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Red Hat Software Businesses Software Linux

Red Hat to Enter the Desktop Market 250

head_dunce writes "It looks like Red Hat is going to release their Global Desktop Linux in September and give Ubuntu a challenge for the Linux desktop market. Red Hat Global Desktop 'would be sold with a one-year subscription to security updates.'" It looks like another choice for the proverbial Aunt Tillie. The release is being delayed in order to provide greater media compatibility, "to permit users to view a wide range of video formats on their computers."
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Red Hat to Enter the Desktop Market

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  • CentOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @08:36AM (#20112421) Homepage
    And how long before CentOS creates a perfect replica thanks to the GPL?
  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @08:38AM (#20112427)
    A linux distro where I can download an ISO and install from that ISO and get a version of ffmpeg and friend that doesn't have 90% of the media formats disabled.
  • Re:More choice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by siride ( 974284 ) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @08:38AM (#20112429)
    Compared to DEB, RPM is a much superior format. The problem with RPM is not RPM itself but the idiots who try to use the rpm command-line tool like apt-get and then complain when it doesn't do what they expect it to do (because that's not what it's supposed to do). You are supposed to use "yum", which works just like apt-get. It even lets you install RPMs that you've already downloaded. E.g. "yum localinstall foo.rpm". It will even download dependencies for you! It's also really fast in fc6 and f7.

    The only negative I can see is that there aren't as many packages available in the Fedora repositories. That's hardly a fault of RPM, though.
  • The irony (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sarathmenon ( 751376 ) <srm AT sarathmenon DOT com> on Saturday August 04, 2007 @08:42AM (#20112449) Homepage Journal
    Alan Cox and the other big shots at Redhat have in the past repeatedly said that they will not add support for mp3, or any other patended technology into Redhat. It all started with 8.0, and RH's policy has been AFAIK to tell the user that so-and-so will never be supported until the patent expires. Its sad to see such a good ideaology been tossed aside because of market pressure.

    Whatever, I am not one to complain, but given the way Bluecurve was thrust upon users, and the way that they crippled kde so that gnome looks better (I dont want to start a holy flame war, but this *was* the state of things 5-6 years ago), I doubt whether they will make any serious dent in the market. But this is free software, the more people focussing on an area usually only brings the better - atleast its going to be code that others can use too.

  • Re:More choice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by marcello_dl ( 667940 ) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @08:42AM (#20112457) Homepage Journal
    And both ubuntu and red hat desktop linux having no pact with microsoft is good news too.
  • Re:More choice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by siride ( 974284 ) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @09:37AM (#20112725)
    But he never said that they would have to with RPM either. All he said is that they could use --define on the rpmbuild command line to pass in information to the specfile, which is free to interpret that information however it wishes, including, but not limited to, modifying configure flags.
  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @10:15AM (#20112977) Homepage Journal
    Unfortunately it isn't possible for the distros to have this installed by default because the US patent and copyright system is completely broken.

    Couldn't they install it by default for non-US regional releases?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 04, 2007 @10:24AM (#20113027)
    OS X level or font rendering support right out of the box

    Well 1st I did go buy a nice Mac, and it is pretty cool, then I got Ubuntu Feisty Fawn running in a VM (VMware not Parallels). The fonts took a little work, but it is covered via searching the Ubuntu forums. IMHO my Ubuntu desktop and application font rendering looks much better than OSX now. Really! I'm not kidding. It doesn't meet the out of the box requirement, but it can be done.

    There's lots of things in OSX that piss me off, and lots of things in linux that piss me off, and lots of things in XP that piss me off. None of this tech is perfect. I'm already freaking impressed at what linux and free software has accomplished! I'm thankful that I have a plan-b option, which allows me the ability to for free have a usable system that can do anything I want, browsing, multimedia, etc etc... and Eterm still rules so Apple can go suck the big one. Prettier desktop my ass. Hello enlightenment :-) I expect DR-17 will be at final release on April 1st 2008 eh?

    I understand your bitching about linux though. I've had so much stress before learning to get something to work, and then an update breaks it, or another distro has a different way of doing stuff and introduces new problems. Seemed like sometimes i was constantly having to relearn and address basic issues like sound not working. Frustrating. After a while I was screaming "Just Fucking Work!" ... well I got a Mac, and paid dearly for it. and some things are great. But it's not perfect. and considering I paid a premium for "Just Fucking Work!" Maybe I can give Apple my list of complaints and they'll fix it?

    If my Ubuntu desktop was a little bbit faster in the VM, I'd be using it as my main desktop again probably. They're both cool. And I spent years with Redhat, CentOS, RHEL, and Fedora. At least if I don't like something on linux, I'm self-empowered to take action and fix it. Apple takes your power away. One funny anecdote on I was sending emails to someone, all was good. Then I tried to send another one to the person and it failed. No idea why, it probably was the ISP or SMTP server having an issue, but reveal the actual error message? tell me what's wrong? Oh hell no, not one-mouse-button Apple. It was as useful as "An error occured". WTF, I was pissed.

    Anyways, I think Redhat has done a lot, and contributed a lot to linux in general. So it's been good, grateful to them too. I'd love to find a system with the customizability and hackability of linux, some of the easy of use and prettiness out of the box of the Mac, and the application support of Windows.

    Ever since ever there have been platform wars and this and that is better and "I r00lz j00"... find what works for you. It's probably good we have diversity and different people value different things. I'm just pissed that I have to find my solution by using a little bit of each. Makes everything more complicated and resource intensive. But I do appreciate them all for what I perceive their strengths to be. Ultimately if I had too I could probably survive on linux only and a OLPC system. And it's sweet that that is even possible. It's a lot cheaper to get a cheap PC and toss free linux on it and have a totally functional system. I'm kinda of pissed that I paid a lot for my Mac and it's not perfect. But what yah gonna do? It will never be perfect and all these systems will always be a work in progress to some extent. For as cheap as a linux option can be. It's arguably superior to OSX in many areas including looks if you work on it. Though it depends on what your doing with your computer. And I still like my Mac. It really is sweet, but if I could do it over again, eh... is it *that* sweet? hmm maybe... but I think a lot of that is because Apple packages a pretty good display, much better than my old cheapo/el crapo LCD I left behind on my PC. That in itself was huge in my life...

    Happy computing :)
  • by JimDaGeek ( 983925 ) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @10:42AM (#20113137)
    There is accountability because managers and execs can bypass blame and point right to Microsoft or another vendor. If they were to do that with a Free OS like Ubuntu, the blame comes back to them for "using something that was free to try to save money". Note, I don't agree with this stupidity, but it seems pervasive in American management.

    I cut my teeth on Red Hat and like the way it is set up. The only reason I started to use Ubuntu more is because of how vast the repository is and how well all the packages play together. With Fedora, you can add 3rd party repositories, but you will run in to conflicts. This is the only reason I dropped Fedora for Ubuntu.

    I say give Red Hat a chance and wait and see how it turns out. If they include LEGAL codecs, that could be huge. With Ubuntu to play proprietary audio/video codecs you have to use unauthorized software. To a home user this isn't a bid deal, but to companies it is a deal breaker. Most license holders won't go after Joe Linux User for using an MP3 codec. However, with a company, that could lead to some nice cash for infringement.
  • by Etyenne ( 4915 ) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @11:07AM (#20113295)
    According to TFA, Red Hat is targetting public administration and small business in developing countries. This is a very price-conscious market. If the only competitive advantage they have over the competition (Ubuntu, pirated Windows, etc) is that they offer some warm-and-fuzzy feeling that the product is supported by a corporation, they are doomed to fail. Canonical already offer support à la carte (you buy support only if you need it), which make Red Hat Global Desktop compulsory subscription a fairly though sell.

    Red Hat (and Novell) strategy of charging per-seat "subscription" is doomed to fail on the desktop. Really, this is paramount to the proprietary software business model of charging licensing fees per seat. And why would anybody choose to engage a recurring cost for an *operating system* is beyond me (but then, people flocked to "Software Assurance", go figure). To have any chance, they would need to charge very little for this "subscription", which raise the question of profitability. Maybe they would have a chance if they where giving away these desktop "subscriptions" to existing customers of RHEL as a perk.

    Red Hat never understood the Linux desktop market, and apparently never will. It is a good thing they dominate a profitable niche in replacing Solaris as a platform to run Oracle and other enterprise software, because they completely suck at market development. I would hate them to go away; they are very goods corporate Open-Source citizens that contributes significantly to key Open-Source project, so I hope this niche will not dry up in the near future.

    As a side note, if you think Red Hat can afford to dispatch a field engineer for desktop problem on the premise of a small business customer, your expectations need a little adjustment.
  • Re:The irony (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sarathmenon ( 751376 ) <srm AT sarathmenon DOT com> on Saturday August 04, 2007 @11:47AM (#20113567) Homepage Journal

    the way that they crippled kde so that gnome looks better (I dont want to start a holy flame war, but this *was* the state of things 5-6 years ago),

    No it wasn't. It was a complaint made by many who never used it.

    It's not true, and never was true.

    And I've been using KDE with Redhat (and now Fedora) since '99
    I'll bite on that one. Please explain then why this site [] came up, and why it had an active user and devel base. Fedora when it was at core 1 or 2 realized the mistake redhat was doing by crippling kde, and they started including the default packages with less modifications. In case you wanted a list of stuff that were removed out - they were xine-lib support for kde-libs, arts threading, a lot of the standard applications, custom modifying a few kde headers (this caused problems for me while trying to compile kbear 2.0 at that time).

    I remember all of this because I was a redhat fan since 6.0. But RH 8.0 drove me too crazy within the first month that I switched to mdk9. It may have worked for you, and I am not nitpicking you as a user. But there were a large number of users like me who were frustrated, a lot of them swicthed distros, some of them started using the unsupported packages from kde-redhat. The fact that there were a lot of discontented users atleast shows that there was a problem somewhere.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @12:20PM (#20113781) Homepage
    Yes yes I have I managed a citrix farm of 5 servers for 4 years. I set it up I managed it daily I even set up the replacement upgraded servers before I left. Citrix server failovers rarely work right and a host of other problems that cause pain and misery. The windows terminal servers suck WAY more than citrix in every way. When I helped set up 15 LTS servers for 3 schools I could not believe how incredibly easy it was. I went over it for 2 more days wanting to know if we missed anything, we didn't. they are that easy. Almost every single Linux app is written for server use and multi-user. Almost NO windows apps are written that way and cause hell and heartache under a citrix setup.

    Citrix SUCKS compared to LTS hands down.
  • by Sillygates ( 967271 ) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @01:56PM (#20114499) Homepage Journal
    Red Hat developers contribute to various open source projects and make almost half the patches to the kernel.

    Ubuntu on the other hand doesn't even make their own packages: They repackage debian ones in most cases.

    If you want to get phone support Canonical also charges money, but very little of that goes to bettering open source projects.
  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Saturday August 04, 2007 @04:08PM (#20115437)
    There is another reason too, and one that is a major factor of why Windows is a corporate staple: Due diligence with corporate regulations.

    Windows is certified, both in FIPS and Common Criteria. This allows corporate legal, should something happen, show the auditors, press, and possibly law enforcement (as some SOX or HIPAA violations mean prison time) documentation that every piece of the system, from the OS on up, is certified secure.

    Few operating systems have these certifications other than Windows. Solaris, AIX, and HP-UX do, because it costs a lot of cash to pass the OS in front of certifying bodies for approval. Even fewer operating systems intended for the desktop have this.

    Redhat does. This positions Redhat in a place that very few desktop operating systems are qualified (and this is not a technical or quality item, but a presence/absence of very expensive papers with signatures. I'm pretty sure that any UNIX variant out there can easily qualify for FIPS 141-1 certification.) Apple states on their website ( that they have Common Criteria validation, but FIPS certification is still in the works. Even though pretty much any UNIX based OS can technically support FIPS, its having the certification that is critical, so companies can show to their internal auditors (and the SEC) that due diligence is being followed.

    Regardless of which distribution of Linux people advocate, having another option on corporate desktops is a plus for everybody.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell