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Red Hat Software Businesses

ZD on Red Hat 37

Richard Finney sent us a Lengthy article on Red Hat. It's called 'Inside Red hat's Bunker'. There's a trip to their offices, articles about growth and interviews with Bob Young. Pretty impressive.
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ZD on Red Hat

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    notice the graph shows redhat... Now there are other distros. Also who buys redhat? and who download mandrake. And who burnes a couple cds for friends?

    this is all legal, what adds onto the growth.. NT is hammered by prices and licences.
  • by drwiii ( 434 )
    Wow, it's nice to see a look behind the scenes at redhat. It sounds like a very nice environment to work in.. Especially with not having to deal with BSODs all day. :-)
  • I think it's $80 with tech support, and $40 without. Hopefully the $40 version will include printed documentation. I can't see paying $40 for a couple of CDs full of Free Software.


  • Is THIS the new Red Hat Linux Prices? [].

    I heard the price was going to go up, but, uh, jumping from a ~$39 boxed set to $300! Almost a 100% increase in price?!?!?!?!

    I realize they are evolving from "email only" support to "phone" support now, but... Uh... Is the $40 box with the book, CD's w/source, and sticker gone? Maybe the page isn't fully updated yet? Am I over reacting?

    Eeek. _IF_ this is true, it looks like I won't be buying "offical" for a long long time... $40 to toss to them to pay Raster and others to write GPL is something I can handle once a year or so, but $400 isn't.... Cheap Bytes, here I come... And, while I am there, I don't see a whole lot of reason not to just get Debain CD's insted... Or try something new...

    Someone tell me I am wrong, please :-)

  • I've been getting sick and tired of seeing all Linux growth articles focusing only on Red Hat. The article I just read states that 'nobody owns Linux,' but it's quite obvious that Red Hat is trying to snuff out other distributions. It sickens me when Linux newbies (or wanna-be's) assume that Red Hat *IS* Linux, and Linux *IS* Red Hat. Just like with Micro$oft, they know of no alternatives.
    Plus, investors are throwing cash at Red Hat. They're not investing in Linux per se, but just Red Hat. Pretty soon, the other slick distros (which, coincidentally, ARE better than RH's distros) will be no more. Everything will be Red Hat.
    I don't like that. While Red Hat may be a "cool" company in the sense of employee appearance, they're not cool in the fact that they're trying to clean up shop and horde Linux. It's happening, yet too many people don't realize it. It is a bad thing.

    rpm -i --force --nodepends DamnIWishIWouldaGottenTheTarballInstead.rpm
  • by ajf ( 7321 )

    I've been getting sick and tired of seeing all Linux growth articles focusing only on Red Hat. The article I just read states that 'nobody owns Linux,' but it's quite obvious that Red Hat is trying to snuff out other distributions.

    OK, so Red Hat are taking advantage of the publicity that Linux has been achieving, in order to advertise their own products.

    But what's wrong with that? For a start, Red Hat's distribution could be one of the reasons Linux has been able to gain such a high profile.

    More importantly, I don't understand how you interpret the publicity they're getting as "trying to snuff out other distributions". For a start, they released their packaging software under the GPL, and it's used by many non-RH distributions. That's not behaviour I would expect from someone who wants to destroy their competition.

    Since, as you stated further on, you like other distributions more than Red Hat, I think you should take the responsibility yourself to try to get your preferred system more coverage - that would achieve more than merely complaining about the current situation.

  • But is the media non-visibility of other distributors the fault of Red Hat? Or do Caldera etc. fail to approach ZDNet and the others? The reason you see som much Red Hat coverage could be that, in reality, you are experiencing a "non-coverage" og other "brands", and interpret this wrongly. :-)

    I seem to recall some media coverage of the release of OpenLinux 2.2, but if that's all the 'others' can muster, then Red Hat deserves to win the "exposure" race.
  • Exactly...and also the press always says something like "its a great OS that was built by hackers and crackers alike" "freedom fighters and the OS2 crowd is what composes the Linux community"
    Just mentioning OS2 guys is enough to make any would-be linux user change their mind about trying it out. And the mention of hackers to a computer savvy person is a good thing, but to most IT Managers and MCSE's the thought of hackers is scary instead of good.

    Lets imagine that your an IT manager who wants to build a new linux server. You head out to a VP and try to get the funding approved and the VP inevitably has already read a story about linux somewhere and then you say "I want to test out this OS" and the VP says "the one built by hackers and freedom fighters?"... *Sigh* its sad but the media seem to be playing both sides (imagine that). *Sigh*

    Just to avoid any potential flames, I just want to say that I think OS2 rocks, and its unfortunate about the reputation is has built with the non-technical (microsofties).

  • Seems like an invalid comparison to me. RedHat gets used as both a server and a workstation, and they are comparing to NT Server and Unix Server shipments only.

    Assuming that Microsoft's not lying, you can be pretty sure that almost every NT Server or Workstation licence shipped has been deployed or is going to be deployed shortly. You can't make the same assumption with Redhat CDs shipped.

    I know people who purchased RedHat 5.1 and 5.2, apparently counting as two shipments in that graph. And, many people are just dinking around with RedHat, and are by no means using it as their production OS.

    On the other hand, there's the huge number of CheapBytes CDs, FTP downloads, and other Linux Distros, so maybe it all evens out.
  • The graph for Linux shipments is quite amazing. It appears to be nearing the number of NT shipments quite fast. Perhaps it will overtake this year. osship3.gif

    RedHat is the company that pushed alternate economic models into the spotlight. They'll always have my respect for that.

  • They want to be cool like Douglas Coupland.

    Er. Or something.
  • Hey... Wasn't RH6 supposed to start selling on their page today? Try going to and get a 404. Am I wrong ? Was it next Monday?

    "There is no spoon."
  • I'm not trying to slam ZD-net, but this is actually one of their better recent articles. I particularly liked their mention of the "red hat" corporate culture:
    1. They stash roller blades under their desks, then skate the carpeted hallways to blow off steam, weaving around rows of cubicles. Or they take to the game room -- which is surprisingly old school for a cutting-edge company. Ms. Pacman, Gauntlet, and a traditional pinball machine...
    This type of environment has been the common denominator in virtually all of the highly productive programming operations I have worked in, and been totally non-existent in the "IT driven" operations I have worked. So far in my experience, the only advantage to the IT driven model seems to be more a more thoroughly documented development process, which should yield more advantages than it usually does. Creativity breeds productivity, overly strong controls do not!!

    Another quote from the author: Linux is supposed to grow 25% over the next five years, outpacing all other operating systems combined. I think it would be more accurate to say that Linux' rate of growth will "outpace all other OS's combined".

    Bob Young hit one nail on the head: we have to deliver on the expecations we raise. Hyping Linux without delivering the goods (applications, etc.) is NOT good strategy in the war to unthrone M$.

    As a web site development strategist, the most significant element I found in the article was the quote that Netscape plans to eventually release Linux versions of all its server software products.

    IMHO we should all be contacting Netscape to say the sooner the better.

  • The reason you are seeing all the Linux-growth/red hat articles is because RH has done a great deal to raise the profile of Linux. This is a GOOD DEED.

    I don't know why so many people want to think the worst of Red Hat. Maybe the spectre of Microsoft is too hard to forget. But folks, it's still Linux. Anything particularly clever they help develop (like gnome) can be crossfertilized into your favourite distribution, thank you GPL.

    I didn't see where in the article they talk about "trying to snuff out other distributions".
  • The $49.95 box of 5.2 with 3 CDs and an installation manual is still available. From their 6.0 press release:

    Red Hat Linux 6.0 has pricing options available from $39.95 to $79.95. It can also be downloaded from immediately. A boxed version with three CDs, including one application CD, Installation Manual, Getting Started Guide, and telephone and email support. The box version will be available in select retail outlets, including Best Buy, on May 10.

  • There is a very suspicious picture of the new redhat package, cast in shadows, with the word "Monday", so I can only assume.

  • Speaking as a newbie myself, I started with RedHat a few months ago because of their higher profile, but as I learned more I was unhappy with their out-of-the-box security and other things. I've since moved to SuSE and may switch again. Lately I've been considering Debian or (please don't hurt me) even one of the BSD's. Cut Redhat some slack. They're like a gateway drug. They get you started and then you move on to the _better stuff_.
    (Drugs were an analogy-I in no way use or promote them).
  • I agree with you completely. I like RedHat, I think they out out a quality package.

    I thought it was amusing that they called Bob Young the "consumate huckster"....sheesh..why not give the guy a little respect, he has landed some major companies on his side. Why is it so easy for the "media" (I'm not really sure ZD qualifies as media :) to give these little jabs at people in the Linux community.

    The description they give of the offices remind me of a story about Sierra when they started out. They were very laid back and informal in the beginnig, then things slowly became more corporate. Growth has a way of changing that. We shall see.
  • I guess I don't know enought to disagree with the original thread, but my experience was that RedHat made an excellent first experience for me as a new user and now I'm moving to the 'hard stuff' (Debian).

    Last November when I first considered Linux, I was *not* under the impression that RedHat == Linux, but I was impressed by the things I found when poking around. RedHat has made it fairly easy for me to "get my feet wet" with Linux, and after four months I am considering moving my server to Debian, althought I'll probably keep RH on my workstation for now.
  • by tactic ( 28924 )
    All you have to do is hit their www site. Netscape sends the info for you by default. If you want to check it out, run netcat as a listener and hit it with your browser. You'll see a line similar to:

    User-Agent: Mozilla/4.08 [en] (X11; I; Linux 2.0.36 i586)

    That is, unless you've hacked the binary or something ;)

  • Any company that has Ms. Pac Man and Gauntlet in their game room is OK by me.

    (psst...hey redhat, if you hire me I'll bring my 1978 Super Breakout machine!)
  • You know, I'm getting sick of articles on tech companies that start by describing how rebellious and noncomformist those companies are. How many more articles can you read about companies run by "twentysomethings" who roller-blade or mountain-bike into work around noon and spend the whole day playing video games and drinking jolt?

    Nothing against Red Hat, just wish some of these clowns would write an article minus the "hip software culture" cliches.
  • Did you guys check out all the links from that article? There were some interesting comments from Gates and another article explaining why Linux sucks (different than the one on Slashdot's headlines page) I wish i could e-mail those guys and tell them that i'm using the X11 version of Netscape right now.
  • Well, earlier this morning it said "...Monday..." on the bottom of the commerce page.

    Hmm...technical problem, or are they getting ready for a change?

  • Its out now. There is a redhat-6.0 directory on, but it only has i386 and sparc arch directories in it :(

    Patiently waiting for a mirror with alpha ;)

  • As a former RH 5.2 user, I suggest FreeBSD. Its solid, easy to install, easy to upgrade (via CVSup) and the ports system is excellent.

    Also, I find that the packages on the FreeBSD site are for quite recent versions of software.

    I found most RH rpms were for outdated versions of the software - which means you end up not using rpm that much - which can make it a hassle at upgrade time.

    I understand that you don't simply package up software for distribution as a package the first day it comes out, but most RH packages appeared to be six months off or more.
  • I just visited thier commerce page last night ( and it had a picture of a suspicious looking box shot, Red Hat 6.0 I assume. Now the page is a big 404. Oh well I'm waiting to find that little footprint...
  • $300 American sounds too high... I was quoted $130 Cdn which translates to about $80-90 U.S., but that was from a University so it may be student pricing? Still, too much $$. offering 5.2 for $29 (U.S) is much more inline with reality.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court