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Red Hat Software Businesses Linux Business Software Linux

Red Hat Promises A More Vibrant Fedora 548

loki99 points out a CNET story about the direction Red Hat's development has taken (and changes in the wind), writing "Michael Tiemann, vice president of Red Hat, admits that after exclusively concentrating on Red Hat Enterprise Linux in recent years, they left those 'early adopters' behind. 'It insulted some of our best supporters. But worse, we lost our opportunity to do customer-driven innovation.' Tiemann said." The recent Boston FUDcon (mentioned in the linked article) is one example of how the company wants to revitalize non-corporate interest.
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Red Hat Promises A More Vibrant Fedora

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  • FUD? (Score:3, Funny)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:52PM (#11732510) Homepage Journal
    Not the most carefully chosen acronym!
    • Re:FUD? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not the most carefully chosen acronym!

      Neither is fm6, genius.

    • Re:FUD? (Score:5, Informative)

      by tempest303 ( 259600 ) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <nostunksnej>> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:07PM (#11732633) Homepage
      The name is supposed to be funny/ironic.
      • Re:FUD? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Okay, it won't be long before 5 people post incorrect definitions of irony to "correct" you.

        So let me just say that I think a better word to use would be sardonic rather than ironic.

        And also to note that irony is best defined as a poignant contrast between expectations or intentions with the actual outcome. The poignant part's the important thing.

        Although that doesn't include Socratic irony, but that's an entirely different meaning and it's fading from modern English.
        • Would one expect a Linux conference to be called FUDCon? Quite the opposite! I think that makes "ironic" a great fit in this case.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:53PM (#11732522)
    I, for one, welcome our bright magenta overlords of haberdashery.
  • by Dancin_Santa ( 265275 ) <> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:56PM (#11732546) Journal
    Any company, even one as evil and condescending as Microsoft, needs to engage their customers. It is just a rule of business that if you don't listen to your customers they will leave you.

    Apple computers, under the steady hand of Steve Jobs is magnificent in this regard. They seem to be leading the market in certain directions, but it is more that Steve Jobs is tuned into the customer zeitgeist that he "leads" the customers by following them and providing them with what they want.

    RedHat seems to have finally learned this lesson. After throwing out a lot of goodwill by leaving their best customers in the dust (by bringing out the largely incompatible Fedora distro), they seem to have caught on that they need to be where their customers are, not where they want their customers to be.
    • "...he "leads" the customers by following them and providing them with what they want."

      Yea, cause none of us stupid max users have asked for a two button mouse out of the box or the ability to resize a windows from ANY side!

      I just love having to install 4 or 5 utilities just to get base functionality that we have been asking for SINCE 6.0!

    • Well where a lot of us "are" (like me) is still on RH9 wondering what
      path to take when we absolutely need to go to a 2.6 distro. Fedora
      was seen as a take-away when it came out and I don't see that
      situation changing in any real way. They should give back what they
      took away, that is, a free-as-in-beer distro that represents the best
      of what Red Hat and the community process has to offer. Either do
      that or walk away.

      Don't treat us like we're stupid. We spend a lot of time getting used
      to the "flavor" of a

      • by jav1231 ( 539129 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:01AM (#11732987)
        It doesn't even have to be "free as in beer." Many of us used to buy boxed set RH. Frankly, I would again. They can bring that back, as you say. Hell, they even admitted that they didn't lose money on it (despite what so many have said, RH admitted this. Search Slashdot, you'll find it.)
      • by LnxAddct ( 679316 ) <> on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:02AM (#11732990)
        Fedora Core 1 was RH10. It was simply a name change, nothing else. Same engineers still working on it. The distro is still rock solid and even easier to use then RH9. The only thing they did is decide to not ask for money for it anymore. Honestly, check out FC3 if you ever get the chance, you won't be disappointed.
        • by EnronHaliburton2004 ( 815366 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @01:16AM (#11733372) Homepage Journal
          It was simply a name change, nothing else.

          It's more then a name change.

          With RH9, at least I didn't have to risk a system overhaul every couple of months. Updates came out regularly, and I could upgrade RPMs as needed or required.

          Fedora is a moving target, and you're lucky to get any sort of help if you don't follow the upgrade cycle closely. Found a bug in FC1? Tough, FC1 is no longer supported, maybe it was fixed in FC2. And don't bug us if FC2 introduces incompatabilities that weren't present in FC1, because we're working on the up-and-coming FC3.

          And I tried RHEL, and due to several major bugs and problems with support, I can't say that it's worth the price. RH Support told me to ask for help in the Fedora forums several times. I expect more help when I pay for support.
          • by cowbutt ( 21077 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @05:43AM (#11734443) Journal
            With RH9, at least I didn't have to risk a system overhaul every couple of months. Updates came out regularly, and I could upgrade RPMs as needed or required.

            Updates for FC1 are still available from Fedora Legacy []. Alternatively, consider the Free RHEL rebuilds such as Centos or Whitebox, which promise to have updates available for as long as RHEL does (2010, as it stands at the moment).

        • by xenocide2 ( 231786 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @01:41AM (#11733547) Homepage
          If RH10 was simply a name change, why bother? Why throw away branding in favor of some sort of "community supported edition" which very much implies that coporate support would be waning, if existant?
        • Oh please... Fedora Core is *AN UNSUPPORTED OS*. After 6 months you *MUST* upgrade or risk using an OS that has no more security updates made for it. This is great for desktop users. For systems administrators, responsible for real *SERVERS* it sucks big time. No sysadmin in their right mind is going to use an OS that they have to upgrade every 6-9 months. Oh and we're sure as hell not going to pay for an OS (RHEL) when there are still free and *SUPPORTED* distributions (Debian) out there just begging for o
      • by davejenkins ( 99111 ) <> on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:07AM (#11733024) Homepage
        What part of Fedora is not Free-as-in-beer? There are bit-torrents all over the place of FC3.

        Fedora is a big fat beta-testing project. The latest and greatest from RH will always show up in Fedora first, get knocked around by a few thousand users, then get put into the next release of RHEL if it survives/stabilizes/works-well-with-others. Fedora is the big "give-back", or don't you get it?

        It is a pattern: three releases of Fedora every 6 months or so, then a RHEL (which is basically an approved version of the last Fedora standing). Rinse. Repeat.
        • This is the problem:

          Red hat used to provide a vibrant linux distro that was good for use on servers - enterprise level servers used to use RedHat 7.3 and the like. It was a good distro; anything you needed you could find on redhat's site or on, and it was ubiquitious as "the" linux distro. If there was a binary package release for a linux version of some software, it was released for redhat, as an RPM. And it was free, or at least not expensive, as a boxed set. The life cycle was usually 12-
      • RedHat has decided that the enterprise is where the cash is. They are continuing to make token efforts for people like you, but if you want anything more than a token effort then Go to a company that is interested in you!

        I mean, honestly, there are half a dozen excellent community linux distributions out there depending on exactly what you want. Complaining because the company that you used to like has decided to focus on something else reeks of someone whose lover has run off with someone else, but the
      • by snickell ( 860872 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @01:28AM (#11733463)
        See id=11733413

        The short version: inside RH engineering we find it very bizarre that people consider RH Linux and Fedora to be different. As engineers we're doing the same old stuff we've always been doing. We work on fedora deadlines, we polish and stabilize fedora releases, etc. To us, Fedora IS Red Hat Linux. Now if you want somebody to feed you marketing spiel, you're not going to get that for Fedora, but most people here never needed that aspect of RHL ;-)

        Just like RH Linux releases, some are better than others. Red Hat has often been the distro pushing forward large architectural changes (like the NPTL stuff, or more recently SELinux) that make Linux better, which is largely the reason for this variance. You can tell the pioneers by the arrows in their backs, *grin*.

        I think FC3 is a really good release, personally (compared to FC2, for sure, which sucked). *shrug*


    • It is just a rule of business that if you don't listen to your customers they will leave you.

      What they are failing to state is that they knew that. They did not take into account the fact that the "open source model" got them to the point that they could adopt their "business model". Their business model said that just because some pimple faced kid helped them be able resume operation after a PCIx pc went into suspend mode, doesn't make that kid important. After all, he downloaded a free product. So, th
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Tiemann hopes the current 1,600 or so different software packages in Fedora will grow as high as 3,000 or 4,000 this way.

    In other news, Fedora will be the first distro to ship on 50 CDs, containing mostly half assed apps.
  • by Doppler00 ( 534739 ) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:57PM (#11732549) Homepage Journal
    I hope this doesn't mean it will be based entirely on the user interface of vi.
  • FUDCon (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:57PM (#11732556)
    ..With special guest Maureen O'Gara, Laura Didio and Rob Enderle
  • Fedora (Score:4, Insightful)

    by secondsun ( 195377 ) <> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:57PM (#11732557) Journal
    My only experience with Fedora came in the form of FC2. It was the closest thing to Linux ME I have ever seen.

    The problem Red Hat has had is not that Fedora is slow on the bleeding edge, but the group seems to be ignoring user request for simple feature fixes [citing a 6 month release schedule]. On the other hand by distancing themselves form free (as in beer) distros, RH has begun making money and gaining mindshare in the business world. RH can loose all they want in the desktop end, but as long as they keep the workstaion/support contract end alive and well they will continue to make money.

    • Re:Fedora (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HBI ( 604924 )
      You get your foot in the door by having IT people who run it at home.

      See the problem yet? I stopped using RedHat when they discontinued the free up2date. Now other distros come in the door with me.
      • Re:Fedora (Score:3, Informative)

        by LnxAddct ( 679316 )
        What are you talking about? Up2date is completely free, and Fedora is an excellent distro with all the same engineers behind it that built the world reknowned previous versions of the Red Hat desktop. Don't let the fud on slashdot let you think otherwise, its the only distro out of about 7 that I've tried that works on my laptop. Everything is super easy to use, set up, and configure. Its one of those distros that retains the power of linux, but everything just works. I'm very impressed with it, so much so
        • Re:Fedora (Score:3, Insightful)

          by HBI ( 604924 )
          Should I post up my up2date shutdown letters from RedHat up here? Or how about the harassment of having my account cancelled every couple months during 2003?

          They might have restarted the service since I stopped paying attention but they really jerked those of us who were just using it at home around.

          I won't deal with them anymore. I've moved on.
  • Rawhide (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) * <> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:58PM (#11732563) Homepage Journal
    I've been following rawhide, and I can tell you there has been much more active development lately. GNOME 2.9 is one of the big things introduced recently. Hardly a week goes by there aren't 100 packages or more that have been patched/updated. It's exciting to follow now.
  • by OgGreeb ( 35588 ) <> on Sunday February 20, 2005 @10:59PM (#11732574) Homepage
    I used RHL9 exclusively for my production servers along with a subscription to Red Hat Network for each machine, for the security patches. I've never needed RedHat's other support services and couldn't justify the cost of purchasing them to my clients. When RH discontinued RHL9 and provided no upgrade path from RHL9 to RHEL3 (re-install from scratch only), I had no choice but to put all the old servers on Fedora Legacy support and plan to use other distributions. I begged for an upgrade installer path from Red Hat salesmen with no effect -- I even had approval from most of my clients to purchase RHEL3 for their machines, but the danger of installing from scratch was too high.

    Even now I don't understand why they did that. That kind of move fails Marketing 101.
    • That's my problem with RedHat as a whole.

      I ran Fedora for a while. It was OK. But then another Fedora release came out, and there was no supported upgrade path--you had to reinstall again from scratch from a CD.

      Well, I used to have to reinstall from scratch every six months when I ran Windows. That's why I switched to Linux. I want to install from scratch from CD exactly once, barring disk failure, and then have updates flow down automatically.

      So now I run Debian and Gentoo. If RedHat want to get me runn
      • FC1 -> FC2 had some minor issues. FC2 -> FC3 had very very few reported problems with people upgrading. FC3 is probably the nicest distro on the market right now and judging form the work that has been going into FC4, FC4 is going to be amazing. If you were disappointed by FC1, I'd check out FC4 when it is released. FC3 is very nice and polished. Everything just works, yet it retains the power of linux. I've been very impressed with it.
      • by eakerin ( 633954 ) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:55PM (#11732946) Homepage
        I upgraded my laptop from Fedora Core 2 to Fedora Core 3 just fine. Put the FC3 cd in, boot it, and select "Upgrade", I did the same thing from Fedora Core 1 to Fedora Core 2. I even upgraded Redhat 9 to Fedora Core 1. What's the big deal here? It's worked exactly like this since I started on redhat in the 5.2 days, and probably before that too, but I didn't use RH before that version.

        On other systems I've even done upgrades on Fedora Core with YUM.

        Also, please tell me what's wrong with RPM. Don't bring apt-get into this, cause RPM isn't a repository installer. If you want to talk software repository based install, you need to compare dpkg to RPM, and apt-get to YUM.

        I'm tired of people saying RPM sucks, and then comparing RPM to apt-get. I know, it's the "cool thing" to make fun of RPM.
        • Are there pointers to doing the full update via yum?

          I have a system that I have only remote access to (it's at a colo back east, and I'm on the west coast) that was installed with FC1, and I'd like to update it... but not if it means hosing the system an incurring a support ticket.
        • Ok, the cd upgrade path is all well and good, but what do you do when you're in Chicago, USA and the server is in Paris, France?

          A network upgrade is just out of the question (too many things can go wrong).

          We were perfectly happy paying Redhat $60/server for simple security updates, that's all we ever wanted, but they decided they didn't want our business.

    • by demachina ( 71715 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:47AM (#11733236)
      Same here, I was on Red Hat 8, didn't really see the value of going to RH9 since I build my own kernels and KDE(did really much like they way they butchered KDE in RH8 either). I think there was some binary compatiability issue that they used to justify jumping a major version to them to RH9 when it should have been 8.1 In hindsight it appears to me more like Red Hat need to put out a psuedo major release to milk revenue out of their old product line and old customers to bridge them over the traumatic jump to Enterprise and Fedora.

      I bought one year of subscription update service for RH8 for my machines, not because I had to but it was convenient and back then I didn't mind sending a little money Red Hat's way to support them.

      Of course they proceeded to end of life Red Hat 7, 8 and 9 within the space of a few months and the remainder of my subscription was essentially worthless and there was no good upgrade path other than pay an arm and a leg for Enterprise or risk Fedora and Fedora struck me as strategicly chaotic(i.e. whose in charge there?). There was zero chance of me paying them more money for enterprise after they'd just screwed me on my old subscription.

      I had a long flame fest hear with a Red Hat employee whose login is Nailer last time Fudcon was posted on Slashdot.

      One of his suggestions was I should have contacted Red Hat and expressed my displeasure and since I didn't I had no right to bitch. Well its always a customers right to bith, I also told him that was obviously pointless to complaint to Red Hat since it was a strategic decision on Red Hat's part to ax their loyal customer base, those who got them where they were, to focus on charging an arm and a leg for Enterprise support to big corporations and to maximize their profit margin. Since they IPO'ed its pretty obvious they started caring more for what Wall Street analysts think than loyal customers and the developer community.

      Nailer also suggested I should go begging to Red Hat Marketing/Sales and maybe they would give me a deal on an Enterprise upgrade, well again there is zero chance of me rewarding Red Hat with more money after they'd just unilaterally stuck a knife in my current subscription and forced me to abandon my current setup.

      Nailer also gave me this never ending speil about how the Enterprise and Fedora marketing strategy made perfect sense and it was my problem for not seeing the wisdom in it. Feh!

      Needless to say I just voted with my feet and migrated everything to Gentoo and never looked back. I wouldn't use Red Hat now if it was the last distribution on earth. Turns out I prefer compiling from source with Gentoo versus the old RPM mess anyway.

      When Red Hat execs got rich on their IPO and slaved themselves to Wall Street they lost track of something really basic, yes they need to be profitable but they benefited mightily from open source developers and their original customer base and they made their IPO possible in the first place. Pissing off your user and developer community, and selling them out in favor of Wall Street analysts is an especially stupid strategy in the Linux world.

      Red Hat completely trashed their brand and the loyalty they had for their distribution. They should have fine tuned out the problems in their strategy instead of introducing a huge discontinuity which pushed loyal customers to bailing on them.
  • by aendeuryu ( 844048 ) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:02PM (#11732594)
    Man, sometimes I wish Slashdot did user-generated polls.

    Anyhow, some questions to you Red Hat customers...

    When Red Hat started Fedora and then switched its major focus to the enterprise, how many of you stayed loyal to Red Hat, and how many of you went to another distro?

    And, of those that left, how many of you are willing to embrace the return of the prodigal son?
    • Went to Gentoo, and I've been happier then hell with it. I'm just fine where I am and wouldn't have any reason to come back.

    • by jarich ( 733129 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:13AM (#11733057) Homepage Journal
      I started using Knoppix and realized how many of the little Linux annoyances were just RH. I've been a fan of RH since the beginning (they are local and I know many of them).

      With Knoppix, my wireless cards were supported a year before RH. Everything the laptop (including power functions) worked out of the box with Knoppix. RH required a kernel recompile and extra utils and hours of putzing with config files.

      And burning CDs and DVDs. Again, out of the box with Knoppix but RH never liked one of my burners. Same with digital cameras. All the home "consumer items" that RH (the business OS) doesn't care about run great under Knoppix.

      Also, I don't ~care~ why RH doesn't think MP3s are "free enough". I really REALLY don't care. I have a lot of MP3s and I want to be able to play them out of the box. With Knoppix, I can. With RH (like Windows), I have extra steps.

      Now, at work, when people ask what Linux to try, I point them to Knoppix instead of RH.

    • Trust is a terrible thing to waste. RedHat cannot
      be trusted to continue support of their (largely
      orphaned) client OS. Because of that lack of
      trust, I have abandoned any thought of using their
      server (RHEL) product, also. When the wool was
      pulled off from my eyes, other linux distributions
      that can be used as both client & server, and can
      use a generic kernel, stated to make more sense.
      Given the improved stability, why go back?
  • Not a production OS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:06PM (#11732618)
    The problem with Fedora is that it will always be in a conflict of interests with RH "Enterprise" offerings and, thus, it will be held back from becoming a real production OS.

    Debian, on the other hand, is excellent, stable, widely supported Linux disro that most people use to run production systems.

    We migrated from RH to Debian a while ago and are very happy with change.
    • I'm not sure that Fedora is even intended for "production environments", it just seems that the new version cycle is just to often to allow companies to "standardize" anything on Fedora. It's a terrific development OS, and Red Hat will continue to look to it for road test possible additions to Red Hat Enterprise. In the "enterprise", you can't just upgrade you OS willy-nilly every few months to a year, you need stability.
  • by countach ( 534280 ) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:07PM (#11732632)
    Oh man, Red Hat were warned about this two years ago. Every man and his dog knew this would happen, and said so openly here on Slashdot. Now suddenly, RedHat have figured this out. Me thinks they are slow learners. I'm still running the last version of RedHat before this debacle occured, and when I can muster the effort will leave my many MANY years of RedHat behind in favour of Debian.
    • Yeah, me too. I entered the Linux world via Red Hat, but thanks to their "dump the crappy users" stunt with Fedora, I switched to Debian. Never been happier. Mainly because I know that shit won't ever happen with Debian. Red Hat has proven that they cannot be trusted.

      Fuck em.
    • Article summary: Redhat tells core users to sod' off, then wonders why it doesn't have any core users.
    • Amen!

      While RedHat has been focused on their RHEL products, to the detriment of their (formerly loyal desktop user base), time has marched on. The RH/Fedora releases have been (shall we say?)
      problematic, with buggy installations and limited upgrade paths (excepting full installs). I no
      longer use any RedHat desktop OS. There are other linux desktop distributions to compete with RedHat, and their absence from this market has left the door wide open for the competition. One of the things that bothers me ab
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm gonna git you sucka!

    I hate RedHat's distro version upgrade path. Live upgrades are much easier now with yum, but it can still be difficult. Usually much has changed, requiring some packages to be manually upgraded and others forced.

    They should get rid of the distro versions all together, no more Fedora Core 1, 2, or 3, just Fedora. I don't see why they can't just push out new packages and make a refresher set of cd images every 6 months or so. Then new installations won't require 600mb of patches righ
    • In all fairness, they pretty much do what you're asking. They claim to aim for a 6 month release schedule and the do offer updated packages when they're available. I wouldn't count on the version numbers thing going away as every distro tracks major releases some how: Fedora, Suse, Slackware, Mandrake use numbers. Debian, Gentoo, and other use names.

      If you're really into the most up to date crap, look in to atrpms. You can update through yum or they have an apt for rpm as well. I'm sure their packag
  • It seems to me that redhat has already screwed the pooch in terms of it's desktop niche among the true geeks.
    Although I can only speak from personal experience, I've heard a lot of other people echo my sentiments.
    I used redhat almost exclusively since somewhere around version 4. I used redhat up until the end (though I stuck with 7.3 and never upgraded to 8 or 9, and I think 8 signaled the beginning of the end). I bought basically ever release, and always recommended RedHat about any other distribution,
    • Eventually I switched over to Suse, which is IMHO a much better distribution than RedHat ever thought about being. Now, my money goes to Suse (well, I guess to novell now), when people ask about a distribution, I recommend Suse, and whenever I'm working with a company trying to decide what to run on their servers, I recommend Suse. (Of course, I've heard some nasty things about 9.2, so I'm going to wait around with 9.1 and see if things get better with 9.3, or switch to another distro, probably gentoo).

  • by Zeio ( 325157 ) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:35PM (#11732820)
    Fedora and RedHat to me is annoying - I can't bring myself to use it professionally. It changes too frequently and is poorly supported in my opinion, never fix the problems, always upgrade the packages to move the problem somewhere else. Right now I still have machines running RedHat 7.3 running updates on the fedora legacy project. (There are legacy projects to keep the older RedHat's and various Fedora Cores alive because people hate upgrading a working system every 5 minutes.)

    RedHat died the day up2date stopped working for free. Welcome to CentOS 3 and now CentOS, with up2date replaced by yum (which is arguably better). I've found CentOS to be every bit as good as the real RHEL. Please do what you can to support CentOS, as this is what RedHat was for all of us since what, Version 3.x?

    My fondest memories of Linux distributions include: RedHat 6.2, the longest supported Linux, which I used past its deprecation, and Cobalt Linux. What could be better than a Linux that feels like it gets the same support level of Solaris.

    Microsoft has messed up in a similar way with Windows 2000. Why no SP5? Why no SP7 for Windows NT 4.0? Why not have an SP every 3-4 months? This is very difficult to deal with general, particularly with software one has to pay for.

    Ideally, everyone would do what Sun does with Solaris, and what CentOS (RHEL) does. Release a new update every 3-4 months, and have ongoing patching in between. Sun knocks it up a notch and separates the nice to have patches from the critical ones in the Recommended cluster.

    Back to Fedora. RedHat jumped that shark at RedHat 8. I was done with RedHat at version 8. Luckily, CentOS 3 and now 4 (which us running great, SELinux and all) provides us with a way to get a Linux with a 5 year lifetime without changing our applications so that they compile on glibc-threads-of-doom-version-99.09099999-alpha-b6 -beta-theta-gamma-ppr6_pre1_rc5.

    Right now there seems to be one thing missing from LinuxLand, and that's a more complete IPCop. I want IPCop based on 2.6 and a fully working IPSec/L2TP --and-- PPTPd that works with Windows 2000 and Windows XP/2003 clients without any modifications whatsoever. RedHat should craft up someone to heavily OpenWall/SmoothWall/Astaro/IPCop/OpenBSD/Checkpoin t-Nokia/PIX/etc. Beating a PIX should be real easy.

    Back to RedHat miffing things up and leaving itself vulnerable to Novell taking over the leadership role of Linux leader. I've found that using Solaris, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and non-RedHat Linux like CentOS is pretty much the preferred MO these days. One thing that RedHat needs besides a firewall killer application, is a total drop in Exchange killer like Scalix.

    One thing I have to pay homage to Solaris - I really like providing NFS with Solaris. I always set and forget Solaris, its a pain in the arcane butt with a fairly austere userland, but once its configured it runs like a champion. Im curious to see if RHEL 4 / CentOS 4 can provide NFS v4 services but I'm skeptical about it and will probably just use them as clients and leave the job of shoveling out NFS to client to the guys who invented it.

  • by LilMikey ( 615759 ) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:41PM (#11732856) Homepage
    ...put Axel Thimm on the payroll. If it wasn't for him I, for one, wouldn't be running Fedora.
  • .... when Mandrake 7.1 hit. Then, of course, I found gentoo and have been compiling ever since.

    IMHO, the only reason to run RedHat is because a particular proprietary vendor (such as, say, Oracle) supports only RH with their proprietary app.

    I think it was deeply stupid for RH to drop their power-user distros, and Fedora was never a legit substitute. Methinks RH's strategies gave SuSE a golden opportunity to expand in the US market, and probably prompted Novell to buy SuSE.

    The next set of infrastructur
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have been using Fedora since version 1.0 and it works well. The one thing I like about Fedora 3 is that all the system utilities have nicely designed UI's designed in Python-GTK. The UI's work nicely and help people migrating to linux from windows. Applications like system-config-network and system-config-services are nice to have so you don't need to remember every command line option.

    So Redhat made a mistake and abandoned some users. Big deal it is just another company people! The new direction Redhat
  • by poopie ( 35416 ) on Sunday February 20, 2005 @11:58PM (#11732969) Journal
    Did redhat go after $ in the enterprise and lose sight of Linux developers? I'd say yes.

    They co-opted the fedora project,gave it ver little resources and virtually *NO* promotion, and tried to downplay it's even existence to all the corporate customers that they are pitching yearly per-server RHN contracts to.

    People who had used SuSE before went back and tried SuSE and discovered that SuSE had newer software versions than Redhat

    People who might have thought that Debian was only for masochists discovered Ubuntu [] and decided it was fast, easy, and didn't become "legacy" in 12 months

    People who wanted more updated packages and hated breaking RPM dependencies and like to occasionally build things from source or optomize their packages found Gentoo [] and decided that rebuilding their entire OS could be fun, easy, and that their OS didn't need to become Legacy in 12 months.

    Personally, I think that Gentoo is probably the purest Linux distribution, and that if you want the stability of a tried and true distribution that Ubuntu is the best Debian I've seen.

    More developers have shifted away from Redhat, and they in turn have been influencing many other people's choice of distribution, and ultimately they are losing mindshare.

    I think Redhat has finally realized that they *need* those developers and they're now doing a strange dance to try to pump up Fedora enough to excite the development community, but not enough to dissuade corpoprate customers for paying them for access to patches for RHEL.

    "Hey everyone (except corporate customers), look Fedora's great!"

    "Hey everyone (except developers), Fedora's unstable and unsupported, use RHEL!"
  • Before Red Hat 6.0, I thought it was a mess. When 6.2 was released, I migrated all of my systems to it. By the time Red Hat 9 was released, I had all of my systems under Red Hat Network contracts.

    I felt alienated by their decisions; stability is important to me, but as our customers demand more features we need the updates to the kernels, the newer software packages, the newest hardware support. I was willing to pay to stay on the cutting edge, but unwilling to pay for stagnation.

    I'm currently happy wi
  • Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by eno2001 ( 527078 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:03AM (#11732999) Homepage Journal
    I hadn't noticed anything other than BETTER quality from the Fedora project compared to previous RedHat offerings. I am using a mix of RedHat 9 and Fedora Core 3 at home and at work and from where I stand FC3 is a HUGE jump past RH9. The hardware support is better, the apps are even better integrated than before and the functionality overall is extermely impressive. Examples:

    1. The changes to Nautilus have made file management and access much easier with many conveniences like thumbnails, media previews, photo gallery views, etc... 2. The integration of remote mounts (SMB [ie. Windows file shares], FTP, SSH) is spectacular
    3. USB device support is nearly flawless. I plugged in my brand new Epson Stylus R300 and just started printing. I plugged in a USB flash drive and it mounted and placed an icon on the desktop. I plugged in my Sony Mavica CD digital camera and it asked me about importing images into a gallery. The gallery also displayed all the inluded EXIF information. Just beautiful.
    4. GIMP 2.0 takes some getting used to, but it looks promising (Just for the record I love GIMP 1.x)
    5. LVM2 with kernel support at boot so that you no longer have to deal with the archaic notion of partitions
    6. And of course... much improved performance on the same hardware. I have been using the same P4 at work for the past three years. RH9 was OK on it but admittedly a little slow with the default packages. I recompiled nearly everything and got performance more in line with Windows XP on the same box. But... with FC3, the same box didn't need any of the custom compiles and tweaks the RH9 did to get even better performance

    Overall, I'd say Fedora has been a rousing success. I RedHat says they plan to put more effort into it, this can only mean greater things.
  • Fedora (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scarolan ( 644274 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:04AM (#11733010) Homepage
    Not sure if any of the marketing folks at Red Hat are reading this but here's my $0.02:

    We use Fedora Core 3 in my workplace on about 20 workstations, and I have called Redhat on two separate occasions to discuss "upgrading" to RHEL. Both times I've spoken with a sales rep, I was seriously underwhelmed by their presentation.

    Apparently there is no cross-grade (upgrade?) path from Fedora to Enterprise, and I got a real lukewarm sales presentation from the RH reps. Seems silly not to offer some assistance migrating from Fedora to the enterprise product.

    Fedora also has lots of features that RHEL doesn't have in the current version, some of which are quite nice or even ones I might not want to live without. The Evolution Calendar for example, is broken in FC2, and RHEL3. FC3 has a newer version of Evolution in which the calendar works perfectly.

    Since I'm going to be doing all the work of keeping patches up to date, and can get newer features and more bugfixes from Fedora, we're sticking with it for now. Either that or move to CentOS.

    Sorry, Redhat. I've used and liked your distribution since about version 5 but you folks really need to learn to listen to your customers and supporters.
  • Redhat & Fedora (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Silwenae ( 514138 ) * on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:05AM (#11733013) Homepage
    I used Redhat & Fedora for years. I'd always try a new distro, but I'd end up coming back. And I tried a lot of them, including Mandrake, Debian, Gentoo and Suse.

    When Fedora.US first launched, and then was subsumed into Redhat, a lot of user submitted files and extras just seemed to disappear.

    Dags [] and Freshrpms [] were probably the best place to get the stuff RH didn't supply for Fedora, but even though they're interoperable, I wouldn't say either of them are community driven.

    Ubuntu is the first distro that's kept me from coming back to Fedora. From ease of use, it's just as good, if not better, than Fedora. It just seems to do so many small things that Fedora wanted to do, but didn't. Ubuntu ships on one CD, has the power of APT (don't get me started on Yum, and I used APT for years on Fedora / RH w/Freshrpms), and Ubuntu has that community feel to it, even if it is a millionaire funding 'em.

    Sorry Red Hat, you came close for many years, but in the end, close wasn't good enough.
  • by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:08AM (#11733033) Homepage
    We just need need a Fedora Advanced Server 3.0, or 4.0. We need something that exactly mirrors a complete Advanced Server installation like whitebox linux. Even better the kernel ideally should be the same compilation that will be used in the next AS.

    We dont need a stripped down, rebranded disro "here this is for you" linux. Just something that will play with all the redhat-certified software and apps out there.
  • Non-starter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:10AM (#11733045)
    Fedora is useless to me because there is no backing from the 3rd party application providers. It's treated as a strictly experimental distro and nobody supports it. When RH dropped went to their pricey paid support only model I went to SuSE.

    With SuSE I can download or buy a set of CD's and install as many times as I want.

    • Re:Non-starter (Score:3, Informative)

      by ubernostrum ( 219442 )

      With SuSE I can download or buy a set of CD's and install as many times as I want.

      And you can do the same with Red Hat's enterprise offerings, since they're distributing a bunch of GPL applications and it's illegal to restrict that. What you pay for on RH is support.

  • Redhat Fedora Rant (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Roger Ramjet ( 94428 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:37AM (#11733189)
    I'm a RHEL3 AS Customer on about 5 servers (need to run oracle in a 'certified' environment.

    RHEL4 has come out, and guess what, they 'recommentd' you re-install, you can upgrade, but it will probably break so re-install and be happy.

    WTF!!!, Hey those thousands of dollars you get paid for support should go towards engineers managing things like config file changes (even if its just a these apps have changed configs, your changes have been migrated but please check).

    We run Oracle 10g RAC, how in a live production environment am I meant to re-install RHEL4 and then RAC and everything else we run.

    It's an absolute joke (Hint to redhat that 'ENTERPRISE' word in the product means you take care of issues like this).

    Makes me nostaligic for the days of AIX 4.1 to 4.3.3 upgrades where stuff just worked.

    Majorly pissed!!!
  • by pb ( 1020 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @12:41AM (#11733209)
    It's nice to see that they acknowledge their mistake, years after the fact. I could have told them at the time, you know.

    I'd been using Red Hat since about 4.0 or so (not RHEL 4.0 -- Red Hat 4.0); every time a new major release came out (which tended to suck, as all the Red Hat X.0 releases did) I'd try it, because I'd be able to get free CD's from my university. That university? NCSU, where some of the founders of Red Hat got their start.

    I did move away, because I got frustrated with the bugginess, and with rpm and its complete lack of dependency handling. This was around Red Hat 7.2 or so, I think. I tried upgrading my installation entirely with rpm, which I would not recommend to anyone. I understand they have better tools for this now, but at the time I switched to Gentoo and never looked back.

    However, I never stopped installing Red Hat on some machines, to try it out, and for others to use. I'll be the first to admit that Gentoo isn't for everyone. I installed Red Hat 9.0 on an old box for a little fileserver, shortly before they suddenly discontinued support for it. I've always appreciated their network install feature, and that was a factor in doing it.

    Soon after, I tried out FC1 on another machine--I was unthrilled. They broke binary compatibility, and discontinued the top used and recognized Linux distribution for *that*? I bet Microsoft, SuSE, Novell and IBM all sent them a nice big Christmas card that year.

    So, to Red Hat; a note from one of your former enthusiasts: too little, too late. Maybe if you shape up your act, you'll get a share of the next generation. But you won't get a lot of us back, for a while. Hopefully you'll learn from this, and not go the way of the SCO (or Corel either, for that matter).
  • by oob ( 131174 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @01:05AM (#11733309)
    Don't forget that Redhat's CEO Matthew Szulik Also recommended that desktop users use Windows instead of Linux [] around the time that they dropped their desktop distributions in order to focus on enterprise Linux.

    Redhat lost a fair amount of goodwill from the community with that decision and that announcement, as long term paying (and non-paying) customers were left high and dry without an upgrade path and with the clock ticking on support.

    From the commercial perspective it was also a miscalcuation on Redhat's part. Leaving the desktop Linux space left the field open for their competitors, Novell's Suse notably benefitted, as did other commercial distributions that ex-Redhat users migrated to.

    Redhat's realisation of their mistake is the reason the Fedora project exists. That they were quite willing to drop their long term customer and community base when they thought we were no longer an asset should be noted by those chosing to use their products.
    • by snickell ( 860872 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @01:58AM (#11733619)
      "That they were quite willing to drop their long term customer and community base when they thought we were no longer an asset should be noted by those chosing to use their products."

      Pft. I wish all the people posting crap like this could see inside Red Hat. Virtually all of our engineering work (with the exception of some dedicated people doing backporting of features as per enterprise requests for RHEL... e.g. the reason why RHEL3 already had the most desireable kernel 2.6 features despite being 2.4 based) goes into Fedora (and before that Red Hat Linux). It always has. It always will.

      As always, Red Hat continues to increase its engineering resources. Far far more work goes into a current Fedora Core release than ever went into a Red Hat Linux release.

      There was never a magic change of heart when we realized we were deserting the Linux community. There was a tragic, stupid, and avoidable communications fuckup. We probably should have renamed RHL -> Fedora at a different point than RHEL appeared. But anyway, Fedora isn't and never has been abandonware, or our "second best effort".

      Ironically, one of the things Red Hat, as a company, has been bad at is pimping itself to the community. We do tons of the "shit work" that keeps Linux going (who do you think pays for most of glibc, gdb, gcc, a huge chunk of the boring work in gnome, lots of upstream kernel work, etc etc) but fail marketing our efforts to get m4d pr0pz. Red Hat engineering has always prided itself on doing most of its work upstream instead of maintaining large patch sets in-distro (which most companies haven't done, and still don't do). The day we don't, you'll hear Alan Cox screaming from inside Red Hat ;-)

      • by po8 ( 187055 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @04:08AM (#11734117)

        Seth, you're a good guy. And indeed, all the RH engineers I know are good guys. RH spends an inordinate amount of money on the community, and has been a real focal point for the spread of Linux.

        The problem is that several years after the avoidable screwup of claiming "we're walking away from home users and the desktop: go use Windows", I still can't walk into a random computer store, as far as I know, and buy a $20 boxed DVD with any kind of Red Hat Linux on it. This is bad. I can certainly walk into any computer store and buy a copy of Windows. One of the things that made us loyal to Red Hat (and I sysadmined a network of RH boxes for many years) was that we could always get the latest "supported" bits at the corner store without any download hassle---more importantly, we could always recommend the latest bits to newbies without any download hassle.

        None of this is the engineers' fault. But it still sends a message to those, like me, who are trying to figure out what Linux distro to use, and that message is "we don't care about you unless you're either rich or have skills we can leverage." The cost of the boxed DVD should be trivial by comparison to the opportunity costs of sending this message, but RH management doesn't seem to see it. That in turn means that we have a hard time trusting RH management when they make us promises about what they're doing and why.

        The short version: RH engineers---good, great even. RH management---seems to be out of touch with their customer relationships.

        P.S. One thing that is the engineers' fault is this silly big-bang upgrade business. One of the reasons I'm now happily using Debian is that I never need to do the whole "back up the system in the middle of the night, do the upgrade, and pray" dance. Incremental upgrading rules, and for me is a precondition for using a Linux distro. Sure, the incremental upgrade means incremental breakage. But incremental breakage is just a lot easier to manage.

        • The problem is that several years after the avoidable screwup of claiming "we're walking away from home users and the desktop: go use Windows"

          Oh please, that is such wank. The guy said that for some people who have apps or hardware not compatible with Linux, they should use Windows instead. Guess what? I agree with him! People who point out the obvious truth that Linux does not work out of the box for most people are not heretics, they're just being rational.

          I still can't walk into a random computer st

  • I love Fedora (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tetrahedrassface ( 675645 ) * on Monday February 21, 2005 @01:08AM (#11733324) Journal
    I love Fedora. Always have. And no, I am not some noob user. I've been running linux for a long time. I have an amazing destop environment thanks to yum and the livna repositories and as well as FreshRPM's, Dag and others.

    I really appreciate the effort that a lot of folks put into Fedora. In fact, I think I started testing it out around FC1 test1. Everything works great here.. on multiple boxes. And if I need help..since I live on freenode, I can ask in #fedora ...generally nice folks.
    Look all flames aside. I've been using Linux for my workstations, home, etc, for 6 years, and Fedora has never let me down.
    Mod this how you see fit. Peace

  • by snickell ( 860872 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @01:21AM (#11733413)
    FC1 -> RH10, FC2 -> RH11, FC3 -> RH12.

    RHEL represents an additional 'feature' (long term support, etc) above and beyond what was ever offered for Red Hat Linux.

    The Fedora bits really truly are Red Hat Linux. We don't sell them in a box anymore, but one of the major reasons was that stores tended to have really ancient versions. It made money, but it also had people getting bad impressions of Linux. Most people actually using Red Hat were downloading and burning ISOs anyway (I'm sure most slashdotters were/are in that category).

    Most engineers inside Red Hat do most of their daily work on Fedora. We have Fedora deadlines, Fedora freezes, we work to stabilize Fedora, add features to Fedora, etc. Fedora dominates our working lives.

    That the RHEL product is occasionally forked off Fedora and stabilized even further than Red Hat Linux ever was gives Fedora yet another feature: more money for Red Hat to hire engineers, who once again spend most of their time working on Fedora. Everyone wins.

    It is regretable the name change caused so much confusion in the community. Fedora isn't and wasn't Red Hat abandoning Red Hat Linux. The names RHL and RHEL were too similar. Additionally, RHL was a Red Hat trademark that had to be protected and would have restricted redistribution in ways that aren't a problem with the name "Fedora". Name change + more community openness != RH abandoning Fedora. We didn't communicate this well. We suck!

    In fact, the change from Red Hat Linux to Fedora *added* a great new 'feature' to RHL/Fedora: greater community transparency. Essentially all Fedora development is done on open mailing lists, etc. Gradually (far too gradually :-( ) transparency is morphing into allowing community involvement.

    As to how slowly this transition has gone... well, its frustrating. Most engineers inside RH are frustrated by it too. The good news is that the CVS servers are about to go public. Took far far too long, but once again Fedora is *STILL* miles ahead of where Red Hat Linux was in terms of community involvement, AND it has more Red Hat engineering hours going into it than Red Hat Linux ever did.

    Anyway, we market and sell Fedora differently, and we support it differently (but most slashdotters never used RH support anyway since they were downloading ISOs) but from an engineering/release engineering perspective... Fedora IS Red Hat Linux. Isn't that what most of ya'll care about? Yes, I know there will be people here who were using supported RH9 in an enterprise context, and we did screw up that transition, and I'm truly sorry about that. But as a percentage of slashdot readers who were using RH9, its very small.

  • by batkiwi ( 137781 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @02:08AM (#11733658)
    The official upgrade proceedure for Fedora:
    -put in the new CD
    -boot to CD
    -run installer in upgrade mode

    That totally screws those of us with headless servers in datacenter. Someone will reply that you can use yum/apt-get and just update your sources, but I was told SPECIFICALLY not to do that BY FEDORA DEVELOPERS. I was informed that going from FC1 to 2 via apt or yum WOULD break things, and that my only option was to go onto fedora-legacy once FC1 was phazed out.

    Nice one, jerks.

    See this thread for details: ist/2004-M ay/msg03201.html
  • by loopkin ( 267769 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @05:21AM (#11734371) Homepage
    For me the problem never was the change to Fedora. I used FC1&2, and you could tell from the two that they were just following RH8&9.

    The problem is that RH8&9 were in no way comparable to the RH 5.X, 6.X & 7.X i used before:
    - i was accustomed to the ".0 is shitty, but .1 is better, and .2 .3 rocks" RH8,9, FC1,2, were all really all .0. They changed too many things inside every time, and broke a lot of apps. (think NPTL, KDE, SELinux, Xorg, a huge ton of kernel patches [1], and so on)
    - why the hell did they choose YUM ? this thing was a big load of sh**. the only first useable version of YUM is the new 2.1 lines. to me it really looks like the NIH syndrom (well, ok, it was yellow dog's system, but the development changed at all with the involvment of RH). so i know there were arch support problems with APT, but they could have helped the APT guys with that. and of course there's also URPMI, that works great too.
    - support, combined with no "online upgrade path" through, precisely, YUM. this is big issue. you have to download and burn CD every time. it just plain sucks (on a sidenote, i live in France, where bandwidth costs nothing, but CDs/DVDs are quite expensive because of an (in)famous tax for "protecting" musicians). and anyway, there are a lot of machines i do not want to upgrade every 6 months or so. i tried to go fedoralegacy for a while, on a 7.3, but the updates are coming slow, and while it could be ok for a desktop or even server behind a good firewall, for non-critical jobs, i'd never recommend it as firewall or mission-critical internet server.
    - the price for RHEL. it's madly expensive. unaffordable for a home user or a small company.

    so now i don't use any RHEL/FC. i have debians[2], a mandrake, few WBELs, and even an OSX. and i won't go back.

    [1] i don't know what they did with these patches, but in FC2, around 2.6.8, they introduced something that just prevented my old loki games from working. this being a wife's requirement, i had no choice but using a 2.6.7, and then changed to Mandrake, on which everything works like a breezes, despite its 2.6.10.
    [2] actually Debian isn't very much a better option. these guys f*cked up their distro as well. now hardcore geeks prefer gentoo, and for most "normal" users/geeks, their stable is just too old. didn't try any Debian-based distro, though, but heard some were great.
  • Ubuntu (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BenjyD ( 316700 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @07:36AM (#11734803)
    I use FC3 as it's seems the best GNOME 2.8/project utopia desktop at present, but the work on Ubuntu Hoary looks so promising it might make FC3 redundant .

    I anyone out there using the pre-releases of Hoary? Are they usable yet?
  • by FatherOfONe ( 515801 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @08:02AM (#11734891)
    I have to admiit that we have switched almost everything off of Redhat and over to SuSE now, but here is what our company wants.

    We want Redhat Enterprise with no support but the ability to download updates with up2Date. We want this not as a lease but we want to own the product. The unsupported version of Enterprise would cost around $60 (for the media) and could be loaded on as many machines as you wish, but the RedHat up2date serverice would cost a small fee for each server. Say around $50/year per server. Specifically you could buy a certain number of "active" servers in up2date and then actually have more, but you would have to switch servers in and out of the active pool. This allows companies like ours to have a development, testing and production environment without having to spend a fortion on the OS.

    We want to be able to buy a support contract with you that has a certain number of calls. An example is that we could call 10X for $1,000 a year. That would make our management happy. If we don't buy that contract then the calls could be something like $400 a call. If we buy something like 50 calls then the price should go down.

    Basically what I have just described was RedHat 7.1. It was supported by Oracle and other 3rd party vendors. We want that back and Fedora isn't it. You have forced us to look at things like white box linux (good product), and eventually switch to SuSE (great product, but the registration is a bit odd and the updates have caused problems).

    Hope this helps. You have a great product and a great individuals working for your company. You just made a huge mistake and it needs to be corrected.
    • Ok, I normally don't respond to myself, but I thought some other things.

      Stop the war with Sun. You may be gaining marketshare away from Sun, but you are gaining far more from Microsoft. Sun is a competitor with a small fraction of the total I.T. world. You could crush them out and still only have s small fraction of the I.T. world. Yet you could gain say 10% of Microsofts world and be much larger than Sun.

      Next on that same topic. Start shipping Suns JVM + Tomcat with your systems. Set us the system s
  • by Builder ( 103701 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @08:42AM (#11735026)
    Red Hat are probably the most closed company I've ever seen. They may still do a lot of development and contribute in code and investment (hardware certification, etc.) but at a personal level, I'd rather deal with Microsoft than with Red Hat.

    When Windows server 2003 launched, I needed to get familiar with it, so I went to Microsoft's site and downloaded a 120 day eval copy. Using this, I was able to get familiar with the changes, etc.

    When RHEL3 came out, I needed to do the same. Now, I'm an RHCE, so I've paid them a lot of my money directly (600 quid just for the exam), and sent even more money their way by recommending Red Hat wherever I went.

    Do you think I could get an eval ? Fuck no! I called the Guildford office in London, I called the head office in the USA, I e-mailed, I tried everything.

    Two months later, I had an interview at an investment bank, and they asked if I had experience with RHEL3. I explained that I didn't, but I had experience with RHEL 2.1AS as well as their free versions.

    Microsoft 'get it' - they realise that if they help me learn their products, I can get a job using their products and they will sell more of their products. And I've never given MS a penny for training or certification.

    Red Hat ? This bastion of freedom, this shining light of openness won't let me trial their products - they won't give you a thing to help you unless you pony up more money.

    Sure, I could have spent the $200 on RHEL3 workstation, but with that attitude why should I? SuSE were quite happy to provide a trial version of SLES and now that's what I sell to all of my clients. I don't lose out, SuSE gains, and Red Hat lose out on a couple of enterprise contracts. It's all good :)
  • by HuguesT ( 84078 ) on Monday February 21, 2005 @10:08AM (#11735419)
    Fedora was a PR disaster, but at its heart, technically, Fedora is still quite an OK distro.

    None of the ones I've tried (Mandrake, Ubuntu, Debian) are really any better (some things work better and some worse) and their yum/rpm combination works really well now. I find that in general Fedora is pretty much the usable latest-and-greatest, usually in need of some debugging but with versionning present. Right now it's udev, SE-linux, making USB work right and other assorted bits.

    Fedora is still 100% Free, which isn't true for many other distro, and they push both Gnome and KDE, trying to make them work better together, which is the right approach. Under which other distro would you get Inkscape (gnome vector drawing app) and Scribus (kde DTP app) working so well together ?

    Myself I would be happy to play the debugger to some extent, in exchange for functionality and responsiveness to problems. So far I found that it is possible to get stuck for long on little problems (for me it was syncing problems with my Zire 71, a recurring nightmare. No sooner was it fixed that a new release made it impossible again). The RH engineers are pretty good at giving an answer, but not so great at fixing the problems in the current distros.

    What RH needs to do is slow down the pace of Fedora just a bit and maintain the distro they do have instead of replying things like "wait for FC(n+1), it will be fixed then". Right now this is the stock answer if things get sticky and this is not really acceptable.

    Perhaps instead of forcing a new distro down the throat of users every 4-6 months they should move to a 9-month schedule which would insure people would only have to upgrade every 18 months or so, instead of every year right now (FC releases are only supported for 2 releases by RH, and legacy support hasn't really kicked in). Either that or they should support 3 releases at the same time instead of only 2.

    I've found that by the time the distro is abandonned by RH it has only been running well enough for a few short months, and that if you want to move to a distro which will be supported for a while you have to move *two* distributions ahead (i.e FC1 to FC3), which is a bit risky, as RH makes significant changes along the way. Packages disappear, new ones come in their place (or not). You have to relearn how your distro works in non-trivial ways and you don't have much time to learn.

    This is a poor way to reward all the users who've been doing all the free debugging for them, I reckon.

    On the other hand it is very nice to see the pace of (positive) change in Linux. There is simply no comparison in functionality between RH9 and FC3.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.