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Red Hat Nears $1 Billion In Revenues, Closing Door On Clones

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the playing-within-the-rules dept.

Linux Business 201

darthcamaro writes "Red Hat is almost at its goal of being the first pure-play open source vendor to hit $1 billion in Revenues. Red Hat reported its fiscal 2011 revenues this week which hit $909 million. Going forward, Red Hat has already taken steps to protect its business by changing the way it packages the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 kernel, making it harder for Oracle to clone. 'We are the top commercial contributor to most of the components of the Linux kernel and we think we have a lot of value and we want to make sure that, that value is recognized,' Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said. 'In terms of competition, I don't think we necessarily saw anything different from before but I'd say better to close the barn door before the horses leave than afterwards.'"

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Here goes last supporter of open-source (-1, Troll)

slashcomma3 (2025464) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606356)

Money ruins everything. Trust me. Here [blog.com] a better explanation why Redhat move is really bad.

Re:Here goes last supporter of open-source (0, Troll)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606392)

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even in open source.

Re:Here goes last supporter of open-source (2, Informative)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606460)

Had you clicked on the link, you would know the GP is a troll who has been posting goatse links on throwaway accounts.

UID over 2 million + link to blog.com = troll.

Re:Here goes last supporter of open-source (1)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606494)

I rest my case.

Re:Here goes last supporter of open-source (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607796)

Fuck. I did click. Now I know. I hope the bastard rots in hell.

Re:Here goes last supporter of open-source (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607900)

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even in open source.

Power corrupts, and absolute power is kind of interesting. John Lehman

Re:Here goes last supporter of open-source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35606408)

Have you tried following that link yourself? Thanks for the goatse...

Re:Here goes last supporter of open-source (1)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606436)

...is it bad that seeing a goatse makes me wax nostalgic?

Re:Here goes last supporter of open-source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35606592)

Makes me wax the ol' cornhole.

Re:Here goes last supporter of open-source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35606422)

damn it, I clicked the link!

Re:Here goes last supporter of open-source (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606434)

Goatse, again.

Man, you are hilarious. No one in history has ever done that before. And you've created a couple accounts today just for that. When you look back on your life, I'm sure you'll feel content and fulfilled.

Re:Here goes last supporter of open-source (-1, Offtopic)

Wingman 5 (551897) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606484)

Excellent Troll good sir. I I tip my hat to you.

Oh no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35606386)

What does this mean for CentOS

Re:Oh no... (4, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606406)

CentOS is fine, because they're a 100% clone of Red Hat. Red Hat is putting their kernel patches together instead of separate. If you wanted to pick and choose which ones you used and make something different, it would be *slightly* more difficult. But considerate the last release was broken out. You know what they were starting with. Take a diff of the new patchset against the old one, and you should have an idea of what they've changed or added.

Clones around, it's "enhanced clones" with trouble (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35606394)

CentOS and Scientific Linux are still workable, it's the "enhanced clones" like Oracle and Novell that are cherrypicking RHEL's best customers and not giving back to the open source community with development in open source filesystems, X, authentication, and genuine hardware support that are messing up the business.

It's just too bad CentOS has lost its way with one of its developers, Johnny Hughes, telling people to not let the door hit them in the ass on the way out if they don't like how late everything is and then ignoring attempts to help. I just switched to Scientific Linux and and am quite happy.

Re:Clones around, it's "enhanced clones" with trou (2, Informative)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606632)

I'm confused. How on earth do you think Novell is cloning RHEL? They are a significant contributer to linux, 3rd from the top [networkworld.com] , and non-trivial user ecosystem (they supplied the devs who got alot of the new AMD graphics stuff going, as I recall.) Big contributers to KDE and libre office. If they contribute less then redhat, that would only be because they have less staff (I think... at least the suse part of them does, for sure).

Suse is as different from RHEL as debian is. Yes, they both use rpms. That's about it.

Re:Clones around, it's "enhanced clones" with trou (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607098)

Take a look at Novell's "RHEL support" offering. It's turned out to be complete crap, repackaging RHEL packages and alleging to offer one-stop support for SuSE customers, and blaming any problems on RHEL to convince customers to switch to SuSE.

http://www.novell.com/promo/suse/free-30days-expanded-support.html

It's complete bait and switch.

Re:Clones around, it's "enhanced clones" with trou (3, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607102)

oracle is funding btrfs development.

Re:Clones around, it's "enhanced clones" with trou (2)

judeancodersfront (1760122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35608476)

shhhhhhh you'll mess with slashdot group think

BUT INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREEEEE. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607192)

It was just a month ago that FBI proved they had 10-years worth of Backdoors in Theo De Raadt's BSD operating system without his knowledge. RedHat has something to hide. Oracle runs Mexico's National Bio-Database and Identification-card System just short of a recent upgrade to a chip in everybody's hand.

RedHat has soemthing to hide, because Oracle is much more honest to everyone about the sinister business of Oracle clients.

Re:BUT INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREEEEE. (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607500)

Proved? One person suggested it, no one else verified. RH also still distributes all of their source.

Re:BUT INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREEEEE. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607580)

It was just a month ago that FBI proved they had 10-years worth of Backdoors in Theo De Raadt's BSD operating system without his knowledge.

Actually, an audit was done [arstechnica.com] , and the opposite was proven - that there are no secret backdoors. I hope that doesn't strain your reality too much. OpenBSD is still the supreme overlord of security, even from the over-zealous security crowd.

Re:BUT INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREEEEE. (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35608160)

I seem to recall seeing a statement by Theo himself who basically said that it was true that said government contractor had been hired and paid to write some stuff for OpenBSD some years ago but the code they handed over was never actually used because it was of such poor quality. Nobody even noticed it was loaded up with backdoors on its way to the trash can.

Re:Clones around, it's "enhanced clones" with trou (4, Interesting)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607214)

I'm really surprised that this comment was modded up. Oracle is responsible for btrfs (negating the "filesystems" argument), Novell was the catalyst for the modern linux composited desktop with compiz/Xgl (negating the X argument), and if I thought about it for more than 10 seconds, I'm sure I could come up with a shitload of other examples where these two companies that you've "cherrypicked" have been a driving force for good in the linux world. I do agree with your sentiment but, you sound bitter for these companies not having contributed to technologies that you don't realise you are using. But, most likely, the have. And in a big way. I'm all for hating companies like Oracle but, hate them for the right reasons.

Re:Clones around, it's "enhanced clones" with trou (2)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 3 years ago | (#35608014)

I installed Oracle Linux 6 this week to test. Besides the blinding red color of everything, I was a bit annoyed to see how many times I saw the word "RedHat" in the installer and the boot process.. I mean, if your going to rebrand it, then freaking re-brand it!

Re:Clones around, it's "enhanced clones" with trou (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607460)

- centos is great but horribly late, I don't find SL as polished (and there is still no RHEL 5.6 clone for SL yet either)

- centos make significant ad revenue (and I am sure if they got the cash donation program up and running again then they would gain good revenue from this as well)

- there should be enough cash to get some elements of packaging and qa testing offshored, heck I am sure some large indian companies would do it really cheaply as a "sponsor" type marketing exercise.

Loosing userbase is not what it is all about - if anything centos provides a pipeline for future RHEL users.

Oracle? Well, ya don't say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607800)

and not giving back to the open source community with development

I thought you were talking about Ubuntu.

Re:Clones around, it's "enhanced clones" with trou (2)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#35608012)

The one that interests me the most (because it impacts me most directly) is XenServer. It's supposedly based on RedHat as well, and they do a degree of kernel hackery to get all their Xenery to work. I'd be curious to see where that will go, given that XenServer development isn't exactly what you'd call cutting-edge in many regards: Citrix seems to just cut and release, with little regard for many important things like documentation being up to date or full hardware support.

What about CentOS? (2)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606396)

Will I still be able to get the clone in the form of CentOS? I use CentOS a lot in our development environment and less critical infrastructure, just to make sure that I'll be able to upgrade it to RHEL if the system requires more professional support.

Re:What about CentOS? (5, Informative)

MrClever (70766) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606498)

Under the GPL, my understanding is that RedHat need to make the source code available. This then allows CentOS to grab the source (RPMs) and re-badge/recompile it into a new distribution. So I don't think this distro is going away any time soon.

Re:What about CentOS? (3, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606504)

Straight clones should still be possible as long as redhat complies with the GPL, the main things their changes to kernel packaging will do it

1: make it harder for unrelated distros (e.g. debian) to pigyback of redhats long term support work for kernel releases
2: make it harder for anyone else to provide high quality support for redhats patched kernels by making it much harder for them to answer the question when something goes wrong of "what did redhat change and why".

Re:What about CentOS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35606534)

In other words obfuscate what you changed in the source by making all the changes that you did be one big patch. It may make it more difficult, but you can still figure out the changes that were made. Automated tools can be made that break apart the huge patch file and slowly apply each mini patch one at a time to see what breaks. But it'll still be harder then what it was before.

Re:What about CentOS? (4, Informative)

doomy (7461) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607400)

Straight clones should still be possible as long as redhat complies with the GPL, the main things their changes to kernel packaging will do it

1: make it harder for unrelated distros (e.g. debian) to pigyback of redhats long term support work for kernel releases 2: make it harder for anyone else to provide high quality support for redhats patched kernels by making it much harder for them to answer the question when something goes wrong of "what did redhat change and why".

Debian does not use Redhat kernels. Two different distributions, packing systems and philosophies.

Re:What about CentOS? (1)

rajafarian (49150) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607442)

Holy stuff, you have a very low /. ID number!

I switched to Debian from Red Hat way back when Red Hat started going commercial. I send them a check every once in a while. Debian and the packaging are sublime compared to my experience with RPMs. I assume file dependency hell has been fixed. I still get newbies going on Kubuntu, though...

Re:What about CentOS? (2)

rk (6314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35608480)

Holy stuff, you have a very low /. ID number!

Does he? I hadn't noticed. ;-)

Re:What about CentOS? (5, Informative)

F.Ultra (1673484) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606524)

It means exactly nothing for CentOS. CentOS clones the RH kernel 100% anyways and is not interested in the individual patches. This is only to stop Oracle from selling support contracts for Red Hat installations. So it has exactly nothing to do with cloning and everything to do with support (in order to support RH systems, Oracle would need to know which patches RH has and more importantly: why).

CentOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35606402)

What does this mean, if anything, for my personal favorite disto, CentOS.

Re:CentOS (1)

angus77 (1520151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607882)

The CentOS people themselves have stated that it won't affect them at all.

Well that's ominous (4, Interesting)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606528)

TFA doesn't specify what this actually means, so let me speculate. They're not going to go closed-source; they'd be lynched. I think this is a reference to the fact that they're distributing their source prepatched now, to make it harder to just take their patches and apply them to other distros.

IMO that's kind of sleazy. They got where they are standing on the shoulders of giants. The deal was: here, have this free stuff, build on it, make money with it, but you have to keep giving back. And they got their value out of it, but now they're trying to give back only the minimum they're contractually obligated to do. It's legal and not purely evil, but still moderately scummy.

I don't really see it being that good for them, either. Oracle isn't going to have much trouble reverse-engineering the patches back out, but RedHat now ends up in a more difficult position: fewer of their patches will be incorporated upstream, so they have to spend more work porting them into each new release; they'll have less community review and bugfixes in their patches; and they're going to alienate the community.

On the other hand RH users won't end up in the worst scenario: stuck using RH's buggy crap and unable to do anything about it. The source will still be there; they can still dive in to figure out what's wrong and fix it instead of dealing with a black box. I know I had to more than a few times when supporting RHEL systems.

Re:Well that's ominous (5, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606648)

RedHat employs Kernel devs, their patches go directly into upstream. This is for patches that will never make it into upstream for that kernel. Basically all the stuff RedHat backports to the old crusty kernels they use.

Re:Well that's ominous (5, Insightful)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606684)

As far as I can tell RH does give back. They give back a lot. And it must get kind'of annoying for them that other companies - some of whom give back nothing - copy RH Linux and significantly undermine RH's ability to earn revenue from their distro.

There are tons of companies out there that violate the GPL, give nothing back, or even actively undermine open source. I would suggest that your disapproval is better directed at them.

Re:Well that's ominous (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607702)

it must get kind'of annoying for them that other companies - some of whom give back nothing - copy RH Linux and significantly undermine RH's ability to earn revenue from their distro.

But never forget that the vast majority of what Red Hat packages was created for free by others. Yes, Red Hat pays the most open source developers of any company with the possible exception of IBM, but that still amounts to just a small fraction of what they bundle up and sell as theirs.

To be clear, I have absolutely no problem with Red Hat bundling up tons of free software and selling support for it. I do have a problem with Red Hat whining and playing sneaky tricks with source distribution, just because somebody else turned around and did the same thing. Red Hat sells support, not software, they would do well to remember that.

RH is neither all good nor all bad - examples (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607744)

Yes, RH currently contributes quite a bit. This is good.

But, RH has a history of really stupid stuff:

Shipping gcc cvs head as the next stable version, so they could be, "first to market". This broke things for their users (couldn't compile a kernel for example [hmmm QA much RH?]. Worse, their users misdirected their anger at the gcc devs. Finally gcc just skipped this release version so there would be no more confusion.

Refusing to incorporate patches for RieserFS that Hans Rieser, himself tried to get them to accept. The issue was just that their customers were risking _losing all their data_!

Modifying KDE to get it to fit better with their distro, and breaking it [again, where is the QA?]. RH users again misdirected their anger at the KDE team, who stepped up, and fixed RH's mess.

RH years ago, bought some X servers for hardware that wasn't supported in xfree86. They, initially, kept it closed, as a value add for their distribution, rather than contributing it back. Yup, they are a for profit, but, at the time, RH didn't really contribute much back.

RH also seems to live by the motto not invented here. Great stuff from other distros (mainly Debian), they refuse to incorporate, and usually end up with something moderately to very inferior for more effort.

  RH requires a ridiculous support contract for access to patches.

Finally, RH has only 4.8% of the packages Debian has, in a comparison of official stable repositories-- This was RH vs Debian Etch, so comparable vintage. I don't have anything newer RH around to repeat the test with, doubt it is much different, though.

up2date --show-available | wc -l
1125

apt-cache search '.*' | wc -l
23310

  echo 1125/23310 | bc -l .04826254826254826254

So, RH is only 4.8% the distribution that Debian is

Re:Well that's ominous (2)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 3 years ago | (#35606708)

fewer of their patches will be incorporated upstream

Red Hat already submits all their stuff to mainline. They do it themselves, and they do it in advance, before they incorporate it to their product. How they pack their .SRPMs does not affect to how they upstream their code.

Oracle isn't going to have much trouble reverse-engineering the patches back out,

I doubt it.

Re:Well that's ominous (5, Informative)

kmdrtako (1971832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35606754)

...fewer of their patches will be incorporated upstream, so they have to spend more work porting them into each new release; they'll have less community review and bugfixes in their patches; and they're going to alienate the community.

I guess it's not well known, even though it's not a secret. Red Hat pushes their fixes upstream first. After, and only after, they are accepted upstream are they then incorporated into the RHEL kernel.

Re:Well that's ominous (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607532)

That's a good point. And a lot of their work is in backporting new features into old kernels, to which my criticism is less valid.

Re:Well that's ominous (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35606890)

I don't really see it being that good for them, either. Oracle isn't going to have much trouble reverse-engineering the patches back out, but RedHat now ends up in a more difficult position: fewer of their patches will be incorporated upstream, so they have to spend more work porting them into each new release; they'll have less community review and bugfixes in their patches; and they're going to alienate the community.

I very much doubt Red Hat has any plans to change the way they work on the kernel master branch. This seems to be about their cherrypicking and backporting of patches to RHEL kernels. They want other distros - particularly Oracle it seems - to either do that work themselves or admit they are just rebranding Red Hat's work. For example in that big mega-patch they can simply add a few whitespace changes, if the same changes show up in Unbreakable Linux you know they started with the Red Hat kernel and worked from there. To be honest, I'm somewhat ambivalent about the whole thing. Making it a bit harder to cooperate is bad but making sure credit goes where credit is due is important so that people do the "invisible" work too.

Scummy is taking without giving back (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35606942)

If you want scummy, look to companies like Oracle which just take, repackage, and rarely give back. They're the real problem, not RedHat.

RedHat's patches still get submitted upstream for inclusion in the main kernel, which very often does happen.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for leeches that were taking RedHat patches and rolling their own distributions without contributing enough back on their own.

I fail to see how this affects seperate distros like Debian, which aren't based on RedHat-patched source in the first place.

Re:Scummy is taking without giving back (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607560)

I actually don't have a problem with that. RedHat does not have an exclusive right as a distributor. My personal belief is that if the world gets better use of the software by distributing it more in this manner, that net good is being done.

The GPL ethos is you sell support, not software. The playing field is supposed to be level for the software, and you make a name by being the best at support. What RH is doing here is pushing for the software itself to be the feature they're selling, and that's going to rub a lot of people the wrong way - it wasn't the deal intended when they GPLed their code.

Re:Scummy is taking without giving back (0)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607722)

If you want scummy, look to companies like Oracle which just take, repackage, and rarely give back. They're the real problem, not RedHat.

Oracle may be scummy, but that is not the reason. Oracle actually backs a pretty impressive range of open source project, among them Btrfs and OCFS2.

Red Hat Did 12.8% of the 2.6.20 Kernel (4, Informative)

seifried (12921) | more than 3 years ago | (#35606976)

http://lwn.net/Articles/222773/ [lwn.net] . Red Hat plays very well with others. Part of the problem is the logistics, with Git and new Kernel development you're looking at literally thousands of source code patches (which would make for a completely unwieldy SPEC file) because Red Hat back ports stuff to keep a stable Kernel in the Enterprise Linux..

Re:Well that's ominous (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607270)

can hardly agree more.
but i also fear that open source success is going toward this kind of crap: make it hard to get the source / changes properly, inserting as many BSD-licensed-and-don't-give-anything-back code etc etc. Not counting all the lets-use-GPL-closed-source-its-unlikely-we-get sued (RedHat of course will never do that, but SO many small companies do)

Oh well, human nature & stuff.

Re:Well that's ominous (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607786)

TFA doesn't specify what this actually means, so let me speculate. They're not going to go closed-source; they'd be lynched. I think this is a reference to the fact that they're distributing their source prepatched now, to make it harder to just take their patches and apply them to other distros.

One problem I see with this is that current installations of RHEL have to be patched too. Businesses relying on RHEL who can't get patches will possibly switch. If Red Hat wants to grow more it can't treat it's customers like MS does, like shit.

Falcon

Re:Well that's ominous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607968)

It just screams "we don't get it". They're getting annoyed by others using their work freely, but not recognizing that RH was built on other people's work. It doesn't matter who's work it is, what matters is the community of people working together to the same ends. This improves the entire eco system. If RH starts moving in their own direction, they're not being constructive anymore, they've moved into self-destructive mode.

Now if Oracle goes and packages RH source up into their own OS and sells it as "better than RH" they're just going to lose.. unless it's actually better than RH. And who knows? Might it not be useful for Oracle DBMS customers to be talking to DBA support with the same OS running underneath both systems?

Claiming "we're the biggest contributors to Linux" while steering the ship towards a cliff is like Ghadaffi claiming his people all love him. Thankfully the health of Linux isn't in the hands of RH .. just their profits.

CentOS followers: Just switch to Debian (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35606544)

Yep you heard it right. CentOS followers: Just switch to Debian!

Re:CentOS followers: Just switch to Debian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607016)

mod parent as Funny.

Diff? (1)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606552)

Someone educate me: Why are people incapable of running the diff command between Red Hat and the pure kernel sources in order to get just the patches?

Re:Diff? (2)

sirlatrom (1162081) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606602)

Well, that would give you one very large diff and not several specific ones that you could pick and choose between.

Re:Diff? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35606662)

Uhmmm, and doing a quick shell script or even command line to peal this off on individual files and patches? Stick a GUI on things and people get lazy!

Re:Diff? (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35606830)

That only gives you the patch broken up in space, not in time.

The idea is that Red Hat has patches for specific issues that are developed at different points in time. These patches may modify the same files as previous ones, or even the same blocks of code. By having all patches applied at once, the singular diff does not tell you which component of the patch fixed which issue.

This is really only relevant for providing commercial support. Previously, by having patches associated with known issues applied sequentially, it was much easier for another company to say "Oh you're having Issue X? Well Patch Y will fix it." Now their options are to reverse-engineer the monolithic .diff to find the part that fixes a specific issue, or tell their customers they have to apply the entire patch. Again, that's not something you'd care about if you're a desktop end-user, but in a corporate IT environment it makes a difference.

Re:Diff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607430)

This is really only relevant for providing commercial support.

It's also relevant to doing self-support though. I use free software because all vendor lock-in preventing self-support is bad, and RedHat has made a terrible step toward that direction. Corporations like RedHat because they can use them to fix their problems, they can fix them using internal resources, or they can hire consultants to work on them. This change doesn't just make it difficult for Oracle to support RedHat's distribution, it makes it more difficult for customers to be self-sufficient. Particularly given how large the RHEL backports are, I've had to browse which bits got backported before to sort out where a problem came from myself, and now that is more difficult to do. It makes it much less likely that I will recommend people use RHEL or CentOS in the future.

Re:Diff? (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607554)

I somewhat agree. RHEL's pre-patched kernel doesn't affect upstream. If you want upstream patches broken up by time, checkout the kernel from its git repository & browse away... Hint: The commit messages describe what each group of changes addresses.

Of course, I still think its a shitty thing to do. What if Red Hat's upstream (Linux) made it harder for RHEL devs to support their custom selected kernel code... If it Red Hat suddenly couldn't pick and choose which Linux mainline patches to apply to their long-term-support releases because the commit logs were obliterated via rebase, I'm sure everyone would be singing a different toon -- You put the shoe on the other foot and suddenly it's bizzaro land?

It's not like RHEL writes the whole damn distro itself. The least they could do is make it as easy for downstream devs as their upstream makes it for them. To do otherwise, while not illegal, is a major dickhead move which I'll no longer be supporting with my hard earned dollars (or recommending others do either).

Again, that's not something you'd care about if you're a desktop end-user, but in a corporate IT environment it makes a difference.

Way to go RHEL team... Keep pissing people off for the sake of the almighty dollar -- It may come back to bite you in the ass someday...

That only gives you the patch broken up in space, not in time.

The idea is that Red Hat has patches for specific issues that are developed at different points in time. These patches may modify the same files as previous ones, or even the same blocks of code. By having all patches applied at once, the singular diff does not tell you which component of the patch fixed which issue.

This is really only relevant for providing commercial support.

... P.S. I work in the corporate IT environment. We do a lot of our own internal maintenance. We don't upgrade very often, and when we do so the sheer amount of adjustments to changes and testing that must be performed dwarfs the decision of which distro gets chosen as the upgrade target -- Guess which distro (and support contract) won't be on the list come next upgrade? You guessed it: The distro that's actively making it harder for us (downstream) to maintain it ourselves -- RHEL.

Re:Diff? (3, Interesting)

Burdell (228580) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607932)

The only "downstream" of RHEL that is significantly affected is Oracle, a company that rebuilds RHEL, sells it as their own "Unbreakable Linux", and then tells database customers that they really shouldn't run RHEL, they should run Unbreakable instead. A bunch of those customers run Oracle DB on RHEL from when Oracle was a Red Hat partner (before they started trying to poach the big DB customers). Oracle does much less for Linux (and Open Source in general) than Red Hat. Oracle throws a little bit of code over the wall when they have to, while Red Hat has bought other companies closed-source software and Open Sourced it.

I haven't looked yet (because I rarely need to see individual patches; I mostly just care about the end result), but Red Hat has said that customers will have access to the patch information, so cutting Red Hat out because they restrict that would be dumb (since as a customer you'd get it anyway). A lot of work in making the Linux kernel "enterprise-ready" has been (and continues to be) done by Red Hat.

Basically, Red Hat forks the kernel for each major RHEL release and then maintains it on their own. They backport patches from upstream as well as develop patches for their kernel (which they submit upstream). Do you think LibreOffice should be required to distribute every individual patch they've made to OpenOffice, or X.org vs. XFree86?

Re:Diff? (3, Interesting)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35608446)

Red Hat has said that customers will have access to the patch information

So what's to stop Oracle from becoming a customer? :)

Re:Diff? (2)

TheUni (1007895) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606608)

"just the patches" would be nice. But a diff doesn't give you that. It gives you a monolithic patch with no history or context.

Re:Diff? (1)

kmdrtako (1971832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35606784)

As Carl Sagan used to say: "You have to do the experiment."

You could diff the two source trees yourself to answer this question.

After you've done it, I think you'll better understand why it's not particularly useful.

First google, now redhat, then... (-1, Troll)

slashcomma4 (2025466) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606612)

Lets face it folks, free software doesn't work. Sure we all dream about it, but really the Genius that would invent a licence that would give users all GPL rights _except_ for the right to pay nothing to the author haven' t yet born. This guy does very careful and neutral analysis [blog.com] of this.

Re:First google, now redhat, then... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606674)

GOATSE LINK.

By the way kiddo, find something new to shock us with. Slashdotters are pretty much immune to that one.

Re:First google, now redhat, then... (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606678)

!!!!!!!!!!!!Dont click that link!!!! It shows the anus of a guy or something. Mod it down!!!

Re:First google, now redhat, then... (2)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35606734)

Okay, wait, goatse link threads are not something I would normally post in, but I have to ask.

By "or something" do you mean that you didn't look at it long enough to really be sure what it was (and I pray for your sake that this is the case), or are you just giving voice to that little, terrified piece in the back of your brain that insists that cannot be human?

Re:First google, now redhat, then... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35608278)

What I find interesting, Chris, is that the parent has apparently never seen Goatse before. "Or something".

Re:First google, now redhat, then... (2)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606686)

Links to goatse, don't click

Do not panic (5, Insightful)

stikves (127823) | more than 2 years ago | (#35606618)

I believe they have no beef against CentOS, actually I've seen at least one Red Hat employee encouraging the use of CentOS, since Red Had is the "de facto upgrade path" (not the exact words, but something along this way). So you freely enlarge the customer base, which will go to Red Hat when they need higher level commercial support. And for the free ones, even Microsoft has recognized they cannot sell to students, and are giving away the software anyways.

However Oracle is another deal. They just slap Oracle logo on Red Hat, do not acknowledge the source, and sell is as "unbreakable Linux". This would make a regular person ashamed of himself. They benefit a lot from open source but not giving back much in return. Do not start me with what they're doing to Solaris, Java, and OpenOffice...

So I'm with Red Hat on this one, at least until they do something directly bad to CentOS.

Re:Do not panic (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35606716)

Which I can't see them doing. CentOS is huge for RedHat; it trains admins in their own linux and it gets companies hooked on their brand of linux.

No, I can't seriously see them jepardizing CentOS. Were this Oracle, then yes. They appear more than willing to sacrifice customers for the almighty ego. But RH has consistently made sound decisions.

Re:Do not panic (1)

nzac (1822298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607020)

I would think that CentOS users would chose is primarily because its free and stable rather than its RH and has the added advantage of being free. I would imagine that if CentOS was killed off that instead of using RH they might switch to (guessing) openSUSE with stable options, sending them to Novel. For minimal investment CentOS is free trail for RH, not being a monopoly this is an added advantage against competitors.

The real catalyst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607304)

Oracle won't support RAC on RHEL6, only oracle linux trying to force RHEL customers to buy from oracle instead. Since oracle linux is rebranded RHEL with some custom kernel stuff RH is making their life harder in retaliation.

LOL, people still use Linux? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35606772)

Why don't you last 3 linux users just swallow your pride and buy a mac like everyone else with more than 2 brain cells has done in the last few years?

Re:LOL, people still use Linux? (4, Funny)

JonJ (907502) | more than 3 years ago | (#35606874)

Why don't you last 3 linux users just swallow your pride and buy a mac like everyone else with more than 2 brain cells has done in the last few years?

I know you're just a troll but I can't resist. First of all, Linux and RHEL in particular, runs on actual servers. You know, those computers Apple slowly are phasing out? Xserve is gone, and Mac Pro server is soon to follow. And, Linux pisses on Mac OS X when it comes to market share on servers. Lastly, it's Mac users that are used to swallow other guys 'pride', so just stick to what you're best at: Sucking cock.

Re:LOL, people still use Linux? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35606912)

Of course you "can't resist", because you know its true. Linux is dead, it's imbecile users just don't realize it yet. Just look at how fast Red Hat and Google are shutting down all their involvement in "openness".

Re:LOL, people still use Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607524)

Is that you Steve? I'm surprised you didn't say Linux is fragmented as well.

Scientific Linux 6 (5, Informative)

KainX (13349) | more than 3 years ago | (#35606920)

Scientific Linux 6 is already out. See http://ftp1.scientificlinux.org/linux/scientific/6.0/x86_64/os/sl-release-notes-6.0.html [scientificlinux.org] for their detailed release notes. If there was any doubt in your mind that the direct rebuild projects are unaffected by this move, there shouldn't be any longer.

It's pretty clear they're trying very hard this time around to stay in lock-step with upstream (what they call TUV and what CentOS calls PNAELV) and add fewer packages into the mix directly. They're also funded to do this work full-time by the US government, and since many universities and national labs rely on SL, it's not going away any time soon.

If you've never tried it before, I encourage you to do so. To quote the old tagline, it's already ready already.

Re:Scientific Linux 6 (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607410)

Thanks for that. I've been using CENTOS and been quite happy with it. For what I do, I don't need to be (and will never really be) up to the minute with versions anyway -aside from keeping up with security patches to the extent I can. Are there good reasons, other than speed of the release cycle, to move from CENTOS to SL?

well done! (1)

mrphoton (1349555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607018)

putting the centos stuff aside. Redhat are doing a great job and contributing great code to the open source community. They uphold open source ideals by keeping fedora free of closed source code. I have been using Redhat/Fedora for years through my undergraduate degree, PhD and now in my job want to say what a great big thanks to you guys and wish you the best for the future!

Re:well done! (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607126)

And RedHat _directly_ pushes their upgrades back to the linux kernel and numerous other projects. The original poster has _no_ idea what they're talking about. This is not a change to general RHEL packaging, it's only a few abused packages, such as the kernel, which Oracle modifies heavily in their repackaging for this "Unbreakable Linux", which frankly isn't "Unbreakable", it's merely tuned for Oracle, which is typically very fragile.

Not good for the future of Linux (3, Insightful)

2Bits (167227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607240)

If every distro is doing the same thing, this is not going to be very good for the future of Linux. Engineers at every distro are going to waste a lot time trying to figure what other distros had been patching, which part of the code had been changed while a specific issue was fixed, etc. Everyone is going to end up wasting a lot of time, and creating a lot of confusion.

Even though Linux distros are quite fragmented, but the current kernel development has been working quite well, because every distro is playing by the rule (more or less), which is quite transparent. Now, with this kind of one time big change by RH, even though you can still diff on all the source codes, it's not going to be easy to figure what has bee done (and why). And I think it's going to trigger other distros to behave similarly.

And it will be even harder for the users. As a user, if we have in-house-built applications that rely on specific version of a library or module, we might not want to have a giant patch on basically everything, we probably want only small, concise, specific patch for some critical security problems. I'm starting to wonder how are we going to manage that.

Re:Not good for the future of Linux (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607302)

It wont be a problem because all the patches/fixes end up in git form upstream first, before they even hit a shipping RHEL kernel. Because of this, there is no confusion. I don't think you even use Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a product as you can't pick and choose patches and still remain in support for that modified package. You may as well just build upstream and port back those security fixes you need, which you can do because the fixes are pushed there first.

If this is the case, and I'm just imagining out loud, you don't use a Red Hat product or understand what they offer.

Re:Not good for the future of Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607482)

I intend to manage the problem you describe using the "switch to Debian" strategy. The set of patches RedHat applies to the stock kernel is pretty large. Losing the ability to use bisection to narrow down the individual patch that breaks something--or cherry-pick a patch known to provide a useful fix--is a serious step backwards in trouble resolution, for companies that want the ability to fix problems themselves. I'm really sick of companies executing a strategy intended to hurt their competitors in a way that makes life more difficult for their paying customers.

Re:Not good for the future of Linux (2)

int69h (60728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607596)

If you're "companies that want the ability to fix problems themselves", then why are you using RHEL to begin with? Certification and support only apply to binaries provided by Redhat.

redhat support is very expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607312)

we recently were stunned by the very high cost of redhat support. Its more expensive than microsoft.

Speaking of RHEL clone... (1)

Browzer (17971) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607354)

just found out a new RHEL clone (thanks to distrowatch.com News 03.21.2011) - PUIAS http://puias.math.ias.edu/ [ias.edu] is an RHEL clone "... started long before CentOS or other projects were available."

The question is: if CentOS fizzles for whatever reasons, how many will switch to one of the less than 5, one-man-show RHEL clone, how many will dig in and pay for RHEL, and how many will switch to non-RHEL?

Re:Speaking of RHEL clone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35607420)

There is no question as CentOS is not going anywhere. The original poster that started this thread got his knickers in a bunch over a post on a mailing list from a developer that was, quite frankly, long overdue. People are whining and crying about that which is provided, for free, by a volunteer effort, and acting on the mistaken belief that they are owed something by the CentOS project. Considering the amount of time and effort that goes into cutting a distro of the quality of CentOS and the grief that the entitled, selfish and arrogant masses dole out when they feel that their expectations are not being met, Johnny's response was incredibly mild compared to what should have been said. There are no guns being pointed at anyone to force them to continue using CentOS; they are free to leave and go elsewhere if they do not like the way things stand. Or, for a completely novel change, buy RHEL and get the ability of complaining to people that are paid to listen to it.

John

Re:Speaking of RHEL clone... (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607874)

Why don't you just say that the CentOs devs (and many, many other Linux devs) are whiny primadonnas and get it over with? At least then you'd be telling the truth.

Red Hat certification classes cost a small fortune (1)

sparkeyjames (264526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607624)

I'm sure most of their revenue is from support contracts but...
I wonder how much of their revenue is from their rather sky high pricing of
classes to get a cert. To a small business or an individual their prices
seem a bit out of line for actual value received. They sure do seem to
have some really nice and costly mailers for those classes too. Last one
I got was 42 pages. Their class track structure seems to have more
tiers than a Chinese rice paddy.

To get decent grounding in RHEL to get a cert or two for it you could spend upwards
of 5 grand and that's without the cost of travel/hotel.

If you went full bore and took all the classes and exams one after the other your
costs would top 20 grand easily. Each class is only 5 days (with cert testing).

Seems a might steep don't ya think?

Re:Red Hat certification classes cost a small fort (3, Informative)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 3 years ago | (#35608262)

If you round off their 2010 income numbers, subscription income totals to $639 million (85.3%), and training service income totals to $110 million (14.6%). That is all on page 40 of their 2010 Annual SEC (10-K) filing [redhat.com] . The subscriptions had a 93% profit margin, and the training had a 36% profit margin this year. Which makes sense, I imagine training services cost quite a bit, you would probably have equipment and training material costs, as well as trainer's salaries. Then, at least some of the time, there would be travel and hotel costs incurred for the trainers themselves, anytime they are training groups.

According to page 48 of the same report, they spent $272 on sales and marketing, which the fancy training mailer pamphlets would fall under. However, that would also include expenses from sponsoring Open Source conferences under the same line item (its not all wasted on those fancy pamphlets).

Research and Development I imagine covers salaries for Kernel and subsystem developers. R&D costs total $148 million. Administrative costs were $104 million. According to the 10-K report, they have 3,000 employees globally.

Total operating expense for 2010 was $534 million, once you have tacked on taxes the Net income comes to $87 million.

There is a lot of boring stuff in SEC filings, most always something interesting to learn from them though. If you really want to find out what a company is all about, there are some interesting details, a lot of it is in there. It explains in brief detail what each line item in the Balance Sheets and Income Statements actually mean in mostly plain English. Plus, the executive summary gives you some insight into their management's frame of mind, business model, and strategies.

Business as Predicted (1)

mwasham (1208930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607878)

They took other people's "altruistic" work. Used it as the basis for their billion dollar business and cut off the "free" part of free software. But I'm sure the people that donated lots of man hours for free feel better because RedHat's owners are loaded.

What? (2)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 3 years ago | (#35607972)

No jokes about "Begun, the Clone War has"? I'm so disappointed.

This is hurting Debian too (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35608044)

Maximilian Attems, one of the 5 persons maintaining the Linux kernel in Debian, already stated that he believes it is a bad move, that will make his life more complicated. We are talking here about one of the most open and free distribution in this world, with no company to backup the operation. RedHat can go to hell with there billion USD, they now deserve the disrespect of all the community for their greediness.

Nonsense (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35608172)

Red Hat submits their patches upstream for inclusion in the main Linux kernel.

According to earlier posts, they even submit them upstream before they include them in the RHEL kernel.

Those upstream submissions are not monolithic/merged, so distros which build from the Linux source instead of a distro's source should not have a problem. That includes Debian.

Who cares? (1)

ALeader71 (687693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35608048)

I went Debian, then Ubuntu years ago and I've never been happier.

who needs rhel kernels anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35608232)

well, whitehurst sounds like an ass - he can't close the door on open source.

so all that's happening is that RH makes it harder to tell which patches went into their kernel. think about that for a second: RH takes a kernel.org kernel, applies a large number of patches, and ships the result. where did those patches come from? a large number are backports - that is, taken from later kernel.org versions. some others probably are novel and nonobvious RH contributions, but if they have a shred of OSS integrity, they'll be offered openly on lkml. at some level, eventually, everything winds up at kernel.org. which begs the question for me: when is a distro going to simply ship kernel.org kernels (say, the stable series after some modest proofing)? after all, RHEL makes tracking their kernel harder, but who really cares? tracking kernel.org would bypass the obfuscation.

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