you think that the other Linux companies will not offer an easy upgrade path if RH is ever put out of business by such a law, you are crazy.

      RH has such a big hunk of the market that all the distros would be fighing for the market.
    • Go Mandrake today!

      Any which distro do you think Mandrake is based on? Are you not slightly worried that if RH goes down, then a lot of the development work that made mandrake what it is today, will also cease - therefore there will be less of the cool advances that RH made?

      Anyway, if the company goes down, their software won't it's open and free. You can still install an up-to-date Kernel, a new version of Gnome or KDE, and whatever else you like on it. It's not like what would happen if MS stopped producing Windows updates.
      • It seems you think that Mandrake is based on Red Hat. For your information, this is totally false. Mandrake has started as a RH based distro, but since 1999, Mandrake is built directly from native pieces of free-software, NOT Red Hat packages. And maybe you'd enjoy to learn that Red Hat has taken several software developed by Mandrake (rpmlint...) and many features (RPM remote update tool, RPM deps solver..., graphical installer...)
    • by S. Baldrick ( 565691 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:34AM (#3496262)

      I won't use Redhat, or for that matter any linux distribution based in the US. It doesn't matter if they are good (and Redhat is) or if they offer me a rebate, or even a free boxed set.

      The reason I won't is that I don't trust people like the senator from Disney (Hollings). I think there is a real chance that oss will be outlawed or at least restricted in nasty ways in the US in the next five years.

      Even by slashdots low standards, this post reaches a new low in, twisted illogical reasoning. Disney and Microsoft are bad so you're going to punish Red Hat???? What if we extend your analogy a little? "I'm not going to have anything to do with Black people or Jews because with the recent wave of synagogue bombings, political gains by fascists, and anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe, there is a strong chance they may be outlawed or restricted in nasty ways in the next five years. So I'm going to stick to White Christians until European lawmakers get their shit together." Does that make any sense?

      If the political situation in the US is your concern, you should be buying Red Hat (and other US open source companies) products by the truckload so they have the resources to fight back.

      • If the political situation in the US is your concern, you should be buying Red Hat (and other US open source companies) products by the truckload so they have the resources to fight back.

        Yes I should, and I would too, if I was american, or richer.
        But we have starving distributions in europe too. So I buy boxed sets from Mandrake [] instead.
        Call me evil if you like, but I only have this much money, and I prefer to support something closer to home.

        And speaking of low standards I find it disturbing that you call me a facist because I don't use your favourite distro.
        You're very close to invoking Godwin's Law [] here...

        By all means, go out and buy a truckload of RedHat7.3, it's more power to you. But don't tell me what to do, OK?
        • Yes I should, and I would too, if I was american, or richer. But we have starving distributions in europe too. So I buy boxed sets from Mandrake [] instead. Call me evil if you like, but I only have this much money, and I prefer to support something closer to home.

          You said you wouldn't use Red Hat "even if they gave me a free boxed set." so the financial argument is a bogus excuse on your part. Your true motive seems to be nationalistic. Everyone likes to support the home team, there's nothing wrong with that but why make this pretense of being in some kind of virtuous protest against Yankee imperialism?

          And speaking of low standards I find it disturbing that you call me a facist because I don't use your favourite distro.

          If English is not your native language you can be forgiven for not understanding what analogy means. I did not call you a fascist. (You are by your own admission a nationalist but that's not the same thing.) I said just because many Europeans are Fascists (an objective fact) it would be silly to be prejudiced against Europeans who are not fascists. In the same way just because some US companies are immoral (also an objective fact) it is silly to be prejudiced against innocent US companies. Oh btw my favorite distro is Debian.

          By all means, go out and buy a truckload of RedHat7.3, it's more power to you. But don't tell me what to do, OK?

          Do whatever the hell you want. I'm just pointing out your stated reasons for what you do are stupid.

        • a few points:

          1) If Open Source Software is made illegal in the US, the majority of linux users disappear. So, anyone with an interest in keeping Mandrake and SuSE alive should pay attention, as both distributions will lose a large portion of their user base without Americans buying. Otherwise, just buy the one you like; that's ok, too.

          2)No one called you a fascist. It was an analogy.

          3)Their analogy was reasonably accurate. Boycotting CompanyX because CompanyX is being unjustly attacked is just goddamn crazy. If you want to boycott the corrupt lawmakers trying to "outlaw OSS", you'd have to boycott everything from the US or at least let them know you're doing it. Buying Mandrake instead of Red Hat, because Red Hat might get screwed, doesn't hurt the lawmakers.

          My personal opinion, based on what you chose to write:
          Buy the distribution you like. Use it to bring up your text editor of choice and write a nice letter to Fritz Hollings, or even better, some news organizations. On a slow news day, they may blurb about the grassroots businesses being attacked by the government-in-bed-with-Microsoft machine. Continue using the distribution you like. Use it to post anything but "I won't buy from Red Hat because their lawmakers are corrupt", on Slashdot.

          Just my opinion, not worth any more or any less than everyone else's.

    • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:57AM (#3496385) Homepage
      I won't use Redhat, or for that matter any linux distribution based in the US.

      If you don't buy a US distribution, you're supporting terrorism! Think of the children!

    • Exactly how far are you willing to carry your Puritanical software elitism? If you want to remain consistent you'd better stop using all GNU software from the Free Software Foundation since its based in Boston, MA USA. I wonder if you are you willing to go that far? If so then you won't be using any major Linux distribution. As others have pointed out its amusing that the distro you advocate (Mandrake) had its beginnings as a tweaked version of RH.

      There are other forces at work in the American legislative branches other than those of Hollin's ilk like Rep. Boucher who champions the public domain and fair use rights. Please try to remember that (like all other news stories) the press is only giving you a distorted sensationalized view of events that are taking place in other countries.
    • Corporations == political power. The more corporations that adopt Linux and OSS, the less likely OSS will have any laws put against it. If many large corps invest in OSS for all their systems, do you think they are going to let any laws get passed that prevent them from continuing to it? If Linux/OSS can push itself into large corporations, then OSS will be buying itself political power.
  • why? (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by GutBomb ( 541585 )
    Why suse and mandrake. The two biggest desktop oriented linux distros cen be "upgraded" to the ... desktop sufficient at best RedHat? Almost osunds as bad as "upgrading" my debian to Windows 3.1
  • by ZoneGray ( 168419 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:10AM (#3496095) Homepage
    Windows users already have enough incentive to upgrade.
  • all you people complain about competition with MS (and yes, I agree with you on that) but then you turn around and you hurang RH for competeing!!

    you have got to be consistent here, what does competition do? it puts weaker companies out of business and lets the creme rise to the top. one good thing about the Linux world is that there will always be competition as the GPL provides everyone with the same code and a lock out is impossable.

    there is nothing wrong with what RH is doing.
  • by dkh2 ( 29130 ) <dkh2&WhyDoMyTitsItch,com> on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:18AM (#3496146) Homepage
    1. No BSOD
    2. You typically only HAVE to reboot to switch kernels. No reboot just because you upgraded a package
    3. You can remove the internet browser and not break the OS
    4. Upgrades tend to be free
    5. Technical support does not cost $50USD/instance and $9.95/minute plus long distance charges

    Need I go on?

    • Let's see. I can't even remember the last time I saw a BSOD on a Windows box. You have to configure it properly, which even a monkey can do. Windows 2000 has much less reboots, and XP even less. Otherwise it's not a big deal. If you want real support for linux you have to pay for it.
        • I can't even remember the last time I saw a BSOD on a Windows box

        main() { for(;;) printf("\t\b\b"); } // disclaimer: save any important work

        Or install an AGP and a PCI card, set the PCI as primary display in the BIOS, but the AGP as the primary Windows display, and watch it die the first time it opens a DirectX app.

        Don't get me wrong, I like XP (corporate, with everything turned off), but it's still not as stable as even a badly set up X/GNU/Linux system, because an application - any application, even a trivial console app like the \t\b\b printf - can crash the whole OS. But now that OpenOffice 1.0 is out, the only thing I need my XP partition for is games, so I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

        Back OT, I've just received the dispatch note for my SuSE 8.0 Pro ($60), with KDE 3.0 and 7 CD's full of goodies. Why exactly would I want to pay more to "upgrade" to Red Hat? This is a very strange offer.

  • Eligibility (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jaavaaguru ( 261551 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:20AM (#3496164) Homepage
    Previous users of Windows ARE eligible for upgrades, if they also used Mandrake or SUSE. It's not just ANY users of Mandrake and SUSE though - it's only those who have purchased a retail copy of the OS, in a box, with a manual. RedHat might give me $10 back for purchasing RedHAt 7.3 after purchasing Mandrake 8.2, but I'm saving even more money by not buying either. In the UK, you could buy Windows 98 for less than the price of these two OSs and the rebate. Just goes to show it's not easy to please everyone :-)
    • Re:Eligibility (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Peyna ( 14792 )
      Or you download the RedHat ISOs and not pay anyone but the media manufacturer? I think that might be the 'cheapest' way if all you are considering is money.
  • by NetJunkie ( 56134 ) <jason.nash@gmaiP ... minus physicist> on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:21AM (#3496176)
    Stealing customers? Underhanded business practices? WTF?!

    People. Red Hat is in business to make money. That's it. Nothing more. If you really think any of the commercial Linux distros have their top priority at promoting open source you are crazy.

    My guess is that people aren't jumping from Windows to Linux as well as people had hoped. So, in that case, how do you expand your market share? Easy. You get more people on your distro than other distros. Makes sense to me. Then once you get them on your distro hopefully they'll keep buying YOUR upgrades. Competitive upgrades have been around a LONG time. I think it's a smart move for Red Hat to do this.

    Bills have to get paid. Employees have to eat. That's the way things work.
    • how do you expand your market share? Easy. You get more people on your distro than other distros

      Unfortunately, this happened in the Macintosh clone market circa 1996. It was easier for Power Computing et al to canabalize Apple's market than go out and get new customers. But canabalization thins the herd, so expect a loss of distros.

      This may be necassary consolidation or short-sighted business practices, time will tell.

  • by President Chimp Toe ( 552720 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:22AM (#3496182)
    Oh, how my trollish side comes out whenever i log onto slashdot......

    1. Buy SuSe 7.3

    2. Buy redhat, and get $10 dollar rebate.

    3. Return both, pocketing yourself a whopping 10 dollars

    easy money...
  • Too many packages! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tshoppa ( 513863 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:29AM (#3496230)
    Mandrake comes with so many extra packages that I reckon anyone who moves over to Red Hat will wonder what the hell they were thinking.

    For me, numerous packages is not a selling point. I run Linux because I want precise control over what's running on my machine, whether it be a desktop or a server. I don't want layers upon layers of crud.

    Example: You cannot install recent Redhat versions without installing sendmail, because cron needs sendmail, and a redhat install needs cron. But I don't want sendmail. In many cases I don't want cron. If I want sendmail functionality, I'll install something less gargantuan and less cumbersome. And if I want cron functionality, I'll install something substantially cleaner than the heavily-heavily patched Vixie cron that comes from redhat.

    For me, the perfect "distro" (it's not even really that) is Linux From Scratch []. Complete control over everything!

  • Mandrake 8.2 was loaded onto a server and placed into the DMZ of's network. Without a firewall Mandrake sat and waited while an invitation to hack this system was broadcast around the globe. 1 week has passed, the base install of Mandrake 8.2 is rock solid. Without any protection from a firewall or packet filtering device the OS has seriously stood up and taken a beating. This latest version of the Mandrake flavor has received well over several thousand individual attacks and hasn't needed so much as a simple killing of a process or reboot. If you haven't taken a look at what we have going here. It is a must. The project has been named 'Simple Simon', and is available at Check it out. Mandrake 8.2 is definately a winner.
    Here's the post []
  • So, my choices are: pay $50 or whatever for redhat and get a $10 rebate, effectively paying $40, or.

    Download redhat or buy it for media cost on cheapbytes, effectively paying $0.

    Somehow I doubt this 'rebate' is going to sway many people...
  • by AbraCadaver ( 312271 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @09:39AM (#3496291)
    (Warning: the following information eventually devolves into a rant!)

    If anything, this only validates what many Mandrake and Suse users already knew - these two products are getting incredibly easy to use, even for the "newbies". Yes, Redhat may have a larger commercial share, but that seems to be more in the corporate world, at least from what I have seen.
    Personally, I like Mandrake, which makes it very easy to show Linux to someone who is Windows-trained without scaring them too much (grin). Sure, they're not REAL Linux users, according to some, but frankly, thats not the point. I usually get non-geek friends to at least TRY Linux, and the more people that retain a good impression of it, the better! Imagine when NON geeks have a conversation like this:

    Non-geek 1: Wow, I just got ANOTHER Outlook/IE/VB Script virus! I hate this crap!
    Non-geek 2: Hey, that sucks for you! I'm using KMail on Mandrake Linux that a friend installed for me, that stuff doesn't even hit me!
    Non-geek 1: Yeah, but you can't use your windows stuff anymore!
    Non-geek 2: Sure I can - I can do something called "dual-boot" so I can use Windows or Linux -
    I don't have to give up Windows just to try it!

    Etc, etc. If Mandrake, Redhat, and Suse users care about getting more people into Linux, I think we should concentrate on pushing the dual boot issue, and "interoperability", the main reason being that the more "user-friendly" (and yes, I hate that term too) we can make a Linux Desktop, the longer they will stay in the Linux Desktop (besides, sooner or later, they'll need the space Windows is taking up for MP3s, Files, etc :)
    The Red Hat rebate is a nice feather in the cap of Mandrake and Suse, but I think they should have been giving it for WINDOWS users, not as an upgrade, but as a "Use us too!" kind of thing.
    • by HiThere ( 15173 )
      This is a caution about dual boot systems:

      Dual boot is quite useful, and I use it on my main system at work. But I don't really trust partition resizing tools. I've ended up with a few too many corrupt partition tables. So now I have a second hard disk. But if I install the boot partition on the second hard disk, then after awhile that installation fails at boot.

      It took awhile to figure this out, but in the end I backed up my windows partition, reformatted my primary disk, with a boot partion, a swap partion, and a windows partition. Rolled the windows program back in (I used ghost for this). And then installed Linux. Now it works fine, without much problem. But figuring out what I needed to do was largely a matter of try something, wait til it crashes (sometimes a couple of months). Figure out what to try next. Repeat. And for the longest time, the only reliable way to boot Linux was from a floppy.

      I'm not really sure that it would be appropriat to expect things to work better (though it sure would be nice). I am sure that it's appropriate to expect better diagnostics. Partition tabel corrupt is a terrible diagnostic to be the first warning sign. Particularly when it keeps you from even accessing the disk. (Interestingly, when I reformatted the system to put the boot partition on the primary disk, fsck magically recovered all of the missing data, and nothing ended up lost ... not at all what I had been expecting. I thought my hard disk had gone bad.)

  • So if I download the ISO's and install RH7.3, they'll send me $10?
  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @10:21AM (#3496564) Journal
    I don't know the business logic(sic) behind this, so I'm not really elligible to judge, but I think RedHat would have more to gain by offering this to Windows users (more stable, open, standards, cheap, etc etc) than to users of other distros. I cannot imagine a SuSE user switching for example.

    I suppose that they thought that they can't request the Windows box or manual or whatever, but did they have to? There would surely have been other methods to get authenticity.

    RedHat would, IMO, be better advised in general to improve and market a system for schools and universities, which is where they could gain user loyalty and brand awareness.
  • and give it to each of the customers we install the system on. As we install more and more Samba based servers, this means more people are exposed to the operating system and have the CDs and the manuals handy.

    We switched from Red Hat in 1997 or 1998 (whenever they had that disastrous version 5 that wouldn't compile anything) to SuSE and have become so used to its easy installation and huge numbers of applications that we'll never switch.

    Plus we save money over the same package in Red Hat... much more savings than a paltry $10.
  • They don't seem to realise that people don't choose one linux over another because of the cost.

    They choose one linux over another because of better hardware support, better management tools, nicer interface, more up to date, better support.

    Sounds like they should move the person that made that decision sideways. They should be taking aim at the Windows desktop and Unix workstation market. That's where people make decisions based on the cost.

  • .. would you see people actually saying "upgrade" from windows xp to redhat with a straight face.
  • Reading the reply's i just noticed that either you are saying Ay or Nay against this subject.

    Both sides have very valid points. On point of view is missing though...

    Will this begin the period where UNIX began slipping? To offer an incentive you make your distro different, either easier or with more packages etc.. then you start making proprietary tools like YaST... then your distro will be offering things to attract corporate attention, either by making it's base different from the competition, and then your distro is fundamentaly different. Despite the fact that the LSB advocates a standard you just won't comply just to keep your market share..

    Sounds familiar...
  • by Dr. Awktagon ( 233360 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @11:41AM (#3497086) Homepage

    Gee, this $10 rebate was mentioned right on Red Hat's page and marketing, and if anybody just bought it (my boxed copy came yesterday) it has a sticker and form on the box. So you guys need a Register story to discover this?

    Many software packages come with these rebates you know. Quicken came (or used to come) with an upgrade rebate. Adobe Photoshop Elements came with a competitive $30 rebate offer. Common practice!

    How about the scoop on the REAL story: where are the goddamn Red Hat stickers? When I bought 7.0 it came with STICKERS! Do you think I shelled out $many dollars for my Red Hat 7.3 Personal box set for NOTHING? Where are my stickers!!!

    I think the lack of stickers in the box is a clear sign that Red Hat is ready to file for chapter 11, or maybe even indicative of an Enron-style debacle. First the stickers go, next thing you know, Red Hat's backing the SSSCA and supporting Al Queda. What do you folks think??

  • by BreakWindows ( 442819 ) on Friday May 10, 2002 @11:52AM (#3497158) Homepage
    # apt-get install redhat-rebate
    Couldn't find package redhat-rebate.

    Damn! First abiword, now this.

    • That's because the Red Hat Rebate just came out. It'll take a good week for it to get into sid, a month after that it'll get into testing, and sometime in about 4 years it'll make it into stable. Give it some time man, you're working on debian time there.
  • by sagei ( 131421 ) <rlove.rlove@org> on Friday May 10, 2002 @01:06PM (#3497694) Homepage
    I do not see anything wrong with this. What notion of reality is everyone subscribing to wherein a rebate is a bad thing?

    This is not stealing customers, sorry. It is giving a rebate for an upgrade which, as someone else pointed out, is probably due to the savings in technical support by non-newbie customers.

    Second, I own RedHat 7.2, now I own RedHat 7.3. I get $10 back. Thanks, RedHat. If they did not give a rebate you would complain it cost too much.

    Next, someone complained about ripping up your manual - it is your old manual they want the cover of. Read the directions - "eligable product's manual" and the eligable product is from the list, i.e. old verions of RedHat or SuSE or Mandrake.

    Now, RedHat is a business and you just bought a box with paper and CDs in it. Not a religion or a political agenda. Sorry to rain on anyone's parade. I got $10 bucks - yay! If you buy RedHat, you can get $10 bucks back, too. Or not. Have fun.

    Finally, the real complaint is why does this version not have the free stickers of previous editions!@!?

    There goes my karma...:)

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982