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Red Hat Software Businesses Linux Business Software Linux

Red Hat Linux Support To End 1175

Orbital Sander writes "Received a missive this morning from the Red Hat Network, stating that they will discontinue maintenance on Red Hat Linux 7.x and 8.0 by the end of 2003, and on Red Hat 9.0 by the end of April, 2004. And, more ominously: 'Red Hat does not plan to release another product in the Red Hat Linux line.' [The full text of the email is on Newsforge.] Kind of the end of an era, and the new king has already been appointed: Red Hat Linux is dead! Long live Red Hat Enterprise Linux! Looks like they realized that only their support contract-based version of the product was making them any money." Readers also note that Red Hat is pointing users to the free Fedora Project.
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Red Hat Linux Support To End

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  • A sad day (Score:4, Funny)

    by ike6116 ( 602143 ) * on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:17PM (#7378957) Homepage Journal
    so long, and thanks for all the RPMs.
    • Re:A sad day (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bmalia ( 583394 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:24PM (#7379049) Journal
      Yes, very sad day. The free Red Hat Linux may not have been bringing in cash, but how well can enterprise do on its own? I mean, if all the redhat linux hackers out there switch to a different flavor, won't they bring that flavor to the workplace as well? Feel's like this is the death of redhat.
      • Re:A sad day (Score:4, Insightful)

        by LordBodak ( 561365 ) <`msmoulton' `at' `'> on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:50PM (#7379318) Homepage Journal
        Seems that way. People are going to recommend what they know, and without a free Red Hat, not as many people will know it.
        • Re:A sad day (Score:5, Informative)

          by irix ( 22687 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:42PM (#7379930) Journal

          +5 Insightful? Free RedHat == Fedora []

          Why is this so difficult for people to comprehend?

          It costs a lot of money to backport security/bug fixes to old releases for years on end. RedHat can't afford to be doing that for products that people download for free. So, you get your free community-supported Fedora and your $$ commercial-support-for-five-years RedHat Enterprise. Fedora will be the proving ground for things that end up in later Enterprise versions.

          This was announced many months ago - first that the "consumer" RedHat distro would only be supported for 12 months, then that the "consumer" RedHat distro would no longer be sold as such and it would merge with Fedora instead. If this story caught you by surprise then you were asleep at the switch.

          • Re:A sad day (Score:5, Interesting)

            by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:57PM (#7380091)
            If Free RedHat == Fedora, why are they shaking things up with the name change? RedHat (not Fedora) is the most widespread Linux distro out there, discontinuing it looks bad. Apparently RedHat enjoyed a higher level of support from RedHat inc., which Fedora will not, so they're not the same.

            It costs a lot of money to backport security/bug fixes to old releases for years on end. RedHat can't afford to be doing that for products that people download for free.
            How can they avoid that? If they bugfix any GPL code (the linux kernel, gcc, etc...) they have to release it. And the Enterprise product must surely have a *longer* lifespan than the consumer version.
            • Re:A sad day (Score:3, Informative)

              by pyros ( 61399 )
              well, WH was providing backports of security patches to multiple versions of the same packages, and making it all available in free binary downloads. It costs a lot of money (the time to backport so many times and the bandwidth to serve it all). the main effect is the free binary iso images and free binary updates. That will be transitioned from Red Hat to the Fedora community as a whole. Still available, just not necessarily from servers. The RHEL stuff will have no change in availability. You c
            • Re:A sad day (Score:5, Interesting)

              by zerocool^ ( 112121 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @06:21PM (#7381608) Homepage Journal

              Same reason I've been bitching about for months on slashdot (if you've read my comments, about 1 in 10 is bitching about being in the webhosting biz, and all of your customers wanting redhat, and having to tell them that it's not free anymore).

              The name redhat is now worth money to them.

              They want people to do exactly what is happening. They want people to call up and say "i want that thar red hat linux" because it's synonymous with linux, the same way office is synonymous with "microsoft office" at the managemen level, and at the average customer level.

              So, now we say that we can get them redhat, but it's cheaper to run windows2003 web edition. By a good margin. Oh, and we now have to tell people running redhat 8.0 (which came out in, what, feb?) that the next time that they have a security problem with their 10 month old linux distro, they're SOL, because it's past it's end of line date.

              I'm seriously pissed off at redhat. Enterprise my ass. For the same price as windows server 2003 web edition, you can get redhat enterprise, but *without support*. What the blue fuck are you paying for then? It's only the name.

              Now, I know a lot of people are going to say "but but but but but". Arguement #1.) Management types want to pay a lot of money for an OS that runs on their big hard ware. Answer: I don't give a fuck. I want it for free, or next to free. I don't want support. I want it for $49.99, or $99.99, not goddamn $1249.99. Arguement #2.) It's GPL'd, so buy one copy and just put it on all your customer's computers. Answer: HAHA! Redhat is fucking you the same way Microsoft wants to fuck you - YOU'RE NOT BUYING SOFTWARE, YOU'RE BUYING A SUBSCRIPTION. More at []! You can't install it on more than one computer!
              Arguement #3.) The source is free, download and compile it yourself. Answer: HAHA, you first, doogie howser. They give out the source, but I bet you can't just compile it all together! I bet you have to mess with and tweak and change --config-with-blah=18934 a billion times, and you'd still not be half way there.

              Bottom line: RedHat has gotten popular enough that they're tired of being a good corporation, and, while they think they're spreading the good name of linux, what they're really doing is fucking the small business who relies on the name "redhat" for profit.

              Cause, hey, folks. When Linux is more expensive than windows, who will buy it? Say what you will about stability and security, and I agree, but given the choice between redhat advanced server premium for $18,000 and a solution from the other side of the fense for $6000, who's manager is going to pick linux, especially when they heard it was supposed to be free?

              HERE'S THE ANSWER, REDHAT: RELEASE YOUR PRODUCTS FOR FREE, AND OFFER SUPPORT FOR THEM OPTIONALLY. Do what you've been doing for years. Oh, but too late.

              Crash and burn.
            • Re:A sad day (Score:4, Insightful)

              by theMightyE ( 579317 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @07:22PM (#7382252)
              If Free RedHat == Fedora, why are they shaking things up with the name change? RedHat (not Fedora) is the most widespread Linux distro out there

              My guess is that the decision to re-name the free version came from the marketing group. I bet they want to take advantage of the well-known Red Hat name to publish the more profitable Enterprise version as the 'gold standard' OS that a middle manager can justify putting on an important server system, while Fedora will gradually become identified with the 'hippies, hackers, and poor students' crowd. I suppose that this is a way for them to get around the 'free software is for commies' view of some of the higher-ups in business and make a buck at the same time. Not a big deal in my view, and maybe not even entirely crazy from a business plan point of view.

          • Re:A sad day (Score:5, Informative)

            by Suicyco ( 88284 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @04:52PM (#7380725) Homepage
            Interesting, as when I posted this months ago, I was blasted in here for being a total idiot. Here's my post: 167

            Anyway, this has been a long time coming, and it should be no suprise.

          • by Odinson ( 4523 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @04:59PM (#7380802) Homepage Journal
            "Why is this so difficult for people to comprehend?"

            Just accept that it is difficult, hence marketing. Bob Young(now gone from RH) said it best. It's all about branding. This will seriously hurt the brand and slow any new blood from jumping on board.

            They could have done the same thing structurally and still called it Red Hat Linux. But now people will rightly say, "So why did they change the name?"

            Expect to see an attempt at back-pedaling in two years, but it will be to late.

            Who will be the next distro king? Who will get all that dirt cheap cross branding for the services their company offers...

      • Re:A sad day (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GreyWolf3000 ( 468618 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:56PM (#7379384) Journal
        Red Hat is targeting corporations, and corporations don't care about personal recommendations. They know they need UNIX, and they know that Red Hat Enterprise is as stable and reliable for production servers, and beats most of them at TCO.
        • Re:A sad day (Score:4, Interesting)

          by epiphani ( 254981 ) <[epiphani] [at] []> on Monday November 03, 2003 @04:16PM (#7380283)
          Well, yes. And they have three levels of "RedHat Enterprise Linux" to do it with. The cheepest version, "RedHat Enterprise Linux WorkStation" (say that five times fast), runs for $179USD. Thats pretty expensive if you ask me. If its to be used as a Workstation, then price it in such a way that the home user can buy it too. I'd happily pay $80-100 for a very tight Linux desktop.

          All i expect in a version I'd pay that amount for would be a software update util (akin to windows update). I want something that isnt targetted at the corporation. And I dont expect too much for the money I'm willing to spend. Just give me the "Redhat Home" or "Redhat Desktop" version. And cut down on the number of syllables in your product name.

      • Re:A sad day (Score:5, Interesting)

        by roystgnr ( 4015 ) <<roystgnr> <at> <>> on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:04PM (#7379476) Homepage
        I mean, if all the redhat linux hackers out there switch to a different flavor

        I think they're hoping that the flavor switched to will be Fedora; they would then take the best versions of software from Fedora (which will update frequently enough to keep the hackers happy), and stick them into Enterprise (which will update infrequently enough to keep the companies happy). Whether that strategy will work or not, we'll find out.
      • no, they won't... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mekkab ( 133181 )
        Why not?

        From the perspective of the large customer:
        They want to pay someone and have a contract for support. For the same reason "no one got fired buying IBM", No one got fired for buying a suport contract that they didn't fully use- only for not having a support contract for when they needed it.

        While support contracts mean nothing to a 10 peson outfit with a linux hacker in their midst, larger corporations see a different story.

        They want to cut costs, but they don't want to be left high and dry. Thi
      • Re:A sad day (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Brandybuck ( 704397 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @04:05PM (#7380164) Homepage Journal
        I think you're right. M$ is in the enterprise because M$ is what the decision makers use at home. Redhat is in a lot of enterprises because Redhat is what a lot of IT decision makers use at home.

        At my work we had a lot of small group servers running Redhat because the guy in charge of setting them up ran Redhat elsewhere. He's gone now. These are slowly getting converted over to FreeBSD because the people who inherited them run FreeBSD. Now there's this new guy who is bitching that we should really be running Windows XP instead. Fortunately we won't, because these are 100-400MHz machines with no budget for replacement or licensing.

        Redhat may be making all of its money with Redhat Enterprise, but all of its advertising comes from plain old free-beer Redhat Linux.
  • Dang. (Score:3, Informative)

    by maelstrom ( 638 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:18PM (#7378966) Homepage Journal
    By far my favorite desktop. Redhat + Ximian Gnome = Goodness.

    Hopefully Fedora will keep pace with things.
  • by schnuf ( 103708 ) * on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:19PM (#7378977) Homepage
    From where I'm standing this looks like a very silly step on Redhat's behalf.

    I have two Redhat boxes at the moment, one running 7.1 which handles mail and DNS for me a half a dozen friends/family, the other running 9.0 which is purely a remote backup server (rsync copies data to it daily).

    I use Redhat because despite the fact that I installed 7.1 a couple of years ago I pay my $60 a year so that I can run "up2date" once a day to keep my security patches up to date. I pay my $60 for both systems.

    I also buy a copy of Redhat every 18 months or so.

    Now that they have decided to stop updating 7, 8 and 9 they are forcing me to migrate both boxes. I don't have time to scan the web looking for security updates for hundreds of packages, so I need an update service. Hell, I only installed the 9.0 box 4 months ago and come next April updates stop !

    So it looks like they are forcing me to either move to Redhat Enterprise to get security updates from them. It looks like I would have to stump up two lots of $379 just to get a two copies of Enterprise and 12 months of update for my two boxes.

    I obviously don't want to pay that much...

    So I guess I'm going to have to migrate to Debian or something instead ?

    The end result for Redhat, no more income from me.
    • by FooBarWidget ( 556006 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:25PM (#7379053)
      They aren't worried that you don't pay them anymore. Even if there are a few people like you out there who pay them, they are losing more money than they make from the RedHat Linux product line. In short: they don't care about your money.
      • They should be (Score:5, Interesting)

        by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:35PM (#7379179) Journal
        My company has over a dozen Red Hat servers, about $900 a year in RHN seats. That's $900 a year Red Hat's getting just for providing us updates, no support.

        We're migrating slowly to Debian since this latest Red Hat policy change was announced.

        This article [] pretty much sums up what I am facing.
        • Re:They should be (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Roofus ( 15591 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:41PM (#7379232) Homepage
          Don't you understand? By providing you this service they're LOSING MONEY, even with your $900+. They will come out millions ahead by ending the Red Hat Linux product line and focusing on their enterprise package. It's all about business.
          • Re:They should be (Score:4, Informative)

            by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:56PM (#7379392) Journal
            How can they possibly lose money?

            They only need to update the packages once, that's a fixed cost, no matter how many subscribe to RHN.

            The only variable cost is the bandwidth, lets say 2gbyte per server per year, it's probably lower than that. That's 62 bytes/sec per server subscribed, if you average it out. That's 3000 servers on a T1 worth of bandwidth.

            Yes, this is about money, but their logic is faulty. They think that most of the RHN users will mostly upgrade to RHEL. This is where they are very wrong. Most of us don't need phone in support, we just need updates, and we are willing to pay a reasonable amount for it. Maybe up to $100 per server per year. That's about what RHN used to cost, before they lowered the price to $60 a year.

            But not $350 per server per year, with an EULA to rival something from MSFT. In my eyes, the EULA is a bigger deal than the money. I might want to spend the money, if I didn't feel like I was giving up all my rights under the GPL just to get updates for a server.
    • by Espectr0 ( 577637 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:32PM (#7379140) Journal
      I use Redhat because despite the fact that I installed 7.1 a couple of years ago I pay my $60 a year so that I can run "up2date" once a day to keep my security patches up to date. I pay my $60 for both systems.

      You don't have to pay to use up2date

      The end result for Redhat, no more income from me.

      Still, this was not done to stop freeloaders, as we can still use fedora (a.k.a red hat linux 10).

      So the only thing that is changed, is that you wont receive installation support or being able to buy it at stores
      • You have to pay to use up2date on more than 1 machine - each user is allowed 1 "demo" licence, for which you have to fill in a marketing form every 60 days. However, the up2date licence will not let you use the same account on 2 machines, you need to pay for the 2nd one.

      • by Alan Cox ( 27532 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @04:52PM (#7380721) Homepage
        The Fedora trademark is deliberately arranged so that people can make and sell CD images of it (see for details). Fedora is like the old old Red Hat, with people making images and rapid turnaround. I know several people who will be selling Fedora on CD - which is important - we don't all have broadband.

        Its like the world was in Red Hat 5 and 6, because with business split off you can go both ways.

    • You should... (Score:5, Informative)

      by big_groo ( 237634 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <sivoorg>> on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:34PM (#7379169) Homepage
      Switch to Slackware []. Schedule swaret [] to run daily. It will upgrade everything for you.

      Buy Slack distros. I do.

      If you don't like Slackware, there are many other distros out there ...

  • wow. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pb ( 1020 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:19PM (#7378981)
    I hate to say it, but even Microsoft gives better support guarantees than that. On the plus side, however, I never needed support from RedHat when I did use their products, and now that I've switched to Gentoo, I don't have to worry about it at all!

    Best of luck to you, RedHat; hopefully this move won't anger too many large clients of yours...
  • Crud. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:21PM (#7378997) Homepage
    While I can understand Red Hat's thinking on this one, I don't really agree with it.

    I use Red Hat 9 at home. Because of this, when time came to roll out some Linux servers at work and my boss asked me which we should use, I told him "Red Hat Enterprise" (we wanted support and had the money to pay for it).

    I suspect that for a reasonably significant portion of their market, Red Hat Linux (and cooresponding useful items like RHN) is the primary reason that their customers buy Enterprise. I hope they've considered this...

    • Re:Crud. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:26PM (#7379076)
      In two years you will be using Fedora at home, and when your boss askes you what to use, you will say "Red Hat Enterprise" because you want support.

      All that's happening here is that the free download, no support Red Hat is going to be called Fedora, and a loose committee of volunteers will pick package versions and make other decisions, kind of like Debian or Gentoo or other distributions not run by a business. Red Hat will sell a version of that with support contracts, and keep a close enough eye on Fedora and have enough employees helping out there that they can steer / follow the direction it is going in.
      • Re:Crud. (Score:3, Informative)

        by Rimbo ( 139781 )
        Our AC friend here is right. Fedora is the testbed for all new things that would go into Red Hat Linux. For a while, Red Hat was essentially giving out two free operating systems -- Fedora, and Red Hat Linux. Fedora is essentially "Red Hat Linux Beta." Why do they need two new free OSes? They can pick one, and not the other. Obviously, as a testbed for new ideas, Fedora has more value. As users, hopefully this means no more waiting six months for Mozilla to get upgraded; we may be able to play with t
  • Old news (Score:5, Informative)

    by JoshuaDFranklin ( 147726 ) <joshuadfranklin. ... .com minus distr> on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:21PM (#7379003) Homepage
    This info has been around for a long time. Red Hat Fedora Core 1 was due to be released today, but they found an issue so it's delayed, as you can see from the Fedora schedule []. You can read the mailing list post about it here [].
  • by Pakaran2 ( 138209 ) <> on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:21PM (#7379004)
    is that it leaves us without a really easy to install distro for new users.

    I think Mandrake fills that hole to some extent, but they're largely a repackaged RH, and I can't help wondering whether they'll be able to maintain rpm, cygwin, and all the other widely used RH products on their own. Will RH still be employing Cox?

    It *is* possible to make money off free software - look at Hans Reiser [], or MySQL []. For that matter, Slashdot and LiveJournal [] use totally open source software, even if the software isn't where they make their money.

    Why hasn't RH been able to do the same?
  • by Hanashi ( 93356 ) * on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:21PM (#7379006) Homepage
    RedHat announced this a couple of months ago. Since then, pretty much everyone I know who based their organization on RedHat is desperately seeking a solution. Fedora seems attractive, until you realize that their support policy only provides around 9 months of support for any release. The Fedora Legacy Project wants to increase this to 18 months, but so far they are just getting organized, so it remains to be seen how reliable they will be.

    This is a bad situation for those of us using RedHat Linux, but there *is* hope.

    • The Fedora Legacy Project wants to increase this to 18 months, but so far they are just getting organized, so it remains to be seen how reliable they will be.

      Considering the number of people who want the updates, I'm almost amazed there isn't a huge group of volunteers to help with the Fedora Legacy project. Or could it be that the people who complain only want to download stuff and not help ? ;)

      More seriously, open source has proven itself as a development model for all the programs included in the di

  • They'll lose (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DougJohnson ( 595893 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:22PM (#7379020)
    The server line only is so successful because of the branding of the desktop line. If they drop one, they'll lose the other. Not to mention that it's Almost to the point that corps will be willing to pay for it! That's great, drop the OS just as it's about to become functional!
  • by Godeke ( 32895 ) * on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:22PM (#7379023)
    The main problem I had when I received this is they seem to be really focused on the "Enterprise" aspect of this. I am a happy subscriber to the update service with a handful of servers. However, none of these boxes are really "servers" in the heavy duty use sense. We use them as firewalls, and one as a light duty PHP/mysql/web server for doing bug tracking, design documents, etc for the developers.

    Under the old scheme, I was able to purchase the low end version and run it as a light duty web server. Now, looking at the product mix, it looks like they are taking the Microsoft 'your workstation isn't a web server' approach to stratification.
  • by papasui ( 567265 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:23PM (#7379033) Homepage
    But you need to offer a service that someone wants in order to make money. I think people would pay for linux, it's a great OS, but when its perfectly legal to just download it and install it for free why would you pay for it? Only if the incentive for purchasing it was good enough. There's been plenty of companies that have tried to make a profit selling linux, but only a few have come out ok. I know everybody is going to bitch about the spirit of free software and all that crap, but the people at Red hat have families to feed too. Sometimes I wish linux was cheap not free. $50 for an enterprise class system is a damn good deal.
  • by bernz ( 181095 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:23PM (#7379037) Homepage
    All they are saying is that Red Hat Linux will no longer be released by RedHat. This means that a company won't spend lots of money supporting, for free, a free project. Companies that make money on open source tend to do so through charging for support. Updates and maintainence of software trees are a type of support. So I guess they looked at the bottom line and said, "hey free publicity is lots of fun, but it's just not worth it."

    BUT They still have and fund the Fedora Project []. This is essentially Red Hat linux. It's just no longer commercially supported. Just like debian.

  • G P L (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brlancer ( 666140 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:24PM (#7379045) Homepage Journal
    Red Hat will have to continue releasing any GPL'ed code in the same way they always have. You may not get any proprietary software, but I can't think of anything that was, in base Red Hat.

    I'm less concerned with the "no new Red Hat" than with "You've got two months to upgrade". Many vendors only support what RH supports, so vendors may no longer support their products on the free system, and that's a big headache for SA's.
    • Re:G P L (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jim Hall ( 2985 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:21PM (#7379704) Homepage

      Red Hat will have to continue releasing any GPL'ed code in the same way they always have. You may not get any proprietary software, but I can't think of anything that was, in base Red Hat. I'm less concerned with the "no new Red Hat" than with "You've got two months to upgrade". Many vendors only support what RH supports, so vendors may no longer support their products on the free system, and that's a big headache for SA's.

      Does no one who uses Red Hat Linux actually follow what's happening at Red Hat?? Sheesh, it's not like you didn't see see this coming. Let's clarify a few things:

      1. No, you don't have to stop using RH7x (or even RH6x) if you don't want to. Just don't expect any software updates beginning 1/1/04. If there's a security vulnerability announced for software that you use (SSH, sendmail, ..) then you're on your own. If you make wise use of iptables, or don't have any public-facing RH7x systems, you're probably going to be okay for a while yet.
      2. Yes, you'll have to find something else to run on that production Linux box, if you want to stay current. I suppose you might choose Fedora if you're used to Red Hat Linux, and get it for free. But if you're running production, you probably won't mind spending some $$ to purchase Red Hat Advanced Server (RHAS) or Red Hat Edge Server (RHES.) RHAS is good for back-end systems like database servers. RHES is good for "Edge of network" services like DNS or web.
      3. Yes, you're paying for RHAS or RHES. No, this is not a violation of the GNU GPL. You can re-install that copy of RHES or RHAS on as many servers as you like (they can't stop you there) and give away any GNU GPL'd code that you want. What you're actually paying for, my friend, is a subscription to Red Hat Network (RHN). If you haven't used RHN by now, you're missing out on something. If you have more than 20 RHAS or RHES servers, you'll probably be better off purchasing Red Hat Proxy (provides a proxy system to RHN to speed up local updates.)
      4. Your boss won't really care that much if you (gasp!) actually have to pay to run that copy of Linux. In my experience, bosses like to pay some $$ to run RHES or RHAS, since they feel that they are actually getting something for it. Point out that it puts the server on RHN, which will reduce your time applying patches, and your boss won't mind.
      5. Yes, vendors will still support Red Hat Linux. Support there isn't going away. All of my vendors (PeopleSoft, Oracle, ...) have versions of their software that's certified for some version of RHAS or RHES. If it's not certified for RHES/RHAS 3, it's certified for RHAS 2.1 (the previous version ... I believe RHAS 2.1 is supported by Red Hat for another year or two.)
      6. If you use Red Hat, and you didn't see this move coming, you probably don't talk to your Red Hat sales rep at all. I have a monthly phone call with my sales rep, just to check in and see what's up, and I found out about the migration away from supporting boxed sets almost a year ago. These "announcements" that keep showing up on Slashdot are getting kind of annoying ... seems like no one has been listening to what Red Hat says is coming down the line.

      If you're really all that bent out of shape because Red Hat isn't giving away their kick-ass Linux distribution for free anymore, then go download Fedora, or jump to another distribution. Personally, since I haven't had a complaint with Red Hat, I'm sticking with RHES/RHAS. We start our upgrade to RHES 3 in two weeks, and will be done by 2/28/04. Yes, that's two months after the end of support, so I'm on my own for those two months. We have a lot of servers, so the upgrade will take time.

      Get over it.


  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:26PM (#7379068) Journal
    Anyone with an elementary school understanding of arithmetic and a lick of common sense can tell you that Red Hat's business model was unsustainable.

    A free product, free downloads, free support?

    Enterprise linux support? Sure, until it's profitable enough that Big Blue decides to take it from 'em.

    Big Blue is the only company around poised to profit from Linux. And we all tip our hats and give them our full support. Hip hip hooray.

    Does noone see that the open source community is nothing more than a source of free labour to IBM?

    They'll milk Red Hat for free code, and when the work is completed to their satisfaction, they will have the might to succeed where SCO fails - "owning" Linux.

    Why do people think IBM is a "good" company? Their track record makes MSFT look like a care bear convention.
    • by An Onerous Coward ( 222037 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:54PM (#7379368) Homepage
      "Anyone with an elementary school understanding of arithmetic and a lick of common sense can tell you that Red Hat's business model was unsustainable."
      Which part? They had a positive cash flow, and dominated the market to the point that many people thought "Red Hat" and "Linux" were interchangeable.

      In the Linux world, where all the basics can be gotten for free, there are only a handful of things you can do to differentiate yourself in the marketplace. The first is to have name recognition, something Red Hat's "freebies" generated very nicely.

      A free product, free downloads, free support?"
      Where were you getting your free Red Hat support? I want on this gravy train. Anyhow, this seems too drastic a step. Any money they were losing could have been recouped by simply charging for downloads while allowing for mirroring.

      Enterprise linux support? Sure, until it's profitable enough that Big Blue decides to take it from 'em."

      Big Blue is the only company around poised to profit from Linux. And we all tip our hats and give them our full support. Hip hip hooray."

      Does noone see that the open source community is nothing more than a source of free labour to IBM?"
      Yeah, they're going to take all of the community's hard work, sell it to their customers, and leave the community with... well, pretty much everything they had before, along with some IBM-generated improvements, a big boost in name recognition, and someone to point to when PHBs start asking, "But where do we get a support contract?"

      IBM and Red Hat may have incompatable goals, but I don't see that it means anything for the wider community.

      They'll milk Red Hat for free code, and when the work is completed to their satisfaction, they will have the might to succeed where SCO fails - "owning" Linux."
      Since IBM is currently working on setting down a legal precedent for the legal enforcability of the GPL, I don't see how they could do that. So long as the code is freely redistributable, anyone with know-how can set up shop as a competitor to IBM's Linux offerings.

      Why do people think IBM is a "good" company? Their track record makes MSFT look like a care bear convention."
      Sure, if you're comparing Microsoft (1990-Present) with pre-1990 IBM. Becoming temporarily irrelevant caused a nice little shift in IBM's corporate culture. They're not perfect, but they've improved, and they seem to be dealing fairly with the Linux community.
  • A serious question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jxs2151 ( 554138 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:26PM (#7379074) Homepage
    What happens when Free software conquers all and all the software companies are put out of business, letting their programmers go?

    Open source software doesn't feed the family so what do all those out of work developers do? It seems to me that OSS is like a virus that eventually consumes its host, thus ending its own life.

    This is a serious question from one who seeks to be educated.

    Oh yeah, I already know that I am an idiot and most likely a facist, capitalist, bozo, insertyourlabelhere so save those type of comments for your high school classmates and please seek to address the question.

    • by theCat ( 36907 )
      OK, I'll bite. It's a serious question, but until it happens it is not a serious issue. I think it would be better to simply admit that the operating system of a computer is a common sandbox for actual applications, and so it might as well be a community effort because that is the best way to manage a "commons". Then give it away. This would lower the barrier to technology transfer to poorer nations and schools (a good thing) and focus corporate development on emerging technologies that run on top of the OS
    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:24PM (#7379745) Homepage
      1. "Everything" will never be written. To think that OSS will have written everything, and there's no commercially viable programs left is silly.
      2. In-house developments and/or adaptations of OSS work requires programmers. In fact, most programmers today are busy doing in-house things.
      3. There's always some things for which there is more money than programmer interest, which simply wouldn't be written unless those with money paid for it. Think uncool, boring, tedious, repetitive programming with hardly any value to the general public.

      Besides, there's nothing fundamentally wrong or unique about the process destroying the market. Think e.g. a company that has specialized in automating manufacturing - replacing humans with robots. Once they're "done", they've obsoleted themselves, since their services won't be needed anymore.

      Except that for them too, the job is never done. All the time new products go from prototype stage (typically with some or a lot of manual labor) into full-automated production, creating new jobs. Same with programming. This program or that has been "done", but there'll be other programs, other software.

      Maybe you think the PC and Linux is like the "final" step. In my opinion it is only the beginning, as more and more embedded devices (everything from cell phones to dish washers to PVRs) are becoming "mini-computers", almost without exception commercial and proprietary (at some level, like OS X over BSD and Tivo over Linux). And all of those will need developers...

  • by ivanmarsh ( 634711 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:28PM (#7379094)
    New Coke.

    Probably not their best move to date.
  • by Halo- ( 175936 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:29PM (#7379106)
    This promises to be interesting. I like RedHat, but mainly because of inertia. I've been running it since 6.2 and haven't been sufficently motivated to change. As a result, when asked what distro to run for professional applications, I say "RedHat" due mainly to farmiliarity.

    Microsoft has been rumored to almost encourage "piracy" of their office suite because it leads to adoption by paying customers. RedHat is obviously a stepping stone to RHEL. Without providing a "personal" version, RedHat will be able to devote much more energy to large dollar corporate customers, but the lack of grassroots support may offset the increase.

  • About Debian (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ike6116 ( 602143 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:34PM (#7379176) Homepage Journal
    I see a lot of people posting "time to learn the debian install." Perhaps not (even thought its not hard folks) since anaconda has been ported you might soon see Debian install ISOs with a familiar face. I think Debian + Apt + Anaconda destroys redhat as a desktop distro, as the only problem I had with Debian usability wise was the install, keeping updated and secure is as easy as a cron job. Forget a good day in redmond, I think its a good day for Linux not to be tied by ignorant people to the Red Hat name. Then again, I can't wait for the FUD C|Net, Dvorak et. al spew out.

  • by Halo- ( 175936 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:36PM (#7379190)
    What I worry most about is how this will impact corporate perception of "free" software. Even if RedHat decides to back down from this policy, the MicroSoft marketing drones will almost certainly use this as an example of: "Look how crazy those open source nuts are! You never can count of the product to be around long term." Obviously this would be the pot calling the kettle black given MS's record of forced upgrades, but a little hypocrisy seldom gets in the way of an MBA on a rant. :)
  • stupid redhat. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:50PM (#7379321)
    This is the dumbest thing they have ever done. In fact, they should have done the exact opposite...put their focus on making base RedHat CDs as ubiquitous as AOL cds (well not *that* ubiquitous, but you get the idea).

    Free RedHat cds at frys, bestbuy, target, circuit city, office depot....just the sales of support contracts from doing that would have made it worthwhile.

    Instead they shoot themselves in the foot with fedora and will now be going toe-to-toe with IBM, Sun and Microsoft.

    If any other company has the money and the guts to do it, they should embrace this idea and run with it. Maybe the guy or IBM (they had a retail presence before) or even Sun or SGI might do it...hell, SCO should STFU and do this.

    Linux has always been grassroots...the problem is the seed never spread far enough for the lawn to grow up healthy and green. Some company needs to spread the seed, spray it all over the country, in the form of free CDs with $1.99/minute support or yearly contracts...that is the way to make linux happen.

  • Fedora Core (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Experiment 626 ( 698257 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:52PM (#7379329)

    I'd played around a lot with the Fedora Core beta (Severn) over the weekend, and wanted to describe my experience a bit for those thinking of going that route. Purely anecdotal, your mileage my vary, and all that stuff.

    I initially installed over an existing RH9 install, and also tried an install on a fresh partition. The install process was very similar and it upgraded my existing packages nicely, and did a good job of preserving configuration.

    Fedora also has a couple channels on for up2date, they work a lot like the one from RH9, but with newer versions of the software. Initially I was subscribed to the Rawhide channel, but after updating up2date itself, it changed to a Fedora Core channel that offered the same stuff. Four of the packages (the desktop backgrounds, indexhtml, and some http configuration package) did not have the right GPG signature, which causes up2date to prompt you (annoying during a very long download that should be able to complete unattended), and can also make up2date hang when it goes to install those packages.

    On a positive note, Fedora can recognize my Broadcom ethernet on its own now, with RH9 I had to download and install a separate driver.

    Red Hat Graphical Boot (rhgb) is pretty hit or miss, I had it working briefly but it broke again. Looked pretty good while it was working, but was hard to keep working. Also didn't appear to have much in the way of man pages.

    The system would sometimes slow way down when booting as it got to probing modules and/or detecting new hardware. I got errors about it trying to install the floppy.o module (floppyless system), and sometimes lots of stuff scrolling by about other block-major devices not being found.

    The Linuxant Driverloader program I need to use my WiFi card installs under the kernel, but after doing up2date and getting the latest (, iirc) it would not install. Even under 2088 it gave me problems I had not encountered when running it on a RH9 system that had been updated to the same kernel.

    When doing an update install, it adds a new entry to your existing bootloader, as would be expected. When doing a fresh install, it seems to only let you use GRUB, which could be an annoyance to those who prefer LILO. Of course you could change it after the fact.

    To sum it all up, Fedora Core is for the most part quite slick and I really liked that it has more current versions of the packages than RH9, which has to play it safe for the corporate world. However, I experienced enough frustrations to have doubts as to whether Fedora Core is really as ready as it needs to be to take over from Red Hat 9.

    • by roystgnr ( 4015 ) <<roystgnr> <at> <>> on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:17PM (#7379651) Homepage
      However, I experienced enough frustrations to have doubts as to whether Fedora Core is really as ready as it needs to be to take over from Red Hat 9.

      Think of Fedora Core 1 as if it were Red Hat 5.0 or 6.0, which each burned lots of people who installed them right away (rather than after the first few weeks of major updates came out). It's the equivalent of a Red Hat x.0 release, and I don't have any higher expectations.

      The question is whether we'll ever see the equivalent of a Red Hat x.1 release, when instead of spending 6 months hunting down every subtle bug they can find in their current software, the distro developers will be upgrading everything to brand new versions and ditching the "ancient" stuff by the time it's 9 months old. Red Hat (again, assuming you waited before installing x.0 versions) always struck me as a happy medium between having the most brand-spanking new software versions for features and having time-tested old software versions for stability. Now I worry that Red Hat users are going to have to choose between an unstable Fedora version and an outdated Enterprise version. I used to feel bad for the Debian users who had to make a similar choice between "Debian unstable" and "Debian stable" versions of that distro; now IIRC Debian users have a more moderate choice available ("Debian testing"), and Red Hat users may be losing ours.
  • my recommendation (Score:4, Informative)

    by thoolihan ( 611712 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:54PM (#7379364) Homepage
    Once you go black [], you never go back.

  • The end for Red Hat? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by getnuked ( 595037 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:59PM (#7379417)
    Why? A big reason why they have so many big contract customers is because of all the geeks like you and me who used Red Hat, or at least wanted to use a distro of Linux at work and finally after many years our PHBs listened to us and allowed us to install what was the most commercial and well supported distro around that we also could use at home. Now more and more young geeks are going to start off on another distro (many already are) and when they cry for Linux at work it's going to be for Gentoo, Debian, Suse, Slackware or whatever - but not Red Hat (they will say 'What is Red Hat?').

    Bye, bye Red Hat the distro - thanks for the memories. I guess your time had to come as a conventional, any one will want to use, let's me borrow the CDs from a friend, find it available at any hosting ISP distro.

    P.S. I picked up a copy of Slackware back in '95 and used it until I was able to get our PHBs to look at Linux in '99, which was Red Hat. I am now using Gentoo at home, yet I am slowly moving my systems at work and on the net to Gentoo [] - thanks Gentoo!

  • by bloosqr ( 33593 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:59PM (#7379421) Homepage
    Out of curiousity what is in the "enteprise" version? The irony of redhat is that while it is reasonably straightforward to "upgrade" desktops to the latest and greatest redhat we generally keep "server" machines on a version or two behind. The intel compilers had an issue w/ redhat9 until some work arounds were found. OSCAR the node management utility for mpi/beowulf clusters seems to be unstable for rh9 such that the vendor gave us redhat 8 on our machines. As far as I am aware this is a standard redhat 8. If node management/clustering gridware/mpi linux clusters don't need "enterprise" who does and what could it possibly include that couldn't be rpm'd or "apt-getted" from elsewhere? I can't imagine that the non-enteprise contains a crippled kernel.

    (I just googled a bit and an ssl'd apache is included,
    anything else?)

    By saying they are no longer supporting standard rh standard does this translate to just no iso's or just alias fedora rh?


  • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @02:59PM (#7379427) Homepage
    I think the biggest problem with Fedora Core is that it doesn't associate itself by name either to Red Hat or to Linux, the two biggest branding assets in the Linux world. D'oh!

    You say "Linux" or "Red Hat" to the electronics store geeks and they finally know what you are talking about these days. You can tell your boss that you want to run "Red Hat Linux" and he'll consider it.

    Now you have to go to the electronics store and answer the "What kind of computer do you have?" question with "I use Fedora Core." Will your boss consider letting you use "Fedora Core 1" even if you promise him that it's really "Red Hat Linux 10" in disguise?

    Why not "Red Hat Fedora 10?"

    Why not "Fedora Linux 10?"

    Why instead the relatively obscure "Fedora Core 1?"

    And it's a very awkward phrase... Think of the authors of "For Dummies" books who will how have to say "in Fedora Core, XYZ" over and over in their books instead of just "in Linux, XYZ" so as not to confuse the reader!

    And will readers that set out to buy books about Linux even figure out that they now want the book about "Fedora Core?"

    Similarly, most of the people that I know who have considered toying with Linux know only about Red Hat Linux. When they finally get a free afternoon and try to locate it, will they make the connection and figure out to download Fedora Core 1 over their broadband connection, or will newbies be downloading Red Hat Linux 9 for the next four years because it's the highest numbered Red Hat Linux they can find?

    Seems like a dumb marketing move, as far as I'm concerned.
  • by Chris Parrinello ( 1505 ) * on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:07PM (#7379512)
    The worst part of EOLing the RedHat line is that there isn't a real migration path from RedHat to RedHat Enterprise. Basically, the migration path is 1) back everything up, 2) install RedHat Enterprise, 3) restore user data such as home directories, databases, mail configuration, etc. 4) spend the next week getting the server to work as it did before you installed RedHat Enterprise.

    If you're trying to migrate a critical installation that can't be down for long periods of time, I guess you're SOL.
  • by cdn-programmer ( 468978 ) <(ten.cigolarret) (ta) (rret)> on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:11PM (#7379576)
    I bought their server special edition a while back and ended up with so many holes and broken daemons that I had to rebuild the thing before I could use it.

    In fact. that server ended up as a desktop machine for me and never did see the net other than from behind an OpenBSD firewall.

    So I asked myself, why did I pay RedHat so much? Because of the hype?

    Next on advise from many folks I bought Mandrake and did install it in a machine. It suffered the same redhat syndrom and I never dared putting it into a DMZ either.

    In fact, I never got around to installing it into any machine that was in regular use. I could never figure out how to reinstall that older RedHat boxen without losing everything I had done... years of work. Or weeks of rebuilding.

    So later I decided to upgrade and this time I went out and bought a new box and left the RedHat machine as it was and still is...

    Then I put Debian Woody on it and I have never looked back!

    As for the Mandrake machine? Well - it got an install of MaxOS ( which is derived from debian and knoppix with lots of great stuff added... and I gave it to my daughter who is somewhat computer illiterate but probably better than average.

    She wanted winders too so I gave her a copy of NT and NT2000 and either 98 or 95 (I don'tknow - I don't use them) and a spare drive for her to play with and told her it is a free country and she is free to do whatever she wants.

    If she wants M$ support, she can find it on her own or pay M$. IF she wants maxOS support or to try a different distro, then if I can't help her I know ppl who can.

    So far, she is telling me she likes MaxOS and I have not heard that she has gone through a reinstall of anything else.

    Meanwhile my son is musing about installing debian or macos because he's tired of w2K self distructing every few months. Since he has re-installed it about 5 times he has learned about how to install an OS into a computer. It would seem that M2K is good for something. (an educational toy perhaps?)

    But I doubt he'll be interested in Red Hat.

    RedHat had some serious issues with broken deamons and upgradability that IMHO were not properly addressed. So the center of the world moved to a new location. They may do ok for a while in enterprise level support. But I've looked at their pricing schemes and we are simply not interested.

    There are many very good systems admins in this city that can provide a better level of support at a better price.

    Perhaps Red Hat should have looked to work with the consulting community more.

    Well, I find that Debian is a breath of fresh air and I'm sticking with it. A lot of this has to do with the idea that Debian is not RPM based.

    Another part of it is that IMHO for a server you want a lean mean serving machine and OpenBSD fills this role just beautifully. For a desktop you want a different approach.

    Perhaps Red Hat saw these two requirments and aimed for the middle ground.

    If so, then really it was two boats... one being the server boat and the other being the desktop boat and Red Hat pisitioned themselves right in the middle... in the drink so to speach... and found themselves having trouble keeping their heads above water as a result. ...just my 2 cents that is all.
  • by Ethernautical ( 714938 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:18PM (#7379671)
    Yeay, my first Slashdot post.

    I would rather see Redhat reorganize its resources and stay a profitable, viable company then start loosing money and weaken by continuing what I assume is not a profitable venture for them. The enterprise is there bread and butter amd it is difficult to critzise them for focusing on that. As long as they are making a profit, they can afford to keep coders on staff to contribute to all the projects that they contribute to.

    Are those contributions any less valuble if not released in a Red Hat Personal distro? I think not. The Red Hat funded Fedora Project will fill the space that the old distro.

    As far as updates go, possibly urpmi could be included Fedora? ( excuse my ignorance if it is already there ) It keeps my Mandrake box nice and happily updated.
  • Large Enterprise (Score:4, Interesting)

    by theirpuppet ( 133526 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:20PM (#7379698)
    I work for a large WebHosting Company. I'm not due to start work for a few more hours, but I can already imagine some of the things that must be happening.

    We have thousands of servers, hundreds of them are RedHat Linux. Our Flagship Systems Management product runs on RedHat Linux and FreeBSD. Our model has been very effective and efficient so far, because RedHat Linux had known reliability and cost factors. With Cost about to skyrocket, and a limited migration opportunity timeframe, we're screwed. Many other organizations who chose RedHat Linux for similar reasons and deployed it in similar numbers are screwed as well.

    IMHO this is a bad move for RedHat only because of the no advance notice. Had they said this 6 months ago, everyone would be in a better position to deal with it.

    My company can not, and does not, just go around upgrading all the servers. We do them when the box fails, customer has problems, or is hacked. This is the only time when the customer feels that a change is necessary. No one has the time to migrate en masse.

    RedHat does want our money, I can assure you. Though we haven't paid them much, many of our customers have. Plus, we help give them Name Recognition. Customers come to us for our excellence of service (we are actually that good), and if they choose Linux they get RedHat. They learn more about RedHat and coupled with our quality, they will probably continue on in life very happy with the idea of using RedHat Linux.

    Now we have to start figuring out what to do.
    Thanks RedHat. Your loyalty to your customers is crap.

    Next time, how about just two weeks for the End of Life announcement.
  • by Performer Guy ( 69820 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:23PM (#7379732)
    I'm switching to another distro. It's not about support for me, but product releases & maintenance etc. I can do my onw support and use (& be a part of) the community etc. I've used red hat and developed software on it for employers for several years.

    This has to be the craziest decision ever. I'll probably go SuSe now.

    Damn, I just installed this on a friends computer and bought the "RH9 Linux for Dummies" book for him.

    If Red Hat don't think this will impact their enterprise business negatively then they are certifiably insane.

    Adios Red Hat.
  • Why is this news? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by guacamole ( 24270 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:26PM (#7379761)
    1. The fact that that the support 7.x and 8.x will be discontinued at the end of this year was announced by RedHat a long time ago.

    2. The fact that RedHat will not produce a RedHat-branded free Linux distro was also known for a while.

    3. Finally, the fact that RedHat's free Linux distro will be developed jointly with the Fedora project was also announced here [] a few weeks ago.

    So, I am not sure why is this even being posted on the Slashdot front page. This is non-news.

  • by Chris Croome ( 24340 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:34PM (#7379848) Journal

    I've just read the posts at +3 and it seems like everyone thinks this is a negative, bad thing -- it's not at all :-)

    RedHat have found that a free software project cannot be developed in a close way -- it is too expensive amoung other things. So they have opened up development to the community.

    If you just follow some of the mail on the fedora lists [] you will find that the opening up of the project has led to loads of cool stuff starting to happen, the fedora legacy project to support old versions, people offering to do i18n stuff, people working on a PPC version, support for apt and yum -- none of this would have happened without out the dev being opened up.

    Also why is it called Fedora? -- well one reason is so that anyone can duplicate CDs and sell it! Before people doing cheap CDs had to remove the Redhat trademark stuff, now you don't need to :-)

  • by jarkun ( 414143 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:40PM (#7379913)
    I have a handfule of servers and found it very convienant to pay $60/year per machine to have a centralized place (rhn) to track updates & perform installations.

    This wasn't profitable?!?

    Fedora's rapid-update cycle ruins it for me, keeping machines on software/releases that are "patchable", without an upgrade, will simply take to much effort
  • by frostman ( 302143 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:41PM (#7379925) Homepage Journal
    It seems that most dedicated hosting providers currently offer a choice of RH9 or FreeBSD, with quite a few offering RH7 and a few offering other Linux distributions.

    What will this mean for them? Although direct support isn't really their problem (once they give you root, anything you ask them about non-hardware costs money), I can't imagine their marketing people will feel warm and fuzzy offering "unsupported" distros.

    Do you think they'll just fork over for RH Enterprise? Or maybe switch to something else? I think their profit margins are fairly thin to begin with.

    Once again, I don't think many of those providers actually have service contracts with RedHat et al, but shared hosting providers may well have.

    Anybody work in that industry and have any insights?
  • by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:43PM (#7379942)
    For years open-source/Free Software Advocates have been telling us that the way to make money off of Open-Source software is by selling support. It's too bad that the Open-Source community has decided to treat Red Hat like a pariah for doing so, instead of embracing Red Hat as a company that finally built a working Open-Source business model, and gave up on the silly strategies of the dot-com era.

    If you want a free and supported commercial Linux distro, do what the Europeans have done with SuSE- use anti-American/Anti-Capitalist/Anti-Microsoft sentiment to sway governments and businesses toward it. But don't get mad because a Linux business needs a business model appropriate to its locale and customers.
  • by AstroDrabb ( 534369 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @03:52PM (#7380031)
    The free desktop version is no longer being only developed by Red Hat. It is now a COMMUNITY project that anyone can get involved in. The first release is due out soon named Fedora Core 1. Fedora was a project that provided high quality third party RPM's to the Red Hat community. Red Hat has joined forces with Fedora and now this will be the community version. Infact, Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be based on Fedora Core.

    The original Fedora project is here [] and the new Red Hat/Fedora project is here []

    I have been using Fedora Core 1 test 3 for a while now and it is really great. The up2date client can now get updates from apt and yum repositories and makes it even easier to get third party products into your Red Hat/Fedora desktop. The release of Fedora Core 1 should be out soon. Go to Fedora [] and get on one of their meailing lists, they are very active and it will give you a much better idea of what is REALLy going on.

    The only real difference now is that if you want paid support, you will have to use one of the Red Hat Enterprise versions since Fedora Core will be community supported.
  • by Anonymous Struct ( 660658 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @04:05PM (#7380163)
    I guess I understand why RedHat is doing what it's doing, but I think it may be shooting a little too high for much of the market. Linux is just starting to make inroads at my company, but only because of the zero cost right now. When we need to throw something up quickly or host a new project, linux is always the first pick now because it's quick, easy, and free. But if we had to pay $799/yr per linux server... well, I hate to say it, but MS makes more sense. We already have a lot of it, so we already pay for Subscription Services. We're mostly an MS shop anyway still.... so why are we fooling with this linux stuff, again?

    And just to ward off the notion that we're complete freeloaders, the success of linux at the small server level has led us to consider RHAS for our oracle environment. We'll probably still consider it, but there's no way we're ever going to see RHEL WS corporate-wide at these prices ($299/yr per workstation?). For free workstations, you might be able to convince the folks in the offices with doors that a migration might be worth the pain. Trying to sell them the pain *and* higher prices... well, the best I could ever hope for would be a good laugh.
  • by snoopdug ( 639823 ) on Monday November 03, 2003 @04:23PM (#7380363) Journal
    I think you guys don't get it
    I think this makes a lot of sence.

    1. Technological advances made in Fedora will make it into Redhat Enterprise Linux.

    2. RedHat developers will work on Fedora. (Maybe not as many as before)

    3. Non-Red Hat Developers can now change RedHat for the better. If you don't like certain things in Fedora you can now change it.

    I think RedHat is saying...
    We want to concentrate our work on creating the most
    - stable
    - secure
    Linux OS.

    I think this is good. Finally there will be a Linux version that you can trust on an enterprise system. I'll bet IBM will jump into bed with this one.
    Fedora may suck. But, it doesn't seem that different from the original RedHat.

    Redhat just isn't going to spend effort to make it

    RedHat 6, 7, 8 weren't very stable or reliable in my opinion. And I'll bet the Fedora community could create some sort of update server as well.

    I might still migrate away from RedHat. We will have to see what happens. Its all perception... This name change might hurt there image.
  • by jmd! ( 111669 ) <{jmd} {at} {}> on Monday November 03, 2003 @05:27PM (#7381084) Homepage
    Though todays announcement shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's followed Red Hat over the last year (support discontinuance was announced long ago, Fedora was announced more recently), I think it was a very poor move.

    Yes, I do understand producing their "Red Hat Linux" product was expensive, and hurt their bottom line. They should have never split their product in two to begin with. Maintaining both RHL and Enterprise Linux was too much of a burden on the company. It reeks of bad management, much like the Mozilla project does (They are trying to develop no less than three different browsers at the moment, possibly more depending on how you count--and Netscape just cut them lose, so they're severely understaffed... you'd think they'd make consolidation efforts--but this is another tirade).

    What they should have done is modularize their base product, and sell add-ons. They retain all of their users, all of their mind share, only have to develop one product, AND it can act as a stepping stone into your Enterprise-level services. Hell! They even had the infrastructure to do a single core product all laid out with Red Hat Network. Sell an Enterprise Web Server channel add-on to Red Hat Linux 10 for Enterprise-level prices, and so on. It would have been beautiful. Really.

    It would have also provided their Enterprise customers with ten-times the amount of testing of the core OS. This is not to be underestimated. Much as Linus renames a kernel from e.g. 2.5.79 to 2.6.0-test1 when he wants (free!) wider testing, Red Hat now has a user base one-tenth the size to "test" their releases on. And problems that aren't caught in relase QA (many just can't be) will now HAVE to affect (high-)paying customers. There's no free users to take 90% of the falls.

    Red Hat produced the de facto Linux distribution in the United States AND they were in the black. There was nothing to stop them. They provided a free, high quality alternative OS. People were switching to Linux, and switching to Red Hat. It was working. But apparently not fast enough for them.

    Windows users have no highly visible, high quality alternative now. (No, it's NOT necessary to chime in with your favorite distribution.) What's good for Linux was good for Red Hat, and this is unquestionably bad for Linux, medium-term, at least.

    Fedora does NO ONE any good. It's pseudo-managed by Red Hat, but with no guarantees, no support, no Red Hat Network, no Enterprise add-ons, and regular Joe-Schmoe developers fucking it up (cf. Debian). And the mix of open development and corporate bureaucracy, neither with any vision, is sure to pull and tug at it in no general direction, making it nothing more than a poor Debian clone. I wonder how long until Red Hat cut's it lose completely.

    It's a sad day for Red Hat. Up until they split their product line last year, I was considering investing in the company. They had a real handle on the market. Now, they have nothing to drive themselves into becoming a big player. They'll remain a small service-oriented company. If they remain at all. (They kind of remind me of BSDi now. Probably not an association they would like.)

    And it's a sad day for Linux. But I have faith the (huge) void will be filled. Will Debian step up? Someone new? It should be interesting, at least.

    [Wow. That turned out to be longer than I'd expected. If I wasn't hungover I'd actually invest a little more time and proofread it. Hope it's been an interesting read, if anyone made it this far. Hey, e-mail me if you did! Tell me if you agree, or if I'm crazy, or both. Or just say hi! I'm bored. No one sends letters these days. The Internet's become so impersonal. But that's a whole nother tirade.]

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