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Red Hat To Help Develop CentOS

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the taking-a-more-direct-role dept.

Red Hat Software 186

An anonymous reader writes with news that Red Hat and the CentOS project are "joining forces" to develop the next version of CentOS. For years, CentOS has been a popular choice for users who want to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux without having to pay for it. Some of the CentOS developers are moving to Red Hat, but they won't be working on RHEL — they say the "firewall" between the two distros will remain in place. CentOS Project Chair Karanbir Singh said, 'The changes we make are going to be community inclusive, and promoted, proposed, formalised, and actioned in an open community centric manner on the centos-devel mailing list. And I highly encourage everyone to come along and participate.'

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Bingo (4, Funny)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about a year ago | (#45893659)

Buzzword bingo anyone all in one sentence.

Odd... (2)

LVSlushdat (854194) | about a year ago | (#45893663)

I understand GPL allowing CentOS and Scientific Linux to use Redhat in their respective products, but I find it really puzzling that they would actively *help* CentOS... Doesn't make a lot of sense to me...

Re:Odd... (4, Insightful)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | about a year ago | (#45893681)

At a guess, it could be the same logic that makes Bill Gates not care that people pirate Windows. Sure, they might not be paying you for all the effort you put into the product, but one day, when they can pay, yours will be the system that they know, so they'll come to you.

Re:Odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894237)

Nothing like Windows. Red Hat gets a lot of development for free.

Re:Odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894637)

So what?

Re:Odd... (4, Insightful)

supremebob (574732) | about a year ago | (#45893729)

If given a choice, I'd imagine that Red Hat would have users choosing CentOS than Ubuntu if they are looking for a free Linux distribution with longer term support. At least Red Hat can then give them the option to easily upgrade to RHEL without forcing them to reinstall their systems.

Switching between the two distributions (or even Scientific Linux) is already as easy as switching repos and updating a few branding specific packages. I'd imagine that Red Hat would make the process even easier to do so in the next release.

Re:Odd... (5, Interesting)

InPursuitOfTruth (2676955) | about a year ago | (#45893781)

That's what I was thinking. You have Centos in production, but now decide you want RHEL support. Why should you have to choose between reinstalling your production environment, or just giving RHEL their money and being done with it? I suspect that RH will remove this barrier to paying or support by offering support for Centos.

Re:Odd... (3, Interesting)

turbidostato (878842) | about a year ago | (#45893975)

"At least Red Hat can then give them the option to easily upgrade to RHEL without forcing them to reinstall their systems."

It's good for Red Hat in that knowledge of CentOS means knowledge or Red Hat and time investment on CentOS means *not* investing time in anything else but... please go read what Red Hat has to say about upgrading major releases: "please, don't do it; you should reinstall".

Re:Odd... (2)

wolrahnaes (632574) | about a year ago | (#45894153)

please go read what Red Hat has to say about upgrading major releases: "please, don't do it; you should reinstall".

They weren't saying upgrading versions, they're referring to a licensing/support "upgrade" from CentOS to the equivalent RHEL, which due to their near-identical nature is supposedly a matter of switching repositories and changing out some branded packages. For example CentOS 6.5 becomes RHEL 6.5.

I don't care much for the RPM toolset so I don't know how practical such moves are in the RH world, but it seems like a feasible idea.

Re:Odd... (3, Informative)

PAjamian (679137) | about a year ago | (#45895159)

It's very easy to do. I've done the reverse (RHEL to CentOS) on a few occasions. It is generally as simple as installing a single -release rpm.

Redhat/CentOS is no substitute for Ubuntu desktop (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | about a year ago | (#45893987)

The Redhat/CentOS kernel is about five years old. Still using version 2.6.

I suspect most desktop users want something newer than that.

Re:Redhat/CentOS is no substitute for Ubuntu deskt (4, Informative)

dk20 (914954) | about a year ago | (#45894059)

I suspect few desktop users run an OS targeted for "servers" where stability is the number one goal?

Re:Redhat/CentOS is no substitute for Ubuntu deskt (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#45894499)

I do!

Many others too where we pulled our hair out on bugs and things breaking and being cutting edge. It is updated each year and XP diehards have taught us is that new isn't always better

Re:Redhat/CentOS is no substitute for Ubuntu deskt (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#45894533)

And there is a distro for just that purpose:
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=stella [distrowatch.com]

Personally I probably wouldn't run something like CentOS/RHEL on my primary desktop or laptop since I like to run all the latest stuff without too much of a wait. But if I had a secondary "work" machine and wanted absolute rock-solid stability and unsurpassed support (ten years), then such an OS would be excellent. Running a machine with for the most part only minor updates being required and no major, potential stability-damaging upgrades for its entire working life does sound somewhat appealing if you just want a machine to work, and that especially suits a desktop in the corner that just always works, is always there, never needs any maintenance...

But yeah, I'd probably still upgrade once every other OS version at least anyway. I would eventually get bored and want to start playing with something new.

Re:Redhat/CentOS is no substitute for Ubuntu deskt (3, Informative)

tchuladdiass (174342) | about a year ago | (#45894119)

RHEL 7 Beta is based off Fedora 19, with a 3.10 kernel. Usually their beta cycles run about 6 months. Oh, and they heavily backport to their stable kernel (it is "stable", not meaning crashes less, but referring too the fact that the API/ABI doesn't change when they release updates).

Re:Redhat/CentOS is no substitute for Ubuntu deskt (4, Informative)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#45894181)

2.6.0 came out in 2004, 3.0 (the next after 2.0.39) in 2011. You are not being very precise saying 2.6 related to redhat kernel. But, about to your point, Redhat/centos 5.x came with kernel 2.6.18 (released in 2007, still had the same kernel version in RedHat 5.10 that came out last october), and Redhat 6.x, that came out in 2010, had kernel 2.6.32 (released in 2009). As enterprise distribution, what matters is stability, and certification for 3rd party software, not having the latest versions, all is tested with an specific kernel version, and that kernel (and in general, packages) are kept in the same version, backporting/patching fixes when necessary, and you won't have to worry about a newer version of a sofware changing a configuration file format or keywords and stopping working after updating. Anyway, you can still install extra repositories (like EPEL [fedoraproject.org] ) that will give you newer versions of some packages.

If you want to use something bleeding edge, you can try Fedora, Ubuntu, or another of the desktop distributions

Re:Redhat/CentOS is no substitute for Ubuntu deskt (1)

ruir (2709173) | about a year ago | (#45894697)

Even Debian that is quite conservative and slow at adapting packages, has been using kernel 3 in production for quite some time. (2 years?). I suspect rather more RH being behind in kernel releases to protect their code investment in heavy customisations to the kernel, which initially was one of the reasons, between many others, that I moved to Debian.

Re:Redhat/CentOS just works on the desktop (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#45894477)

Not only does that just work but so does my approaching 5 year old Windows 7 too!

As a desktop user I do not have to worry about an update killing something because it uses a standard abi like other OSes and unlike Ubuntu throughout 6.x. My scripts will work without breaking, all the apps have matured and are well tested. Driver makers target it, and I keep gnome 2.x and don't have to worry about guis designed for teenagers.

I get a minor update each year! ... Oh and every 5 years I get that huge update 7.x where you Ubuntu guys worked on all the bugs for me :-)

What's to hate about it? I have work to do and do not want to play with operating systems too much.

Re:Odd... (2)

Tester (591) | about a year ago | (#45894037)

Switching between the two distributions (or even Scientific Linux) is already as easy as switching repos and updating a few branding specific packages. I'd imagine that Red Hat would make the process even easier to do so in the next release.

Actually their FAQ says that isn't an option, you have to re-install from scratch to get an officially supported system (as the binaries are not exactly the same).

Re:Odd... (2)

PAjamian (679137) | about a year ago | (#45895247)

No, it's perfectly fine for switching between RHEL and CentOS as CentOS is fully binary compatible with RHEL (that is one of the project goals) so if it doesn't work for compatibility reasons then it is a CentOS bug.

SL is not quite as strict on compatibility, but it should still work fine even though it's unsupported.

Oracle Linux even provides a utility to switch from other EL distros to Oracle and all it does is switch the -release package and a couple other key packages over (although I don't recommend Oracle Linux).

What is usually not supported (and not a good idea) is to try to use yum to upgrade from one major release to another, switching from one variant of EL to another on the same version is generally just fine.

Re:Odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45895361)

Oracle is a less expensive RHEL, Cent tends to lack security updates after RHEL releases, Scientific is dependent on government funding but gets security updates in what could be called a timely manner compared to Cent.

If this means Cent gets security updates in a timely manner after RHEL version bumps then it is a good thing.

Re:Odd... (1)

guacamole (24270) | about a year ago | (#45895017)

RedHat realized that it can't make money off CentOS users anyways. If you make it really hard to use a free copy of RedHat EL, they will just move onto some other distribution. It's not like there aren't alternatives.

Re:Odd... (1)

PAjamian (679137) | about a year ago | (#45895291)

Kind of, I think it's more like RedHat is targeting a certain kind of customer with their business. They want to get the big spending Enterprise customers who are willing to fork out a lot of money for a product with major backing behind it, RHEL is one such product but there are other companies that also sell enterprise Linux distros, not to mention all the other OSes out there that RedHat has to compete with.

They don't loose money on CentOS users because CentOS users generally do not fall into their targeted customer base, but many CentOS users have influence over that targeted customer base and if they are happy with CentOS then when they get the chance to make a recommendation that will be for RHEL. RedHat realizes this and so as a consequence they know that CentOS actually *helps* their business in the long run. I think that by supporting CentOS on a more official basis as they are now doing they can help to solidify that the recommendation really does point to RedHat when it comes around as well as giving something back to the community that has worked to actually help them for all these years. Don't discount the side benefit of being able to excersize a bit of control over CentOS either (although RedHat's track record with other projects that they control is that they usually are fairly benevolent and let the project do what they want within reason).

Makes sense, but weird (5, Insightful)

InPursuitOfTruth (2676955) | about a year ago | (#45893759)

Those of us who've been using Centos understand that if you use it to deploy, and ultimately in your data center, often in place of Windows, then it is just a matter of time before you begin to use RHEL to get support for at least their mission critical production boxes. Centos and RHEL are a nice mix. So, this definitely makes sense for RH. Plus, they have nothing to lose since Centos thrives with or without their endoresment.

Yet, the back and forth relationship RH has taken over the years with the community-driven open source from which it was born and has built its business suggests that, despite this move, they only seem to consider relationships that produce pofits from no more than one degree of separation. This makes the end to this very long estrangement, where Centos only referred to Redhat as the "upstream provider" to keep RedHat's trademark legal team at bay, just plain-old WEIRD.

The question is, how will RH help Centos? That isn't very clear from this announcement.

Re:Makes sense, but weird (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894065)

They could start with a "limited" license for various RH Logos and graphics used in benign ways. For instance "ShadowMan" might have to be "Ghosted" rather than entirely replaced with Chippy the Puppy Logos before release. Or RH could "contribute" replacement artwork, or develop and entire schema package for automatically swapping out the artwork and trademark documentation, replacing it with any provided alternative.. since they "know" where the legal "landmines" are located.

RH could legally "absolve, or promise not to pursue hostile actions for accidental or in dispute infringements.. if certain escrow measures are taken during negotiations"

And some sort of RH sided release channel that funneled advanced releases of kernel patch code that must be recompiled, but not generally released to the public until a set time table.. leading to a "home field or first person advantage" which Oracle could not meet. Just because its Opensource has never declared "when" the source and through what channels it must be made available. They could proactively help "advance" the release schedule of patches over that of other distros.

It was very telling that they mentioned the CentOS releases would be by mutual consent, and "more stable" than Fedora.. in light of last years public debacle.. and Ubuntu's devolving group think into totalitarian rule.. it seems to promise to fight that..

Re:Makes sense, but weird (1)

stoborrobots (577882) | about a year ago | (#45894345)

Just because its Opensource has never declared "when" the source and through what channels it must be made available.

I agree with most of what you've said, I just have this little nitpick:

The GPL is very clear about the when and what channels: you MUST make the source available (or include an explicit offer to make it available) to someone when you make the binaries available to them. That said, you can choose to make the source available earlier than the binaries, as you suggest.

As for the "what channels", the GPL (section 6 of GPLv3 [gnu.org] , section 3 of GPLv2 [gnu.org] ) specifically identifies what channels are appropriate if you are providing binaries. Again, you may use other channels in *addition* to those, which may include directly providing source via direct communication in advance or instead of binaries. However, if you provide binaries to a person, there are explicit rules on how you must provide corresponding sources.

Re:Makes sense, but weird (1)

reub2000 (705806) | about a year ago | (#45894191)

The question is, how will RH help Centos? That isn't very clear from this announcement.

Help them reduce the lag between the time something is released for RHEL and CentOS.

Re:Makes sense, but weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45895369)

Yeah, five months without security updates is a bit much.

Re:Makes sense, but weird (4, Insightful)

ancientt (569920) | about a year ago | (#45894215)

There's a little more to it than that. The announcement doesn't cover the history CentOS has had with RHEL, but when CentOS people found bugs or made improvements, they would pass the info back to RHEL. It makes sense for CentOS because when they make improvements, they can hope that in the next release, they can just reuse RHEL work rather than having to apply the patches each time. It made sense for RHEL because they were getting a better product to offer their customers than they would have without the CentOS contributions, and by integrating the work of their biggest potential competitor, they decrease the incentive to move to somebody who has patches and improvements they don't.

It's rare to read about "synergy" between companies that actually makes sense, but RHEL and CentOS have benefitted from each others' work. The more RHEL helped CentOS, the better RHEL software was. The more CentOS helped RHEL, the better CentOS software was. This move to actually formalize their relationship makes sense for both of them.

Re:Makes sense, but weird (1)

akinliat (1771190) | about a year ago | (#45894475)

The question is, how will RH help Centos? That isn't very clear from this announcement.

If I had to guess,(and I do -- I have no inside knowledge) I'd say that they'll help the CentOS team by keeping them apprised of upcoming changes to RHEL, and so reduce the lag between a RHEL version release, and the equivalent CentOS version.

Re:Makes sense, but weird (1)

akinliat (1771190) | about a year ago | (#45894507)

Which, of course, is exactly what reub2000 replied just over a screen down.

I really need to read ahead more ...

Re:Makes sense, but weird (3, Informative)

AdamWill (604569) | about a year ago | (#45894809)

"The question is, how will RH help Centos? That isn't very clear from this announcement. "

It does mention that we (RH) have hired the core CentOS devs - that is, we're giving them a paycheck to work on CentOS full time, we're not hiring them to do other stuff instead. And it mentions that RH has offered CentOS some resources to improve their build infrastructure, though CentOS is still deciding whether to take that offer up or not.

Re:Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45895399)

To piss off Larry Ellison!

Re:Odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45893853)

RedHat like CentOS, or so they've said.

They would rather have people use CentOS than another distro. Even if they don't pay for CentOS, it keeps them in the RedHat family.

mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (4, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#45893857)

I've been using CentOS and other Red Hat derivatives for 15 years. When I want to get a certification, who do you think I'll get it from? Microsoft? I'll get Red Hat certified, of course. When my employer, a government agency, adds new servers and wants enterprise support, which OS am I going to recommend. Hint - not Ubuntu.

Red Hat isn't competing with CentOS. They are competing with other large companies selling enterprise support, certifications, and training. More people using Linux is good for Red Hat and especially more people being comfortable with Red Hat derived systems is good for Red Hat.

Originally, Red Hat Linux was free. The company was built on cooperating freely with the communityand
contributing, while earning a reputation that allowed them to sell support, training, etc. Working with the CentOS community is classic Red Hat, that's the kind of thinking that once made Red Hat THE Linux distribution and the #3 operating system behind Windows and Mac.

Re:mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894125)

...that's the kind of thinking that once made Red Hat THE Linux distribution and the #3 operating system behind Windows and Mac.

I don't think anything will ever take the place of The Hurd as "Number Two".

Re:mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894189)

Originally, Red Hat Linux was free.

Red Hat Linux is *still* free - just download [redhat.com] and install it.

Red Hat charges for *support*.

Re:mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894319)

Link to the installer/ISO pls?

Or do you mean download, do lots of other crap first then only install it?
vs download Centos ISO then install it.

Re:mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45895389)

"Support" in this case means security fixes and patches.

Nice business model.

Re:mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#45895593)

I thought that only the source code was free, but that the compiled binaries need to be bought

Re:mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894251)

once, CentOS was free

Re:mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894739)

Red hat has come a long way from the beginning, but classic Red hat was never anything like cooperating with others.

Use, RH if you want to, but it must be really hard to see through those dark dark dark rose colored glasses of yours.

RH faked a release of gcc (the version number was retired due to RH's dick move). They pulled cvs head, and called it the next major release that wasn't out yet of gcc, so they could be "first". GCC team was swamped with pissed off users complaining that this version of gcc that WASN'T EVEN RELEASED YET, couldn't compile the linux kernel, etc. GCC just skipped the version when they finally released.

RH did the same dick move with KDE. Adding a crap ton of crap patches to KDE that broke everything, and the KDE team had to spend their resources fixing bugs they didn't create, in an effort to save their own reputations. Classic RH dick move.

RH doesn't give a shit about their customers either (well pawning off broken pre-release gcc on their customers isn't respecting them either, I guess). Hans Rieser (pre-murder), told RH that the version of ReiserFS shipped in RH had a major bug that could lead to data corruption. He tried to get RH to accept a patch to fix the bug, but RH refused! Classic RH.

Could go on and on. RH has been giving back to the community lately, but "classic RH" is equivalent to "dick move".

If you had started with Linux 5 yrs. earlier, you probably wouldn't be using RH now. Both Slack and Debian came out 5 years earlier, and were superior in so many ways (hint, you could upgrade :-) without a clean install, and Deb had a package manager that RH 15yrs. later is only starting to catch up to by borrowing yellow dog's yum). You should check out some other distros, you might just realize that RH is not as wonderful as you seem to think. But, if you think blowing away all your systems and re-installing from scratch every time there is a new version is not retarded, and having nearly nothing pre-packaged, etc., then enjoy your RH.

Sorry, just had a shitty three weeks fucking with a shitty RH OS upgrade at work. It could have been a couple minute apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade. But, instead, it was a huge clusterfuck of re-installs (even using puppet for the low-hanging stuff). I hate Redhat right now. Give me a week, and I will just go back to not caring about RH.

Re:mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (1)

smpoole7 (1467717) | about a year ago | (#45895273)

> dick move ... dick move ... classic RH ...

Larry Ellison, is that you?

Re:mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45895469)

RedHat totally owns Linux kernel, core user space, and the entire development process. Either bend over and spread-em or get lost you loser.

Re:mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#45895659)

That would be news to Debian, Arch, Gentoo & Slackware

Re:mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894933)

I've been using CentOS and other Red Hat derivatives for 15 years. When I want to get a certification, who do you think I'll get it from? Microsoft? I'll get Red Hat certified, of course. When my employer, a government agency, adds new servers and wants enterprise support, which OS am I going to recommend. Hint - not Ubuntu.

Red Hat isn't competing with CentOS. They are competing with other large companies selling enterprise support, certifications, and training. More people using Linux is good for Red Hat and especially more people being comfortable with Red Hat derived systems is good for Red Hat.

Originally, Red Hat Linux was free. The company was built on cooperating freely with the communityand
contributing, while earning a reputation that allowed them to sell support, training, etc. Working with the CentOS community is classic Red Hat, that's the kind of thinking that once made Red Hat THE Linux distribution and the #3 operating system behind Windows and Mac.

Meh.. Windows Server, RHEL... who wants an OS. The VM infrastructure below, the storage, the network, and the software stacks running on top are more lucrative. In the datacenter, the OS layer is past its prime. I mean it's practically one step away from being a tab in vmware. The OS layer should have performance metrics and instrumentation that surpass the virtualization layer below it, they should be transparent, and Linux is making headway there, so it's hard to see a bright future for it.

Puppet & similar products are where the action is at, because even with the OS out of the way you have fidgity apps to beat into submission =D

Re:mindshare vs. Oracle, Canonical, Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894949)

and Linux is making headway there

Intended to be "not making headway"

Of course if someone thinks it is you're welcome to read it anyway you want and pass what you're smoking.

Re:Odd... (-1, Troll)

BradMajors (995624) | about a year ago | (#45893915)

I understand GPL allowing CentOS and Scientific Linux to use Redhat in their respective products, but I find it really puzzling that they would actively *help* CentOS... Doesn't make a lot of sense to me...

By "help" they mean "control".

Re:Odd... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45893937)

Closer ties prevents Oracle from "helping" CentOS instead.

Re:Odd... (1)

PAjamian (679137) | about a year ago | (#45895331)

I honestly don't think that was ever a concern. The CentOS community tends to have a dislike for Oracle almost as much as RedHat does.

Re:Odd... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#45894061)

More people using CentOS means more potential RedHat clients, specially if you grow enough to need serious support. If well understand that they can't be responsible for what the CentOS devels does with their distro, still would increase even more their client base to give support to CentOS servers too.

Re:Odd... (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#45894463)

I understand GPL allowing CentOS and Scientific Linux to use Redhat in their respective products, but I find it really puzzling that they would actively *help* CentOS... Doesn't make a lot of sense to me...

Didn't this use to be the norm?
A paid distro, with full support and a community distro side by side?
Suse Linux and Opensuse?
Red Hat and Fedora?

Re:Odd... (1)

grcumb (781340) | about a year ago | (#45894749)

I understand GPL allowing CentOS and Scientific Linux to use Redhat in their respective products, but I find it really puzzling that they would actively *help* CentOS... Doesn't make a lot of sense to me...

Well, as the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

RedHat gains in a number of ways:

  • - Build adherence to the RPM/YUM ecosystem of Linux distros (as opposed to DEB-based distros);
  • - Ensure that CentOS doesn't drift too far from the mothership, making CentOS a 'gateway drug', as it were, to RedHat;
  • - Major karma bump among sysadmins and other professionals (valuable when planning discussions are happening and IT gets a voice);
  • - Experiment and potentially learn a lot of important lessons without sullying the RedHat brand.

Server OS without the support contract (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45893667)

Sometimes you're really only interested in getting it to work, not keeping it running. Or maybe it's your job to keep it running. If you have other needs, say, science needs, the "free" part is a lucrative proposition when you factor in overhead margin.

Re:Server OS without the support contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894579)

If RHCEs are cleared to work on CentOS systems, RH still gets the training and certification contracts. It's still a revenue channel and keeps people up to date with their product.

sick fucking joke is sick (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45893679)

turning red hat into fedora was bad enough.
killing centos is just sad.
centos sold themselves like h0rz

We're moving everything to Centos.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45893683)

...and dumping all of our Redhat licenses. There's no need to pay Redhat thousands of dollars when Centos is the same thing. We already have a mix of Centos and Redhat and the Redhat licenses don't give us anything.

Re:We're moving everything to Centos.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45893819)

...and dumping all of our Redhat licenses. There's no need to pay Redhat thousands of dollars when Centos is the same thing. We already have a mix of Centos and Redhat and the Redhat licenses don't give us anything.

I'm very glad and happy for you that you figured that out. Welcome to 2005. Trust me, it will be a good year for you. I'd hold off on buying that house, though, if I were you...

Re:We're moving everything to Centos.... (4, Insightful)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about a year ago | (#45894045)

Red Hat support can be worth it when you don't want to scour the internet for a solution to changes made between RHEL5 and 6 for example - and just asking a Red Hat tech support guy will be a lot quicker. Some organisations see value in that, aside from the obligatory "point of blame" when things go wrong. Solving problems quickly saves time AND money in various business scenarios, where downtime equals lost profits. YMMV however.

Some info on the finer points of using RedHat simply aren't available on-line, much less will you have anyone to chat with you about them if you are scouring blogs.

Furthermore, RedHat support is actually good, compared to say, Oracle... who despite their thinly veiled attempts to try and eat RedHat's lunch and cut their grass, have pretty horrid support all around. I know orgs that run Oracle applications on RedHat just for RedHat support (despite Oracle's attempts to hijack their own customers on RedHat in an attempt to move them to Oracle Linux)

In addition RedHat does the lion's share of development for the Linux kernel, and other companies with distros that leech from RedHat would likely know less about the dev and design decisions in their own distros that they claim to support.

Yes, it's worth it (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894231)

I have had occasion to run into a kernel bug (back when AMD64 was still a new adventure) and, due to being at a large organization that regularly paid Red Hat various sums of cash, was put in direct contact with high level support. I provided them with my analysis of what was apparently going wrong and a C program to reproduce the failure in a short time (otherwise it would only occur naturally after a system had been running jobs for several weeks to months). Within a day or two they sent back a custom patched kernel that fixed the issue, and later rolled that fix out generally in the next update release (though, admittedly, that second part took quite some time). I might be a competent programmer but diagnosing and fixing a fundamental problem in the kernel and then being on the hook if it has undesirable side-effects isn't something I'd want to do myself, nor could I expect such a rapid answer from the community for what was basically a small corner-case problem, but one that was affecting our business. Having the support is what made the difference.
Of course, for many cases, self support and community support can be good enough, but all it takes is one major issue where you can't solve the problem and you're losing revenue and reputation, and all the sudden that "expensive" support starts to look really cheap in comparison.

And I also agree, stay far far away from Oracle Linux if at all possible (heck stay away from Oracle altogether if you can, but that's frequently impractical).

Re:Yes, it's worth it (2)

AdamWill (604569) | about a year ago | (#45894829)

"Within a day or two they sent back a custom patched kernel that fixed the issue, and later rolled that fix out generally in the next update release (though, admittedly, that second part took quite some time)"

There are, as you can probably imagine, a hell of a lot of hoops a patch has to jump through before it lands in a stable RHEL kernel update =)

Re:We're moving everything to Centos.... (2)

walterbyrd (182728) | about a year ago | (#45894005)

Did that where I used to work also.

Used Redhat at first, because Redhat support helped get everything set up and working. Once everything was working, they started phasing in CentOS.

Re:We're moving everything to Centos.... (3, Insightful)

ancientt (569920) | about a year ago | (#45894243)

The advantage of RHEL is being able to call somebody when you have a problem that you can't resolve by reading or need to resolve faster than you can on your own. RHEL generally has patches and improvements quicker than CentOS does which is important if you're running a heavily used server exposed to the internet.

I've been quite happy with CentOS and use it in the majority of systems that I set up. However, if I need somebody to call when it crashes and the boss is standing in my doorway demanding to know what I'm doing about a problem, I want to be able to make that all important call to the experts. I have made that call once or twice and I was quite happy in feeling like my company's money was being well spent when I did.

Re:We're moving everything to Centos.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894355)

We're moving everything to Redhat. ...and dumping three quarters of our admins. There's no need to pay a bunch of linux administrators tens of thousands of dollars plus benefits every year when Redhat offers the same thing as a service for a fraction of the price. We already have a mix of Centos and Redhat admins and the Centos people don't give us anything.

If it means faster CentOS development, good (2)

imac.usr (58845) | about a year ago | (#45893777)

CentOS 6 was delayed quite a bit from the corresponding RHEL release, for a variety of reasons. If being an unofficial-official Red Hat project means that CentOS 7 tracks the upcoming RHEL 7 release better, then everybody wins. (Conversely, if they turn into Sunacle, then we're likely moving to Debian.)

Re:If it means faster CentOS development, good (2)

robmv (855035) | about a year ago | (#45893957)

Hopefully, from the FAQ [redhat.com]

Will this new relationship change the way CentOS obtains Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code?

Yes. Going forward, the source code repository at git.centos.org will replace and obsolete the Red Hat Enterprise Linux source rpms on ftp.redhat.com. Git provides an attractive alternative to ftp because it saves time, reduces human error, and makes it easier for CentOS users to collaborate on and build their own distributions, including those of SIGs.

Re:If it means faster CentOS development, good (4, Interesting)

deconfliction (3458895) | about a year ago | (#45893969)

you know, in some sense you just convinced me that the CentOS 6 debacle could well have been the motivating factor here. Basically RH was cheapskately depending on CentOS for it's overall business strategy (same way microsoft turned a blind eye to piracy in China), and CentOS basically retaliated by being unable or unwilling to invest energy to get the early v6 releases done anywhere near in time to the corresponding RH releases. And thusly, RH now has to respond by actually ponying up the effort to keep the CentOS community more viable. I.e. the quicker they can get people on CentOS-7, the quicker they can cash in on the substantial percentage of those that eventually want the RHEL7 support level. For this and other good reasons mentioned in the comments, I wonder why I'm still so shocked by this move... I guess it's like the end of cannabis prohibition. Something so blazingly obviously ignored for so long, that when people finally get around to doing the obvious right thing, it's - breathtaking. Sad, but true.

Re:If it means faster CentOS development, good (3, Informative)

BradMajors (995624) | about a year ago | (#45894063)

Redhat does not want CentOS to quickly produce compatible releases, doing so would encourage people to use CentOS rather than buying Redhat.

The CentOS 6 debacle was at least partly caused by:

1) Redhat not making publicly available some information regarding rebuilding the sources.
2) CentOS being a closed development group that refuses to accept any help from outsiders. Scientific Linux is another clone of Redhat that was able release their version of Redhat 6 much faster.

Are they moving actual open community development? (1)

joel48 (103238) | about a year ago | (#45893803)

As part of this though, are they going to be moving to an actual open and inclusion development process for CentOS?

Re:Are they moving actual open community developme (3, Informative)

robmv (855035) | about a year ago | (#45893943)

It looks like yes, from the FAQ [redhat.com]

Red Hat has worked with the CentOS Project to establish a merit-based open governance model for the CentOS Project, allowing for greater contribution and participation through increased transparency and access.

Re:Are they moving actual open community developme (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45895323)

The FAQ also admits that Red Hat will now owns a majority of the board members, and the board can only take new members via a majority of the board agreeing.

It's a takeover.

Re:Are they moving actual open community developme (1)

turbidostato (878842) | about a year ago | (#45894115)

"As part of this though, are they going to be moving to an actual open and inclusion development process for CentOS?"

No. They get supermajority in the governing board. Red Hat controls the show from now on:
* Ralph Angenent - ???
* Tru Hyunh - ???
* Johnny Hughes Jr - redhat
* Jim Perrin - redhat
* Karanbir Singh - redhat
* Fabian Arrotin - redhat
* Carl Trieloff - redhat
* Karsten Wade - redhat
* Mike McLean - redhat

Quite a clever move. With Fedora they got community approval and support for their betatesting process; with this, they will make possible a flourishing enterprisey open source ecosystem that is menacing going Ubuntu (they hope that, say, the next OpenStack will be "natively" developed on Red Hat). And, of course, they gain traction to be translated into lock in against Oracle and Debian derivatives.

Re:Are they moving actual open community developme (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45895429)

It's nice to see that Red Hat continues their lengthy streak of hiring assholes by hiring Johnny Hughes.

I can tell you why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45893855)

I bet they have new customers coming in that started with CentOS. This will give them a little more control over the numbers and I bet it wont be long that a nice red hat rep will contact you after you download and install CentOS. This is a lead generating gold mine for them.

This is more about Oracle Linux (4, Interesting)

waffle zero (322430) | about a year ago | (#45894021)

To understand this, you have to understand the relationship Red Hat Enterprise Linux has with recompile derivatives. While the compiled RPMs for RHEL cost money and are not redistributable without a license, the source RPMs are nearly all open source. Anyone with a RHEL license can download the RHEL SRPMs and do a recompile. This was great for people who want a RHEL-alike without paying for licenses and CentOS (and then Scientific Linux) came into existence. Red Hat was pleased with this because it gave a cheap way for enterprise customers to try RHEL and eventually become customers who pay for licenses/support.

Then came Oracle Linux who did the exact same thing as CentOS and Scientific Linux, but started charging for licenses and support outside of Red Hat's control. Red Hat wasn't pleased so they started packaging their SRPMs so instead of them containing upstream tarball with RH patch files, they would ship tarballs only or mega huge patch files without comments pointing to the relevent Red Hat bugzilla bug. This made it harder for Oracle to provide support to their customers, but it also had the effect of causing CentOS to get delayed by a good amount every new RHEL release.

Without a quick turnaround on CentOS releases that match RHEL releases, it threatened to kill their "the first one is free" business model. And it probably caused some customers to switch to cheaper Oracle value-added distributors. So Red Hat's only remaining move is to make a relationship with CentOS official. Presumably most of the relationship with be done in private to keep Oracle from gaining an advantage.

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (3, Interesting)

Tester (591) | about a year ago | (#45894055)

Don't forget Amazon EC2, etc.. Where you can get Ubuntu for cheap or RHEL for more $$ with a subscription, but installing CentOS you have to go through the "Store", I'm sure RedHat would prefer if people installed CentOS instead of Ubuntu..

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894147)

Most of what is in RHEL is GPL or similarly licensed software; Red Hat cannot claim ownership of the RPMs just because they compiled them.

The only thing Red Hat can claim ownership of are any software or other copyrighted/trademarked material they have created and put a restrictive license on. What stands out in that category are the Red Hat artwork and maybe the banners that say "Red Hat Linux".

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (1)

waffle zero (322430) | about a year ago | (#45894283)

They don't claim owership of the compiled RPMs, but they do only distribute them to people who pay for a support contract. And it's well within their rights to terminate a support contract if a compiled RPM is redistributed to someone who isn't a customer.

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about a year ago | (#45894479)

Oracle didn't have much of an advantage to begin with. On a list of companies that develop Linux, they aren't even in the top ten (with Red Hat being #1).

What they've tried to do is build their own "UEK" kernel, and load it as default into what is essentially a whitebox build of RedHat Enterprise Linux.
this UEK kernel contains a bunch of extra goodies (like OCFS2 and ASM, and Ksplice) that assist Oracle database and application stacks to install seamlessly -- if you can call any Oracle Installation "seamless"! -- without having to load in any extra RPMs and manage them.

Oracle used to provide "supported" RPMs to RedHat... but they've since stopped the practice, and are leaning more towards pushing customers to migrate to their Linux distro -- supposedly as an attempt to leech RedHat's support licences.

The only people suffering as a result of this are Oracle's customers, who actually liked Red Hat's support - and are now getting the shaft.... and for what?
So Larry can get some more money to buy a new yacht?

It's a total dick-move.

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (4, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#45894551)

Close, but there are a few important points to add:

First, compiling CentOS 6 wasn't just a matter of re-compiling the SRPM's. The big patches don't make recompiling harder, it makes support harder (which is meant to hurt Oracle, as you said).

What killed the release of CentOS 6 in a timely manner was all the build dependencies. To get an exact binary-compatible RPM for foo.el6 you needed to build it on, say, Fedora 13, with libbar-verisonX.Y.Z.fc13 installed. It wasn't self-hosting or documented how to build el6. Scientific Linux came out much more quickly because they didn't care about binary compatibility.

Why is this important? To validate the security of both RHEL and CentOS. If you can reproduce the binary from source you're an order of magnitude better off than trusting a blob. If you have all the same dependencies as your upstream, you can get third parties to also certify you.

After some initial handwringing about protecting Redhat's interests, CentOS agreed to disclose the build process so others could validate their work. The arguments about how it was going to happen lasted a few months, but came out on the side of openness.

I can't imagine that CentOS will abandon this transparence for el7, because they would lose the community's trust in the code. So the leverage against Oracle has to be something else. There are other ways to marginalize Oracle's offering, and Oracle itself participates in that to a certain degree.

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (1)

waffle zero (322430) | about a year ago | (#45894635)

I guess that by blessing CentOS, it creates much less room for Oracle to position Oracle Linux as a competitor to RHEL. And I do agree with other people that have said the lateness of CentOS created space for companies that sell Ubuntu server support to thrive. Better to have Oracle support companies catch some scraps than Ubuntu to each their lunch.

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#45894577)

So what's to stop Oracle from using CentOS srpms instead?

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (0)

tcn99 (3489841) | about a year ago | (#45894617)

Oracle linux base on CenOS or not? live and game http://tcn99.net/ [tcn99.net]

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (3, Interesting)

waffle zero (322430) | about a year ago | (#45894689)

I guess that by blessing CentOS, more companies will start offering paid CentOS support. This has the benefit of marginalizing Oracle Linux and pushing back against Ubuntu server marketshare growth.

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#45894799)

I guess that by blessing CentOS, more companies will start offering paid CentOS support. This has the benefit of marginalizing Oracle Linux and pushing back against Ubuntu server marketshare growth.

Including RHES too!

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45895305)

Why would they? Do you have any understanding of the relationshipo of CentOS SRPMs to RHEL SRPMs?

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#45895365)

Well its the same OS minus the red hat copyright notices right?

Unless centos will abandon packagekit for its own proprietary one signed ala Windows update style and just point to the tarballs and some patches but not document how it works perhaps?

Re:This is more about Oracle Linux (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894815)

You're imagining connections that aren't there. CentOS had an internal political problem, including GPG key owners and source control repository owners, who went offline and were not responsive to requests. With their small, closed group of maintainers, and with Karanbir Singh being the only one who shows up on the mailing list, well, it was late because they didn't ask for, and actively refused, the help of dozens of competent people who offered to help but couldn't even get one word about the CentOS build system layout to try and test things themselves.

The result is that CentOS is missing a great deal of useful community support.

Will RedHat soften its contract stance? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894265)

At some customer sites, I've hear Red Hat has put in clauses forbidding the customer to run CentOS. The clause does not apply to other Linux variants.

Anyone else heard of this? And if it's true, will Red Hat now be softening this stance?

Re:Will RedHat soften its contract stance? (4, Interesting)

waffle zero (322430) | about a year ago | (#45894331)

The clause prevents you from installing a bunch of CentOS servers, paying for one RHEL license and then updating the CentOS with the RHEL repository RPMs (or private repository mirror). You're more than welcome to pay for a RHEL license for one server and update it with the RHEL repository RPMs and then have a farm of CentOS that you update with the CentOS repository RPMs. Other things that are OK: paying for one RHEL to have access to the Red Hat knowledge base and using that information to support your CentOS installs (with CentOS RPMs).

Re:Will RedHat soften its contract stance? (0)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45895293)

Thank you. You have reassured me that sanity prevails. I can see why paying for one RHEL license and then surreptitiously using it to support 1000 CentOS installations is stealing plain and simple.

Red Hat would have a tough time telling you what OTHER operating systems you can and can't use, though - as OP implied.

Slackware will prevail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894267)

No matter how hard they try, the grandaddy of all distros will always be Slackware.

Re:Slackware will prevail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894821)

Sure, if you want a garbage OS with a lot of manual labor, as even the package manager does not do dependency resolving.

I thought they were 24/7 working on CENTOS??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894445)

My understanding is that CentOS-6.4 is 99.93% RHeL-6.4 the .017% being differences in
branding packages and a handful closed-source proprietary 3rd-party packages nobody
ever missed. In my days I have __rarely__ seen a RHEL system and the handfulI I did see had
their support run out and never renewed. Everywhere I've been everybody uses CentOS and we're not talking
startups but big established players. I seriously wonder how RH manages to stay afloat
they must have some pretty big government contracts they're making the Fortune-10 pay out of their
asses, because the money is not rolling in even at the F500 level.

Crap crap crap crap damn (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about a year ago | (#45894557)

I don't want CentOS to be eaten and then shat out by Red Hat. I see no long term upside to this. Here is my "Mark these words": Within 5 years CentOS will solely exist as a marketing platform for Red Hat or it will be dead.

Red Hat has piles of cash, CentOS (at best) has piles of pennies. This is not a relationship of equals. I not only use CentOS because it is free but because I don't like the flavor of Red Hat; to me it is the most MS of Linux with Ubuntu a far distant second.

When Oracle snagged MySQL they swore on a stack of bibles that it would be left alone. Yet everyone is now switching to MariaDB, and I suspect that Oracle could make a solid argument that they have been kind to MySQL; the sort of argument that wins high school debating contests but is still a load of crap.

Makes perfect sense (4, Informative)

mlwmohawk (801821) | about a year ago | (#45894587)

Its actually about time. We old timers remember when RedHat was free and support was the money maker for RedHat. Then they split to RHEL and Fedora, that was bad and caused a lot of initial distrust of RedHat. Fortunately, RedHat didn't screw everyone and is doing largely the right thing.

The problem with the RHEL/Fedora split was it made two different strategies. If it were not for CentOS, RHEL may have lost a lot of business. Now that Oracle wants to steal RedHat business, keeping CentOS viable keeps the mind-share of people who neither need nor want support using the equivalent of RHEL while RedHat keeps its customers.

Will CentOS Continue to be a clone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894611)

The big selling point of CentOS was that it was a free CLONE of RHEL. With the talk of "innovation", does this mean that these two distros will deviate and undermine this advantage?

Should have picked Scientific Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45894713)

Scientific Linux does a similar integration job, but adds a few critical tools that Red Hat refuses to include as part of their core distribution. These include the "epel-release" yum configuraitons, the "atrpms" repository for acess to the "libdvdcss" library for encoding or decoding DVD's, the "rpmfusion" repo that contains MPEG libraries, and several others. Such repositories are what make RHEL and CentOS *useful* when you need freeware components such as these and you live in a country where they are legal to download. Red Hat, and thus CentOS, won't ever include hooks to these repositories, not even EPEL. If you want to use Red Hat or CentOS for DVD viewing while you're at home, don't bother. Install Scientific Linux and get the "yum-conf-atrpme" package to set up access to the DVD libraries, and "yum-conf-epel" to set up EPEL, etc., etc., etc.

And frankly, the CentOS user group has been getting a bit fussy. Scientific Linux mailing lists have been very helpful, and even developers like Dag Wiers (the creator of RPMforge) has tossed in the towel on CentOS.

Re:Should have picked Scientific Linux (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45895275)

Color me baffled. It is ridiculously simple to add EPEL and the other add-on repos to CentOS. I do it exactly the same way on CentOS as on Scientific Linux (and PUIAS, etc): "yum localinstall "http://blah/blah". You are on your own with any of these third party repos on any of these distros. As for atrpms: [shudder].

Preposterous headline (0)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#45895105)

The headline is absolutely preposterous, based on utter ignorance. There IS NO CentOS "development" to "help". None. Nada. CentOS simply nabs RHEL source code, debrands it but leaves it otherwise verbatim, and recompiles it into packages with the exact same name and content. Period. It is an excellent way to get an easy to install functional 100% clone of RHEL, and updates, for zero cost, but minus the formal paid support. That is all it ever claimed to be.

One does have to wonder what is ACTUALLY going on here. Presumably Red Hat wants to harness somehow all the energy around CentOS. One suspects the installed CentOS base is vastly larger than the RHEL installed base, and there is a whole lot of energy in unpaid peer support. Presumably Red Hat is eyeing that energy enviously. For CentOS' part, it is much less clear what they gain. Possibly Red Hat gave them an ultimatum, implying or spelling out that they could make their life a living hell, by making it very hard to recompile the source, perhaps as simply as threatening to contaminate the source so thoroughly with Red Hat branding that it would be impractical to "clean" it.

This is all guesswork, but it at least makes some degree of sense as a possibility. Officially, there is absolutely no hint what the motivation is on either side.

Likely the guys at Scientific Linux and the other RHEL clones, the ones that apparently won't be under this new golden umbrella, will have some ideas of substance about what is going on.

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