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Red Hat Software Businesses Linux Business Operating Systems Software

Red Hat Returns To the Linux Desktop 192

CWmike writes "Red Hat used to be in the desktop business along with all the other Linux distributors. Then, they left. Now, however, Red Hat is switching from Xen to KVM for virtualization. As part of that switchover, Red Hat will be using not only KVM, but the SolidICE/SPICE desktop virtualization and management software suite to introduce a new server-based desktop virtualization system. Does this mean that Red Hat will be getting back into the Linux desktop business? That's the question I posed to Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens, in a phone call after the Red Hat/KVM press conference, and he told me that, 'Yes. Red Hat will indeed be pushing the Linux desktop again.'"
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Red Hat Returns To the Linux Desktop

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  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @01:58PM (#26972451)

    It will make 2009 the year of the... Oh never mind...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by genner ( 694963 )

      It will make 2009 the year of the... Oh never mind...

      Year of the Ox?
      China agrees.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      If Microsoft succeeds in putting out Windows 7 this year, 2009 may become the Year of Windows on the... Oh wait, nevermind.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It will make 2009 the year of the... Oh never mind...

      The year of the lame repetitive Slashdot meme?

      Ok mods, you can give him a +1 Funny and me a -1 Flamebait now. "We like our lame repetitive memes, mmkay? Thankyouverymuch."

  • by foobsr ( 693224 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:04PM (#26972551) Homepage Journal
    From TFA: Specifically, the new virtual Red Hat Desktop will be managed by Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager for Desktops. This virtual desktops management system, Red Hat claims, will deliver three to five times better cost-performance for both Linux and Windows desktops. (emphasis mine)

    Beyond my comprehension; anyone have an explanation?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by firespade ( 1030302 )
      In other words instead of going out and purchasing, let's say, a Xen license to run a cluster of VMs (as my company does). They're pushing to trump the VM industry with their own software. How this differs from the rest? I haven't the slightest clue. I honestly don't think it's even worth looking into. All they can say is the the VM Manager will reduce your budget to a fraction of what it is with the competitor, but isn't that the whole point of capitalizing on technology????
      • by QuantumRiff ( 120817 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:48PM (#26973231)

        This isn't for server virtual machines. its for pushing apps and environments out to clients seamlessly. Microsoft has something similar, APP-V, and VMWare is working on it too. Why have office installed on every machine? Why not just push or stream an image out to the machine, and then you only have one spot to update, one spot to upgrade, etc. Think LTSP but on steroids... Companies are once again realizing that the biggest cost in computers is keeping the things secure and running...

    • by gardyloo ( 512791 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:11PM (#26972693)

      They didn't put in parentheses for order-of-operations:

      LinuxNew = 325x(costLinuxOld - performanceLinuxOld)
      WindowsNew = 325x(costWindowsOld - performanceWindowsOld)


    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

      Besides the Xen thing, maybe they're trying to say you can virtualize multiple servers onto 1 and save money that way.

      I think it's BS unless you have almost zero load, but hey! That's marketing for you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bberens ( 965711 )
        Virtualization is a huge cost saver in our shop. We bought one blade system and we have our source control, developer box (build system, wiki, etc.), a few QA and development servers (including a few db servers for dev/qa). And that's just the stuff MY department puts on there. We are also moving to have a few virtual machines set up as hot backup for some live systems with dedicated boxes. Eventually I predict we'll also put some actual production systems in virtual machines once the pointy hairs have
        • by hitmark ( 640295 )

          Tho you can bet that said pointy hairs will try to make use of VM's in cases where it makes no sense first...

    • by davecb ( 6526 ) * <> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:19PM (#26972851) Homepage Journal

      No utopia, just an improvement.

      A desktop workstation or fast laptop is optimal for a developer or fairly heavy user, but in a business context requires

      1. buying the darn things
      2. an imaging server, to create/update them
      3. a backup and/or synchronization server (samba, unison and a tape changer).
      4. Etc, etc.

      However, many users don't actually need any more than a cheap diskless netbook or a glorified X-terminal, and can do all their computing on a back-end timesharing server.

      As in "The Unix Timesharing System" that we grew up with, which was always orders of magnitude more cost-effective than individual shared-nothing workstations.


  • I never understood why the left in the first place. They used to be at the top of the game- Fedora, not so much.
    • Re:About time (Score:4, Insightful)

      by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:19PM (#26972849) Homepage Journal

      I never understood why the[y] left in the first place.

      1. They weren't making money in that area.
      2. Most of the problems with desktop Linux at that time revolved around the fact that you need to need to break the law to in Red Hat's country of origin to distribute a useable system
      3. They didn't want to compete head-to-head with Microsoft.

      Things have improved somewhat since then: Other projects like Ubuntu and have paved the way for desktop Linux; a lot of codecs have been re-implemented as open source and patents are expiring on some codecs; Microsoft doesn't quite have the teeth they used to have.

  • Based on colour... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fred@freds[ ] ['hom' in gap]> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:11PM (#26972689) Homepage

    Since most of my hats are brown (along with a couple black ones), I guess I'll have to run Ubuntu.

    It's not that I really mind running beta software, it's this whole "you people are testing what we expect to sell as 'enterprise' for a premium later on, we're waiting for your bug reports" thing that I don't really like with the current RH. Although truthfully I haven't run RH since RH 3 or 4.

    Not that distributions really matter all that much in the end, after you've been through the rounds and you're done with dicking around with your machine and you finally settle with just using it, you realise that they all ship pretty much the same stuff. And that the details really don't matter all that much. So unless you're really excited with a given logo, you can just pick one at random. They're all the same.
    If you're in a corporate setting pick the one that's supported by the package you need, or if you don't require anything external, the one you already know, you'll save a week of work. Doesn't matter. Basically they all mostly work (and/or are broken in the same kinds of places). Same as most operating systems really.

    And honestly I really doubt one couldn't have used RH on the desktop those past years. No Gnome or KDE repositories (or XFCE, or any other desktop ? did it even have X11 ? Or was it too hard for "grandma" (who is surely glad that RH finally pandered to her needs) ?


    • by Richard W.M. Jones ( 591125 ) <rich@ann[ ] ['exi' in gap]> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @03:41PM (#26973903) Homepage

      How did the parent comment get "+4 interesting" when it so full of gross errors?

      Ubuntu depends on the kernel and GNOME developers funded by Red Hat. Red Hat contributes everything back into the upstream projects, which Ubuntu has been noticeably bad [] about doing.

      RHEL has both GNOME and KDE (and obviously X11).


      • by ebuck ( 585470 )

        But Unbuntu is supported by a rich fat cat, who's been propping up the community until it becomes self-sustaining. To their credit, they now claim they are.

        That means Unbuntu is the most advertised Linux. You can't get around the marketing. It starts with world peace and ends with children in Africa not falling victim to evil Microsoft.

        In other words, it's hard to talk to an Unbuntuite without hearing the marketing talk back to you. I've heard that it's the first Linux "for the people", and that's let m

  • I don't know. I mean it was a great desktop years back, probably the best (discounting Debian), I used it for the whole of my time at university, but things have moved on.
    I use it for servers nowadays, servers that I set up and don't change, aside from updates, but as a deasktop system it would need to compete with Ubuntu for ease of use and administration. Ubuntu's a long way ahead in those respects.

    Still, I'm mildly interested to see what they might offer.

  • by Galois2 ( 1481427 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @02:39PM (#26973109)

    The article seems to conflate "desktop" and "desktop virtualization."

    RH has been on the desktop since the beginning. They offered Red Hat Linux 1.0 in 1995, all the way up through RHL 9 in 2003. They followed that with 10 bleeding-edge releases of Fedora and five main releases of RH Enterprise Linux. All 100% open, including their own work on utilities, Gnome/KDE, and kernel development. They have done more for linux on the desktop than just about any other company. And now we all reap the benefit, even if we use another distribution like Ubuntu.

    So it is nonsense to say RH "returns" to the desktop. They never left.

    Now, the article goes on to talk a lot about desktop *virtualization.* That's a totally different topic. Maybe the article should have been titled RH returns to desktop virtualization.

    • As someone who used RedHat on the desktop from 6 through 9 and actually had just bought "support" when they "left" just to show my support for them I assure you when they abandoned RH 7-9 it most definitely felt like they "left". Way back they were a company with a loyal customer base who bought their boxed distributions even when we didn't have to just to support them. Then they went "public" and suddenly the people that got them to where they were and helped them get rich when they IPO'ed were dirt, and

  • I tried a Fedora release not too long ago and found myself in dep-hell before the install was set up to my specs. That was the reason I bailed on RH back when they were on v8.1 If they can't fix that in the space of several years, why bother?

    • by ADRA ( 37398 )

      Dep hell? Such as??

      The only problem I've had (in at least 5 years) with Fedora is with broken/overlapping dependencies as a result of using non-supported third party repositories in tandem, and I fail to see how the problems introduced by using an unsupported repository is RedHat's, RPM's, or Yum's fault.

      With most 3rd party repo's joining up for RPMForge I haven't seen one hint of a dependency issue.

      So tell me, why play this broken fiddle over and over again trying to carry a fresh tune? Your arguments are

    • by pembo13 ( 770295 )

      Were you installing RPMs manually with RPM?

  • We all know that VMware uses linux red hat as the backbone of their visualisation module.
    Now we have a real Red hat entry into the virtualisation world by teaming up with Xen.
    I myself do not like Xen, being that you absolutely need the new VC chips to use it....
    where as VMWare always worked from the beginning.

    Cool to know though, red hat is trying to do there part and compete against M$

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission