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SuSE Lays Off (Most) U.S. Staff (Updated)

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the bad-times-a-comin'? dept.

SuSE 172

assbarn writes: "The title pretty much says it all, but LWN daily is reporting that SuSE is laying off almost all of its US staff. What does this mean for their English distribution? The details are short (and sketchy), but the link is at LWN. " I've tried reaching both the U.S. and German branches: SuSE has yet to return a call placed to the U.S. office, and at the German branch it won't be business hours for a while. I've left that message at the SuSE American office, though, and will update with any confirmation/denial. Update: 02/08 12:03 AM by H :A couple people have sent in the LinuxToday piece. SuSE's PR agency has denied it, but LWN is standing by it, and several other readers have substantiated it to LinuxToday and LWN, including the original source on LWN. As well, SuSE did say that a number of positions were being relocated. We'll keep the story updated. Update: 02/08 04:38 AM by T : LinuxGram has some great information -- with real details! Skeleton crew of 12 to remain in the U.S. What's also interesting is that it confirms that the PR agency had "bad communication," which is an interesting statement to say the least.

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Re:Linux is regionalising. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#447959)

>The English speaking world Red Hat This may be true for North America but I see little sign of it in thr UK. Over the last year I've seen Debian, Suse, Mandrake, Slakware and RedHat in use at differenet UK companies.

Not quite so. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#447960)

Sorry, but I do not agree... This "you can not run a Linux shop" has become really popular these days, but this does not mean that it is true. I expect to see early starters (RH, SuSe and maybe VA linux) profitable this year, and Mandrakesoft may join them next year if it continues to grow the way it does now. Problem with SuSe is IMHO exactly oposite from what you think:

SuSe is the only distribution i know of which activly fights "giving avay" of the distribution. To name two things only SuSe does:

- Yast licence (not GPL at all)
- downloads of new distribution are delayed in order to sell more boxes.

Compare this with Mandrakesoft which activly encourages downloading of their distribution, and you will start getting a picture.

If SuSe fails it will be because it failed to nurish a community of helpers and supporters (except in Germany).

Re:debian model? (1)

joey (315) | more than 13 years ago | (#447961)

You might as well ask instead: Maybe I'm being naive, but can anybody tell me how the Linux project supports itself?

Sigh, an idiot or a troll, why did I bother..

Re:Suck It Down! (1)

volsung (378) | more than 13 years ago | (#447962)

Yes, yes. We're glad you could enlighten us all with YALIGTH (Yet Another "Linux Is Going To Hell") post.

Not like we haven't heard it a zillion times already. . .

Re:Suck It Down! (1)

volsung (378) | more than 13 years ago | (#447963)

Oh, and I know what the rest of you are thinking:


[That's such a fun abbreviation.]

Re:Confirmed... (1)

mha (1305) | more than 13 years ago | (#447967)

When 12 out of 42 stay that's hardly "everyone", you liar. Plus, we never ever had an office in hyper-expensive San Francisco.

Michael Hasenstein

Re:AIX is a great OS. (1)

bbcat (8314) | more than 13 years ago | (#447969)

He's also an asshole and a jackass.

SuSE isn't going away, they've just announced
a new version.

Re:Is this a suprise? (1)

bbcat (8314) | more than 13 years ago | (#447970)

My, my...someone apparently discovered urine in his cornflakes this morning.
It looks more like flour.

Re:Linux is regionalising. (1)

bbcat (8314) | more than 13 years ago | (#447971)

This is nonsense. I am an American, my mother
tongue is French and I use SuSE.

Re:Programming *what*, exactly? (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 13 years ago | (#447974)

I know of one way in which the NT4 APIs are badly designed...

At first, I thought it was wonderful. What a nice way to combine the ability to wait on all synchronization primitives.

Then, I thought some more. I realized that this required all synchronization primitives make a system call. No spin locks. This is big. Spin locks are what make multi-threaded programming worth doing, instead of being merely an excercise in how to make your program both more intellectually challenging to debug, and slower. Oops.

And don't get me started on the wide variety of IPC 'primitives' that have no model (like sockets/file descriptors in Unix) that tie them all together.

Neither of these two things are inconsistencies. They're just badly thought out.

One other badly thought out thing. The API for opening up a directory and scanning it makes too many assumptions about why you might be doing that. I can only be vague here because I can't recall the API exactly, only that quality of it.

SuSe (1)

Black_Macrame (23938) | more than 13 years ago | (#447980)

Bought Suse retail. $43.50. Promised to deliver support for handicapped. Bullshit. Not even a copy of Emacspeak on it. Bought Mandrake, $5 at user group meeting. Saved days to hours time setting up. See Ya Suse, you sucked anyways. And lied. Where's my $10 rebate now?

Re:I hate to say this, but... (1)

PovRayMan (31900) | more than 13 years ago | (#447984)

I guess I'm just spoiled with this 1.5mbit down connection :/


I hate to say this, but... (1)

PovRayMan (31900) | more than 13 years ago | (#447985)

this is a problem with linux when it goes retail. A product that is a free download doesn't have much of a source of income. Working for something open source or gpl or whatever the hell it is comes at a price.

Now be gentle when replying to this comment. I'm no linux buff, but I don't have to be one to see the obvious that more people are likely to download SuSE than buy it at the store...


AIX is a great OS. (1)

cje (33931) | more than 13 years ago | (#447986)

While it's true that some things in AIX are not where your typical Linux user would expect them to be, that is certainly not the standard that should be used to measure the OS's worth. AIX is stable, scalable, and downright dependable, so your statement smacks of ignorance. But then you go further and attach the label "Nazi" to it. This is a despicable ad hominem, marked by sheer, unadulterated hatred. You, sir, must be a sad, sorry, pitiful little man. Get help, quick.

Re:Run 'vipw' with users logged on. Load goes to 9 (1)

cje (33931) | more than 13 years ago | (#447987)

Are you spitting bile out between your teeth as you write this shit? What am unimaginably hateful attitude. The problem you describe has been fixed, and it's been fixed for some time. Oh, that's right .. I forgot! Linux has never had any bugs! As a matter of fact, AIX is the only OS that's ever had a problem! Why don't you get a life? Go out on a date with a girl. Write some goddamn code. You're so full of pent-up hatred that I shudder even replying to your post.

Re:AIX really is a *great* OS. (1)

cje (33931) | more than 13 years ago | (#447988)

My experience has been similar. We had an RS/6000 in our CS department that was up for slightly over a year (~370 days or thereabouts.) This was a heavily-used machine that ended up finally going down so that we could replace the UPS .. so there's no telling how long it would have stayed up if we had allowed it to keep going! I've never had the pleasure of looking after an AIX box since then, and (not surprisingly) I've never had a box as reliable as that one. My motto: "If you ain't using AIX, you ain't using SMIT."

I have found that typical AIX bashers are mindless bigots who speak from zero experience.

Re:AIX is a great OS. Not acc to the jargom file. (1)

cje (33931) | more than 13 years ago | (#447989)

Well, Jesus Christ on a corndog. I guess I missed the notification that the Jargon File is the end-all authority on OS quality. Yes, earlier versions of AIX had issues. So did earlier versions of IRIX, Solaris, and other commercial UNIX variants. By your argument, Windows 2000 should be avoided because Windows 1.0 was such a piece of shit. And only a moron would use Linux 2.4 because the original Linux kernel supported virtually no hardware. Makes perfect sense, right?

Well, according to you, it does.

Those who are under the impression that anti-AIX bigotry will be tolerated on Slashdot (or anywhere else, for that matter) are sadly mistaken. Get a life. Try using it instead of simply reading about it in the Jargon File.

Re:AIX really is a *great* OS. (1)

cje (33931) | more than 13 years ago | (#447991)

Gee, that's funny; I thought I specifically mentioned in the previous reply that the machine was heavily used. And as far as security holes are concerned, there are actually systems that can be patched without taking them down. With the system in question, I had to patch a bug in rlogind to fix a root exploit, but that was it; no reboot involved. The rest of your post sounds like sour grapes from somebody who's never acheived a similar uptime. Hey, don't sweat it, guy. It's not your fault. Not everybody is lucky enough to run AIX. Maybe one of these days you'll trade up.

Until then, happy downtime to you!

Moderate the parent up please. (1)

spack (43763) | more than 13 years ago | (#447994)

I hope moderators get this moderated up to a 5. This is importanant stuff. I particularly think it's important to read the last paragraph about the charges for the boxed version. This is why I have no problems what-so-ever paying for SuSE (although I'll admit I only buy about once a year now).

Here! Here! (and moderators on crack!) (1)

spack (43763) | more than 13 years ago | (#447995)

Why the hell has this been classified as a troll? I see more spam about how superior Debian is than this and it isn't mod'd as a troll. Biased mofos. This is actually a little informative don't you think? Bah!!! Crack-heads!

Re:altruistic os purchases. (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 13 years ago | (#447999)

I've done this as well. I think you'll find it more common in the community than people think.

I bought Caldera's Linux 2.4 preview edition and didn't mail in the rebate.

These companies need our support to stay in business.

Then there's also the convienience factor. It alot easier installing a distro than it is to piece together your own. Sure there's iso's but my connection to the internet isn't that fast.

Re:I hate to say this, but... (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 13 years ago | (#448005)

You have to remember that not everyone has a broadband connection. Before I had DSL I would buy boxed versions of the software, or sometime order from cheapbytes if i just wanted a slightly updated version. But now that I have DSL it's easy to just download the ISO. The boxed versions are for people new to linux, or don't have the bandwidth to grag a new version every few months.

Re:Is this a suprise? (1)

belroth (103586) | more than 13 years ago | (#448006)

Actually it's pronounced soo-za, more or less, being a German acronym.

Re:Support Your Distro! (1)

psxndc (105904) | more than 13 years ago | (#448008)

In all honesty, the idea of only downloading the distro is pretty foreign to me. I got on the SuSE bandwagon with 6.2 and the only one I didn't buy was 6.4. Considering it used to be $30 at microcenter, I thought I was getting a deal. A dead tree manual, CD's and floppies? Great! Since they've jacked the price up, and I've learned that not _that_ much changes between releases, I'll probably buy just the even versions now (except 7.1... so what if I bought 7.0?), but for a newbie like me (yep... about a year of linux and I'm still a newbie) having the manual and company-produced CD's/DVD is worth it to me.

Plus, I feel GOOD spending my money on it. I feel that "yes, I am getting my $70 worth". Same with the $30 I spent on OpenBSD.


Re:Is this a suprise? (1)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 13 years ago | (#448010)

Interestingly, this doesn't really matter, because anyone insane enough to buy S/390 and then run some Linux crap on it doesn't really "factor into the equation", if you catch my drift. IBM doesn't have a distro because they're smart enough not to invest a great deal of time or effort in a doomed business model. The little code contributed by IBM was well worth the developers' time, however, because it was good PR. IBM was the Microsoft of the 80s. But thanks to letting a few programmers give away free code under IBM's name, Big Blue is seen by a new generation of newbies as the Good Guys, happy to support l337 Open Source projects and fight the "Evil Empire" in Redmond. Linux gets a little free code, IBM gets a lot of good PR, and even after Linux's eventual (and quickening) demise, IBM gets to keep their new reputation as innovative thinkers, fighting for the Good of the People.

IBM is very quick to trumpet the "Linux compatibility" in AIX 5, but that's bullshit. (Hey, Win2k has TCP/IP services and a telnet client. Does that make it "Linux compatible" too?) IBM (much like Sun and others) is merely pushing Linux as a solution for inexpensive hardware such as routers, while continuing to sell UNIX as an enterprise solution. (And this is as it should be. Linux isn't even comparable to AIX, sadly.) The real computing industry is getting free (if not commercial quality) code and good PR by supporting Linux. And those who do not understand what's going on interpret this "industry support" as evidence that Linux is ready to compete in the real of Real, Commercial Software, which, (once again) sadly, it is not. Linux will reach heights undreamed of by Torvalds and then promptly self-destruct, when everyone realizes it was all just hype to begin with.

Re:Is this a suprise? (1)

-brazil- (111867) | more than 13 years ago | (#448011)

Won't give you the nice, printed manual that comes with the SuSE distribution, which is an invaluable source of help for those not 100% familar with every aspect of Linux and all its major applications.

Re:Huh? (1)

AGumbus (119117) | more than 13 years ago | (#448012)

*US* positions, not *UK* positions (which was where your link was directed). We [] also have positions listed, even though we've just been bought by another [] company. Incidentally, the Oakland [] branch has job postings listed, as well.

Layoffs and buyouts are generally kept very quiet, even (or especially) within the organization's a practice that tends (tries) to keep from disrupting morale. Situation normal, and all...

Re:Open Source is Fool's Gold (1)

AGumbus (119117) | more than 13 years ago | (#448013)

Oh, please. Open Source wasn't intended to be a get-rich scheme. If you're in the software industry, you should know that the money's not in the code, it's in the services.

If you're relying (aka 'betting the bank') on being the first on the block to provide feature 'x' through software, you can bet your retirement portfolio that you will face immediate competition from another company or four that are able to provide features 'x', 'y', and 'z' better, faster, and cheaper.

Where you will make bank is on keeping your customers happy: having a responsive and proficient support staff, site services, and whatever else your customers might need to successfully use your products. How do you think IBM stays in business? Operating system sales? Hah!

Open Source's advantage in this regard is that the box is open: if you have the expertise to improve the product, you have the opportunity to do so.

Don't mix licensing issues in with the availability of products. And stop confusing product-based with service-based companies like S.u.S.E., RedHat, and other 'value-added' (God, I hate that phrase) Linux distro providers.

Re:Linux is regionalising. (1)

madhakr (119990) | more than 13 years ago | (#448014)

So what about Debian? Which isolated region will it be relegated to? And to think, you said "the American is idealistic," using Red Hat. I suppose if people never travel, and multilingual/multicultural people never spread ideas across language or culture boundaries, then Linux distros will become wildly divergent. The core kernel will be essentially the same, though.

Interestingly enough, though, I use Debian. My neighbor uses Red Hat. Another neighbor uses Slackware. My best friend uses SuSE. Another friend uses (gasp) FreeBSD. All within an hour's drive of good-old-English-speaking Detroit, Michigan. Of course, I speak a little Spanish, and the SuSE user fluently reads and writes ancient Greek, but I don't think either of those facts influenced our distro choices. We're all native English speakers.

To go outside the mythos is to become insane...

Re:HOLY GOD (1) (121677) | more than 13 years ago | (#448015)

Don't take the name of my favorite Peurto Rican Jew in vain.

HOLY GOD (1) (121677) | more than 13 years ago | (#448016)

Sweet Jesus! A Slashdot editor actually called to confirm a story!

Re:Is this a suprise? (1)

SClitheroe (132403) | more than 13 years ago | (#448018)

Isn't Debian a non-profit organization? That's why I lumped them in.

Regardless, Debian is a major player in the distro scene.

Re:Expect to see more of this in the future. (1)

pjrc (134994) | more than 13 years ago | (#448019)

It's been said (a link to your slashdot post on Jan 27, only 11 days ago) ... I'll certainly be glad when this little fad is over so we ... can go back to programming as usual.

Now that's sad. Aside from being a Troll, "it's been said" refers to yourself? Is anyone else saying it "countless times" ?? If they were, one would think you would link to them instead.

The jury is still out if these companies can be profitable and survive long-term. Perhaps you are right, perhaps they'll prove you wrong, but from judging from your message, it looks most likely that you really don't care and this is just an intentional effort to start a heated flame fest.

Re:Confirmation. (1)

heinous (138234) | more than 13 years ago | (#448020)

Indeed. I am that friend, and I can confirm this. This morning a good deal of the US office staff was laid off. Some people will be staying, leaving a core group of people to maintain the US presense and market. Most people already have options for employment elsewhere, and at least one person has the possibility to go to SuSE GMbH. This has nothing to do with bad faith in the 7.1 distribution, as was suggested in previous postings. It is one of the best distributions ever, imho.

Lesson here (1)

slashdoter (151641) | more than 13 years ago | (#448022)

oh well, once The auto makers lay off massive amounts of people, then they can't aford thier linux mall cd's and there you go, no more damand.


Re:Taking a page from Daimler's playbook? (1)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 13 years ago | (#448023)

The american way is to sue or abuse the law whenever possible.
Although, I'm not sure how it applies to this situation.


Re:Is this a suprise? (1)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 13 years ago | (#448024)

But for many users it IS difficult and time-wasting for them to compile hundreds of different libraries and programs, and to ensure they all work well together.

For example, it's much easier to spend an hour (while I'm doing something else) waiting for Debian's APT to install precompiled packages and configure them itself, and end up with a fully functional workstation, than it is for me to spend hours searching for dependencies, compiling, and installing hundreds of individual programs.


Re:Is this a suprise? (1)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 13 years ago | (#448025)

They aren't required to give away their product.
They're required to give away the source to their product.
You're paying them for the time/effort it took to organize and ensure compatability between all the different componants and to compile them for your particular architecture as well as support.


Re:Is this a suprise? (1)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 13 years ago | (#448026)

The point though, and what I tell people, is that if you use and enjoy the benefits of a distro today, one which supports all of your hardware and is stable and secure, you can't expect them to continue development without your support.
And it doesn't even require much support. A simple donation of $5-$20 to Debian by many of its users will ensure it's continued development.
I'd much rather willingly pay $20 for Debian than be forced out of hundreds by certain competitors.


Re:What it means is very little (1)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 13 years ago | (#448027)

The thing about this is that most companies in ANY field end up going through bad times or going out of business altogether.
It's nothing particular to Linux distrobutions.


Re:altruistic os purchases. (1)

Guignol (159087) | more than 13 years ago | (#448028)

These companies need our support to stay in business
No they don't... I'm sorry.. I also bought a distrib I could have gotten for free, because it was easier, because my inernet connection sucks, because..because I felt like it and because I also appreciated their valueable work, I thought it was worth the money
I didn't do it because I felt they would break without my invalueable support
If I felt like that, I would have better go for another distrib. why do I want to stick to something that can't survive without our benevolent help ? they're gonna die believe me !
They do a nice job, I wish them well in their business.. but I don't think we should support them like that, they have to find the proper way to live with their business model. it happens to be hard and noble maybe.. still it's a business
oh well..

Damn... (1)

wmaheriv (160149) | more than 13 years ago | (#448029)

SuSE was my favourite distro. Now I'll have to move back to Mandrake.. let's hope ^they^ can continue to compete against RedHat.
I don't know about the rest of you, but IMHO RedHat is good for servers and lousy for workstations. They're slow to improve app. availability, multi-media, drivers for newer hardware (RedHat 7 still didn't pick up my Promise card!), etc. The fact that I can is beside the point- I shouldn't ^have^ to configure everything by hand.

What does this say about their 7.1 release? (1)

GodSpiral (167039) | more than 13 years ago | (#448030)

They're just about to release one of the first 2.4x and kde2x based distros next week.

I was going to use the opportunity to see how far away linux is from being worthwhile (purely personal perspective, ymmv, no offense intendented, im glad you're happy with it).

This suggests that the company isn't so confident in the quality of the release

Update! (1)

Mr. Jaggers (167308) | more than 13 years ago | (#448032)

This has been updated, and confirmed, however it looks like the extent of this restructuring is a bit more than just one layoff. Although only one employee has been laid off, "some employees are being moved to a different office" according to the SuSE's press contact.
Check out above article [] (for the update), or go straight to LWN [] for the other side of the story, where supposedly 'the number of affected people is said to be "around a couple dozen."'
Linux Weekly News's coverage is woefully short, but there is an e-mail [] from a SuSE employee on the SuSE mailing list posted as "confirmation"...

In other news (1)

SomeOtherGuy (179082) | more than 13 years ago | (#448036)

The author of "php_do_something_or_another v0.01ALPHA-CVS02012001" (a great program to be able to view the output of "ls -l /tmp" through your web browser of choice) has decided to layoff 50% of the development staff and the WHOLE support desk. Our sources have disgruntled employees quoted as saying -- "We never had a chance -- I am going to cut my losses and go back to programming crippleware id3 tag strippers for Windows -- their is just no money to be made in the world of free software"

Moral of the story: I am sick of seeing all these "riches to rags" melodramas play themselves out in front of our eyes....Hell, Patrick and the Slackware folks were happy when only a handful of people were paying for his books that included the Slackware CD's....and that was years ago....Why all the sudden urge for these Distributions to make a boatload of cash???? I will be going back to Slackware now thank-you --- (I want to be ensured I will be using a distribution that wont "go out of business" at the drop of a hat when they realize that Linux is better off in the basement with low overhead....)

Hmmm... (1)

glowingspleen (180814) | more than 13 years ago | (#448037)

Update: 02/08 12:03 AM

Dear God, I knew it! Slashdot admins can travel through time after all!

And...they control the weather! (Okay, I'm still working on proof for that one)

Re:Is this a suprise? (1)

AaronStJ (182845) | more than 13 years ago | (#448039)

You're paying them for the time/effort it took to organize and ensure compatability between all the different componants and to compile them for your particular architecture as well as support.

But why should I pay them for that? Lets face it, most people wouldn't even think of giving away their cash just becasue they think a copmany is good. We, as a society, are not that nice. Sure, they put hard work into it, but as long as they give the source away, it's not at all hard for me to compile it on my own machine. Where's the incentive for me to part with my money?

Re:Is this a suprise? (1)

AaronStJ (182845) | more than 13 years ago | (#448040)

But for many users it IS difficult and time-wasting for them to compile hundreds of different libraries and programs, and to ensure they all work well together.


weird (1)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 13 years ago | (#448042)

I thought SuSE was making more money than Redhat

Re:Programming *what*, exactly? (1)

-martee (191318) | more than 13 years ago | (#448043)

The Internet runs Unix.
Unfortunately, 99% of the people using it don't.

The *real* money is in Unix. Unless you are familiar with the POSIX standards and have a good knowledge of several implementations, you are doomed to a lifetime of unemployment, recriminations and boring stories about "when I was a fuckwit, Visual Basic programmers used to get *paid*". seem to be saying that unlesss you are a Unix guy, you suck, and you will never have a decent job. There's this little thing called Java; perhaps you heard of it? As you yourself said, it's not about operating systems. Just because someone doesn't like/know/use Unix doesn't make them less "31337", and it certainly doesn't mean that they can't get a good job.

Way to make pointless statements that insult a lot of people.


Re:Huh? (1)

stylewagon (197083) | more than 13 years ago | (#448044)

Sorry... I realise they were for UK postings - I should have mentioned the bit of the story I was referring to:-

> What does this mean for their English distribution?


There are other places in the world where English is spoken.

Re:Taking a page from Daimler's playbook? (1)

mami (209922) | more than 13 years ago | (#448045)

When Daimler and Chrysler merged, which company wanted it more, Daimler or Chrysler ? Real question, I didn't follow that in the beginning.

as i said... (1)

unformed (225214) | more than 13 years ago | (#448050)

only a few days ago []

Mandrake's effect ? (1)

joestar (225875) | more than 13 years ago | (#448051)

In this article at The Register [] : "MandrakeSoft, France's long-time favourite boxed Linux distribution in terms of retail sales is now also number one in the US, according to company officials citing PC Data figure"

It could only make less losses. (1)

melted (227442) | more than 13 years ago | (#448052)

Actually, SuSE could only make less losses. 'cuz RedHat ended last year with losses of 10 MUSD. It has never been profitable and would never be. Just check stock price dynamics an

altruistic os purchases. (1)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 13 years ago | (#448053)

But why should I pay them for that? Lets face it, most people wouldn't even think of giving away their cash just becasue they think a copmany is good.

that's why i purchased linuxppc 2000 - sure, i could have just downloaded the isos. but i respect the hard work that mr haas and others have put into that distro. and i'm not a terribly generous nor rich person; i find it tough to believe i'm the only one who did this.


Re:Linux is regionalising. (1)

Alatar (227876) | more than 13 years ago | (#448054)

Funny, every time I ask a Japanese person about Turbolinux, I get blank stares. They all use Redhat. Just because one distribution claims to be "big in Japan" doesn't mean they are.

Re:Linux is regionalising. (1)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 13 years ago | (#448055)

The German speaking world has SuSE. The English speaking world Red Hat. The French speaking world goes with Mandrake, and the Japanese with turbo Linux.

Well, I have to think that English being the language of international business is probably going to unite most of the major distributions despite any regionalization that goes on. Even though Mandrake's manuals routinely exhibit bad translations from French, fact is is that Mandrake is really popular in North America, as is Debian, with Suse and Caldera recognizable names as well.

the german speaking world moves with KDE, and the Enflish with Gnome

Surely you mean the "English" with "Fnome"?

You know exactly what to do-
Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh-
I think of little else but you.

Whoa! Down boy.

Crisis? (1)

droolfool (235314) | more than 13 years ago | (#448059)

Many people are very pessimistic about that, But Red Hat had its problems too. There's still a huge crisis surrounding companies around the world, because of the "computing is the solution for everything in the world" hype.
You think Bill Gates is evil?

AIX really is a *great* OS. (1)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 13 years ago | (#448060)

I currently administer 8 different brands & flavors of *nix servers, including commercial ones and free ones, including AIX and Linux, and including SuSE. SuSE is NOT necessarily laid out like AIX, and AIX happens to be for all practical intents and purposes, laid out very similar to HP-UX and Solaris or just about any other contemporary flavor of SysV Unix, disk and volume management and other piddly things different, of course. My two most stable machines are RS6000's running AIX. One of them had an uptime of more than 300 days before I finally had to reboot it when the network interface card hung on it after a thunderstorm. Up to that reboot, the Informix 7.xx database engine had been running on that AIX box for 260 days without an engine bounce. That's phenominally stable. I've never in my entire career had an Informix uptime on *any* unix box anywhere near that long, nor had I obtained a Unix uptime of that duration. This speaks volumes for the quality of AIX.

Re:Linux is regionalising. (1)

The Anti-Christ (238963) | more than 13 years ago | (#448061)

Eh, so what do the Brits use then? I'm pretty sure they're closer to Europe (geographically) than the US. Don't even start with the correct English spellings of various oft-mentioned words.

Re:Expect to see more of this in the future. (1)

The Anti-Christ (238963) | more than 13 years ago | (#448062)

This is Very Simple: OSS is not a viable option for businesses interested in making money.

Maybe not, the way most Linux distros are going about it. I'm not sure if this will work, but the OSS community could possibly collect donations to get various work done for Linux. For example, suppose there's a new device that needs new drivers for it to work on Linux. Money collected could be used as a "reward" for whoever writes the drivers and submits them first. Of course, afterwards the drivers are publically released, considering that the whole OSS community contributed something to get them done.

Uh, shit, I can't remember the rest of my idea. Sorry, long day.

Taking a page from Daimler's playbook? (1)

metaph0r (261739) | more than 13 years ago | (#448067)

Geez, we really must be as lazy and unproductive as the Japanese said we were back in the 80's...this is exactly what the German members of DaimlerChrysler's trying to do to the American divisions they "merged with" last year. Americans didn't invent Linux anyway, so what do we know? :)

Re:can someone... (1)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 13 years ago | (#448073)

I believe that you are confusing slashdotters with Unix System Administrators (of which I am one). Just got done polishing up the AK, actually...


Time to add it (1)

Anagon (311355) | more than 13 years ago | (#448074)

to Fucked Company [] heh, its too bad. SuSE made a decent distribution. Ah well, theres always Red Hat...

Re:Linux is regionalising. (1)

joecool12321 (313452) | more than 13 years ago | (#448076)

That's an interesting arguement. I think I agree that cultural and linguistic differences between regions will affect the development of Linux.

I think one great argument in your favor is the existance of languages in the first place. We have a spread of information and ideas, but languages still exist. The flavors of Linux portray to a certain extent the cultures in which they are used, and as Linux is used more and more, those differences will be magnified.

Any arguments against the eventual "localization" of Linux must explain why Linux can survive cultural and linguistic differences that make languages in the first place, imho.

Open Source is Fool's Gold (2)

Sanity (1431) | more than 13 years ago | (#448079)

ESR and others behind the Open Source movement have been preaching that Open Source is a viable business model, those in the RMS Free Software camp have been preaching that business model or no business model, this is about freedom. I think we are starting to see that Free Software/Open Source is great for society, but not so great for those who hope to make money from producing it. Giving to charity is a good thing, but you are never going to get rich doing it. I am not criticising free software, or those who create it, merely saying that it is disingenuous to tell people that you can get rich from writing open source.


Re:Expect to see more of this in the future. (2)

RayChuang (10181) | more than 13 years ago | (#448083)

Boy, you better run real fast with your remarks. ;-)

I personally look at all the major industrial-grade Internet applications running out there on the major shopping web sites and most of them are running on Sun Solaris, not exactly an Open Source operating system.

The Linux crowd sometimes also forget that the big Internet sites run OpenBSD, NOT Linux (a good example is Yahoo!). Let's see how long before Linux 2.4.x's I/O throughput improvements will allow it to run high-volume Internet sites on a large scale.

Re:Expect to see more of this in the future. (2)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 13 years ago | (#448084)

I carefully read over the post you pointed at, and all the reply threads. You are being premature, and are most likely wrong.

As far as I know, RedHat made a profit before they went IPO. SuSe makes a lot of money doing support and special customizations. Cygnus made money that same way.

Open Source has also been the host to many interesting innovations. DNS, for example, is a widely distributed database designed to handle a certain kind of hierarchical searching. Quite innovative for its time. D. J. Bernstein [] 's software is Open Source, and is quite innovative in its approach to security issues.

I think Open Source represents a viable business model. If I can find a job doing Open Source, I'll take it. I currently do write stuff that's not yet very popular [] .

Some Linux companies have overextended themselves during the past few years of IPO madness. Some haven't bothered to figure out how to make money yet because of the aforementioned IPO madness. It doesn't mean they won't. No Linux company I know of has gone bankrupt yet.

As I said, I think your assessment is premature, and partially already disproven. You're letting your biases overly affect your perception.

Programming *what*, exactly? (2)

chazR (41002) | more than 13 years ago | (#448089)

I'll certainly be glad when this little fad is over so we ("we" of course being professional developers) can go back to programming as usual.

<BEGIN Inconsistent rant>
What platform do you want to develop for? Embedded systems? Big databases (which means Oracle or DB/2)? Mainframes (love that COBOL...)? Macintrash?

Or do you mean Microsoft Windows? The joys of developing for at least ten different operating systems, which have *huge* inconsistencies in APIs. Gods, even the NT4 API has glaring, terrifying inconsintency in *it's own API*.

Or, maybe, you think that MFC/ATL/.NET is a nice place to work. Perhaps it is. If so, may I direct you to a supplier of antipsychotic drugs?

The Internet runs Unix. The *real* money is in Unix. Unless you are familiar with the POSIX standards and have a good knowledge of several implementations, you are doomed to a lifetime of unemployment, recriminations and boring stories about "when I was a fuckwit, Visual Basic programmers used to get *paid*".

It's not about operating systems. It's not even about platforms. It's about information. If you aren't adding value to data, you're going the way of the dotcoms.

</END Inconsistent rant>

Re:Is the US Economy Falling Off A Cliff? (2)

WillAffleck (42386) | more than 13 years ago | (#448090)

Is it true the US economy is "falling off a cliff" [...] a claim which is being made in several newspapers?

Nope, but we have a number of administration officials, including Bush, who are doomsaying and doing their best to push us over it. Me, I love it - makes it cheap to buy good stocks.

I would expect S.u.S.e. cutbacks have more to do with two things:
1. sales in the US/Canada of their distro must not be high enough.
2. it's easier and cheaper to lay off US workers than German or European workers (trust me on this one)

The only "Rubbish" is all these stupid comments. (2)

spack (43763) | more than 13 years ago | (#448091)

I'm a little biased towards SuSE. It's a nice distro and I'm impressed with what they have done and are doing for the Linux community. However, my preference of SuSE has nothing to do with what I'm going to say now. Shut up and get a clue! Sweet Lord, I can't believe all the mindless drivel flowing on this discussion. SuSE is not going tits-up. So what if they trim some fat in the states. Just because they aren't strong here, doesn't mean they are dead. My friend and co-worker (who has used SuSE for a long time) used to be classified as a distributor a few years back. He receieved free updates from SuSE in the mail because they had no distribution here. Even if they closed up all offices, and did business from Germany only, I'm sure they'll keep an English distro going.

Just pan and scan this forum to see what I'm talking about. People assuming this means that the 7.1 release isn't coming (which ships 2/12). Going tits-up. Proves they weren't a player or shit like that. Blah Blah! I think most people here post for the thrill of it. Karma whoring? I don't give a fuck about /. karma. I'd rather not have posted this at all, but it's just so damned pathetic.

So, rather than just being another post that says "Oh, so sorry" to SuSE. Let me say, congratulations on their upcoming release with the new 2.4 kernel. Let me also thank them for their development work on the ATA-100 development for UDMA EIDE hard drives. A tip of the hat should go to them for being IBMs distro of choice on the S/390s. And finally, it's good to see AMD working with SuSE on porting Linux to Sledgehammer [] .

Re:Support Your Distro! (2)

mikefoley (51521) | more than 13 years ago | (#448093)

Hear hear!

Red Hat and others look at sales of box sets as a metric for how well a platform distribution is doing. I suspect that many of the folks just download the ISO from a mirror. The distributions look and see that the box sets aren't selling. They then ask "Why should we do anything further on the
? It's only sold xxxx boxes!"

Folks, if you are at a big site and use a particular distro on a particular platform, even if you download the ISO, spend the $79 or so and order the box. Even if you never open it, the distro will know it's important to you!

Disclaimer: The platform I use is Alpha. I work at API NetWorks.

Re:Is this a suprise? (2)

eric17 (53263) | more than 13 years ago | (#448094)

Well some people actually buy the boxed distributions to get some of the extra goodies (commercial bundlings) or to get a manual.

How many companies selling the same thing can exist in a given market anyway? Redhat got a big chunk of US market by being early and decent. Mandrake is doing well because it's quality is/was perceived to be better.
This is just consolidation and retrenching. Nothing bad about it, it's quite normal.

Re:Linuxtoday says this is "Total Rubbish" (2)

bugg (65930) | more than 13 years ago | (#448096)

How many people did they have to begin with? Two?

This is humor, folks. Lighten up.

They try to save $$ on salaries all over the world (2)

aralin (107264) | more than 13 years ago | (#448098)

I work for a company that has close ties with a recruitment agency so I have good news about their work. And they recruit for SuSE branch in our country (CZ). Also few of my friends were used to work for them earlier.

From what I know, SuSE used to pay really good salaries here to quality guys (some of them long time kernel contributors). But at some point there came a change. I've heard some rumors about exchange in management.

Since then the recruiters complain all the time that SuSE wants Linux professionals for below average salaries. This would not be that bad as that they are (since what kind of people they employed earlier) incredible picky about the people. Its hell to find someone who would work for SuSE here, since these guys would get anywhere 2 times more.

So it seems to me like SuSE management come to conclusion that their expenses are too high and that its mostly in the HR, paying people too much. And you can imagine that in US are salaries WAY TOO HIGH when German manager consider them. So they just decided to shut US branch and for every US guy they get easy several russians with good english skills :)

Wow, investigative reporting! (2)

pjrc (134994) | more than 13 years ago | (#448099)

What's slashdot coming to? If this investigative reporting trend keeps up, good 'ole slashdot could be on its way (eventually) to becoming a credible news source.

Re:Is this a suprise? (2)

MrProgrammer (165021) | more than 13 years ago | (#448102)

I don't totally agree with you. I don't have any specific materials to cite, but I have read that IBM looks at Linux as a way to have one scalable OS which they can use for everything within the company. This may be marketing BS, but it was said in an interview with someone who really knows where the company is going. They consider Linux as important as the "Internet Revolution." Sure, they have plenty of PR to gain, but I think they also really believe in Linux and what it can do.

Or maybe I'm just gullible

Does this mean... (2)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 13 years ago | (#448103)

That the lizard is drained?

Microsoft softie (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#448104)

Considering how much people think I'm a Microsoft softie...

Hemos said: I've tried reaching both the U.S. and German branches: SuSE has yet to return a call placed to the U.S. office, and at the German branch it won't be business hours for a while. I've left that message at the SuSE American office, though, and will update with any confirmation/denial.

In other news, a water cooler replacement boy was laid off at Microsoft's headquaters in Redmond, WA.

Fervent had this to say: "I've tried reaching both Microsoft's main number and my personal red hot private line to Bill Gates. I've also tried to call his mother, but nap time at her nursing home won't be over for a while. I've left the message at Bill Gates's personal spa number, though, and will update with any confirmation/denial. This, of course, is a serious issue. Try to stay calm, people".

Huh? (2)

stylewagon (197083) | more than 13 years ago | (#448106)

Has anyone checked their homepage? []

Not only are they shipping 7.1 [with da 2.4 kernel] on the 12th - they are also hiring... []

What's going on?

Re:Suse/Red Hat (2)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 13 years ago | (#448107)

Where exactly did I mention either AIX or Nazis?

Some people just don't get it... (2)

q000921 (235076) | more than 13 years ago | (#448109)

Free software isn't about SuSE or RedHat. Those companies are largely opportunists with no obvious long-term business model. Free software was around before SuSE and RedHat, and it will be around long afterwards. Why? Because it makes a lot more economic sense for customers to help create free software than it makes for them to buy software.

If you buy commercial software, you pay a lot more for each release than the incremental enhancements that actually occurred. You do this because it would be too costly to switch. To add insult to injury, many of the enhancements in commercial software come from the customers in the first place.

Re:Expect to see more of this in the future. (2)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 13 years ago | (#448111)

My biggest fear is that the Open Source 'Revolution' will go down in history as the biggest con since Christanity.

Open source is not, and has never been a revolution. Open source development techniques existed long before commercial ones. Indeed, most modern operating systems have their roots in an open source project.

Every day it seems that another Linux-centric organisation gets sued or goes out of business

Name three.

Sure, RMS claims that you can sell support - but if the product is good then any required support will be minimal, or nil. Idealistic dreaming, or idiocy?

My company's product is good, and it requires a large amount of support. Also, my previous company's product was good. It too required a lot of support. I think your claim that good products require minimal support is false.

I'm astonished that such a (generally) intelligent selection of people as the Slashdot community buy into RMS's rabid bumblings wholesale. I understand the desire to remain open-minded, to at least consider what he has to say - I'm not suggesting that everything he says is bullshit by any means - but, please, people WAKE UP!

I was committed to open source development and use and integration of open source products before I even knew who Richard Stallman was.

You are being brainwashed by Stallman, who is (gasp!) the ONLY person who makes money from Free Software. Your figurehead is fleecing you. Every time you assign copyright to the FSF Stallman's pockets bulge a little more. Every donation buys him more twinkies and tea-bags. Every time you release your hard work under the GPL parasite you are bringing the GNUworld closer. Every GPL release decreases the 'freedom entropy level'.

I make money as a direct result of the existence of free software. Also, I am payed for writing free software.

I don't care if my contributions to the free software community make Richard Stallman, you, Bill Gates, or Commander Taco more rich. In fact, I hope they do. Consider it a gift, not a tribute.

My hope is that my job, and the jobs of my peers is made easier by my contributions. I hope my code is used to educate people. I hope it's used to entertain people. Kinda like Music, I guess.

Once everything is GPL there can be no going back. RMS knows this, and he knows that in a 'brave GNU world' he would be God!

Meh. Whatever. Whether he's god, I'm god, or you're god, it doesn't make much of a difference to me. What's god anyway?

As long as my code is used and enjoyed, I don't mind submitting it. That's my stance.

All men are great
before declaring war

Re:Taking a page from Daimler's playbook? (2)

metaph0r (261739) | more than 13 years ago | (#448112)

Well, it's hard for anyone other than Daimler's board members to answer that, but since I have two family members who work for Chrysler, I can tell you that within the rank & file, no one at Chrysler wanted to be part of a German-run company. Almost immediately after the SEC approved the 'merger', the head of the board of directors (majority German) started firing American members who'd come from Chrysler, then tried to appyl monies that Chrysler had set aside for employee pensions to fun a new product line. That's when some big shareholders started suing. I didn't necessarily think there was a close parallel, it was a mostly off-handed remark. :)

Confirmation. (2)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 13 years ago | (#448115)

Just called a friend who is rather high up in SuSE, and they confirmed that the U.S. office has more-or-less been vaporized. The P.R. departmet has not been told what to tell the press at present, and I can't really get any further information, as my friend is bound by an NDA on releasing internal information (standard practice, nowadays).

The good news is, most of the SuSE staff has been offered jobs at either companies, or for SuSE GmbH (aus Deutschland).


Re:Linuxtoday says this is "Total Rubbish" (3)

zuvembi (30889) | more than 13 years ago | (#448116)

Of course now that I go read it again, it says.

Update: after several readers commented that the rumors SuSE denied are, indeed true, and LWN asserted that their coverage is accurate, a followup call to both the US offices of SuSE and Ms. Von Wedel revealed that while no one at the company is willing to comment further on whether layoffs are happening or not, some employees are being moved to a different office. Ms. Von Wedel said she could provide no information on layoffs. We'll continue to cover the story as it unfolds. -mph

So I guess we'll see, but I have real trouble believing SuSE's US operations are closing up.

Slashdot doing research?!? (3)

Smitty825 (114634) | more than 13 years ago | (#448118)

I've tried reaching both the U.S. and German branches: SuSE has yet to return a call placed to the U.S. office, and at the German branch it won't be business hours for a while

Whoa, doing research twice in a week?!? That has to be a first for Slashdot!

Re:Is this a suprise? (3)

SClitheroe (132403) | more than 13 years ago | (#448120)

> Is this good or bad for linux?

It depends on how you look at it. If the big boys (eg IBM) start charging prices for distros that more accurately reflect the costs of the enhancements they contribute, the support, marketing, and distribution aspects, I don't think it would be a bad thing. It would ensure that the bug companies have a revenue stream that justifies their efforts.

If, on the other hand, the big companies simply continue to rebrand their own distros based on the work of others (a la Corel), and don't contribute to the spirit, energy, and development of Linux, then it is certainly a bad thing. The smaller companies like SuSE, Slackware, Debian, etc. bring more than just code to the table. They contribute to the driving force and energy that has really helped to propel Linux.

Linuxtoday says this is "Total Rubbish" (4)

zuvembi (30889) | more than 13 years ago | (#448121)

Linuxtoday [] contacted SuSE. They said, this is a total rumour. They've only let ONE person go.


SuSE forever! (4)

LoneCoder (161808) | more than 13 years ago | (#448122)

This is just another example of how sensitive the community has become. Whenever someonse says "job cuts" or "stock plumbers" regarding Linux companies, people start jumping conclusions. I work at a VAR which uses exclusively the SuSE distro, mainly because they have a version for our language (Portuguese, if you must know), and I can install a server from scratch using ReiserFS in under an hour. Just yesterday we received info from SuSE stating prices for the 7.1 release, together with lots of other bits and pieces. Conclusion: so the US market didn't respond the way SuSE expected... big deal. In Europe (all of Europe, not just Germany and german-speaking countries) SuSE rules!!

Linux Downsizes while MSFT sales are down (4)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#448124)

Coincidence? I don't think so.

Or ... maybe all the techies are just being a teensy bit paranoid about downsizing nowadays, since so many firms have unsustainable business models and the VC equity holders and IPO institutional holders are pulling the plug.

I'd be more concerned with news like Attachmate downsizing due to the low volume of Win2K Data Server sales, especially with Active Directory almost nonexistent than I would be about S.u.S.e. problems.

At least you've got the source code ... imagine if it were a closed source OS/Apps company ... what would you do?

Linux is regionalising. (4)

Urban Existentialist (307726) | more than 13 years ago | (#448125)

This is just another step in the regionalisation of Linux. I have mentioned this before on this site, and it is clear to me that what I have said is coming to pass.

Linux is splitting into different Distro's for different cultural areas of the world. The German speaking world has SuSE. The English speaking world Red Hat. The French speaking world goes with Mandrake, and the Japanese with turbo Linux.

Now, this shouldn't affect Linux at all, but I fear it will, and indeed I fear it already is. We are seeing the germination of different developer communities based on language, and not on a shared enthusiasm for Linux. For example, the german speaking world moves with KDE, and the Enflish with Gnome, and each have their own respective developer communities with their own cultural values. The recent establishment of a European branch of the FSF can only worsen this, IMO. The European Linux community is expediant - witness KDE liscensing issues - while the American is idealistic, and not really practical, as can be seen with its adherence to the values of the FSF.

I think this is bad news for Linux. We need to see more cross cultural integration, like we used to have in the early days of Linux.

You know exactly what to do-
Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh-

What it means is very little (4)

sharkticon (312992) | more than 13 years ago | (#448126)

Is very little. After all given that the business model of selling Linux distributions means that companies operate on razor-thin profit margins at best (without other value added services anyway) it's not suprising that several, or perhaps most, of these companies will experiance the financial pinch and be forced to lay off staff to cut costs.

But it doesn't really mean all that much for SuSe as a whole, just for their promotion and distribution teams in America I'd assume. You'll still be able to get it over the net I'm sure, you just might have to miss out on a fancy box :)

Layoffs yes, is the end near? - hardly! (5)

mha (1305) | more than 13 years ago | (#448127)

Greetings from SuSE Inc., from one of those left.

Just to keep things in perspective, SuSE lost about 30 out of more than 600 employees. It's a very big issue for those leaving, and - I wouldn't have thought it would be that big - also for those staying who see those guys leave.

However, from the companies perspective:
- No development for SuSE Linux took place here at all, so nothing will happen to the product.
- We had hired a lot of people in expectation of things to come in the US - and then the box sales (for ALL Linux boxes) didn't really jump up a lot, and the little was absorbed by much increased competition. That left a lot more people than needed.

I would also like to point out the difference between Europe and the US for SuSE. In Europe we have used the revenue from the box sales in a not nearly as competitive, but equally big or even larger market, to grow into the service business. T-Online, Europes largest ISP, for example, is a SuSE reference customer. And the great thing is they don't just use the distribution - damn, that's next to free! - they actually used and use our _services_ and give us real $$$.

Different in the US, here we only sold the boxed product (and started building Services only recently, which will continue!), and for that the workforce was way too big for that in the current market. If people bought as many packages as they download from the ftp-server, and that's true for all distros,...

So, basically, we got rid of a lot of functions needed for expected strong box sales which now will be done by the already established bigger organisation in Europe. you don't need two call centers for installation support if in the territory that the US one was to cover you sell much less than in the over one's territory (so that one is a big call center already anyway). So people here weren't as busy as expected.

The problems together:
- market situation now lets investors demand IMMEDIATE profitibility
- box sales were the largest contributor for SuSE Inc. revenue
- box sales for Linux in general didn't rise too much...
- ...but competition in this area rose a lot Which basically means for the boxes alone we wouldn't have needed nearly as many additional people as we had hired.

The good news is that SuSE in general doesn't depend on this. Sales in Europe has risen much more, and service revenue of our consulting company - which was founded only in 1999 and is about to become bigger than the "original" SuSE - has reached levels where the box sales have a hard time following, and it's increasing much faster than those as well. Yes, there are a lot more RedHat boxes out there - but unlike for SuSE Linux where we get money for every single one they don't get any money for by far most of it. Of course, now some people might call this bad because Linux is supposed to be free - and I respond yes, "Linux" is supposed to be free, and we still pay the most Linux developers and their stuff goes back to Linux, but "SuSE Linux" is not free. (Well, the ftp version even is, plus the usual stuff, i.e. buy on epackage, install a million times, etc.; we just don't want anyone else to take our final product and sell it filling _their_ own pockets.)

Michael Hasenstein

BEST Oracle on Linux support in town: []
...and our engineering presence at Oracle HQ will _increase_, not decrease. Yeah, I'm one of the Oracle guys around here ;-)

Michael Hasenstein

Re:Is this a suprise? (5)

finkployd (12902) | more than 13 years ago | (#448128)

Interestingly, SuSE is the ONLY good, up to date (imho) distro for the s/390, which is a pretty emerging market that will have plenty to spend on support contracts. IBM does not have a distro.


Support Your Distro! (5)

metacosm (45796) | more than 13 years ago | (#448129)

Part of the great thing about Linux is that your can download it for free - which is definately a good thing. But, if you can afford it, please support your distro of choice, else - you may not have too much choice left. Think about how much that distro has been worth to you, how much it would have cost in MS software to replace what you setup with a Linux based box. I am not saying buy a copy for every computer you put it on, or anything silly like that. But if you use it day in and day out - go get the pro version from (Insert local store that carries distros here), and give back a little to the people that work so hard producing that distro for you. -- MetaCosm

Expect to see more of this in the future. (5)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 13 years ago | (#448130)

This is Very Simple: OSS is not a viable option for businesses interested in making money.

The only people getting rich off of the current "open-source wannabe UNIX" trend are and others who sell $.99 CD-Rs of the same product which Red Hat, Mandrake, SuSE et al expect you to pay upwards of $40 for. Yeah, right.

How OSS works in the Real World

l337 Linux luser: Hey, d00d, try out this Linux thing, it will make you l337 and it's 0p3n 50urc3!!!@

Average PC user: Hmm, Open Source, you say? So it's available free of charge.

l337 Linux luser: No, man, even though you can get it for free, you're supposed to pay money for it, to make OSS a v14bL3 bu5in355 m0d3L!!

Average PC user: Well, sure, I'm willing to pay for it. Given, of course, that it has better hardware support, software support, and a user interface more suited to me, the Average PC User, than my current Windows 98 installation.

l337 Linux luser: Well, um, it's a hacked copy of a real operating system, which is looked down upon by real UNIX users, and is lambasted by Windows users for its incredibly poor hardware support and nonexistent consumer software market, but...

Average PC user: So you're telling me I should stop using Windows, which I know well and works fine, and instead use an immature UNIX-ripoff that...

l337 Linux luser: No, d00d, wait!

Average PC user: ...and that even if I did want to run this OS, I should pay money for it when it's freely available? That I should support a business model which even the dumbest PHB understands doesn't make sense in the real world?

l337 Linux luser: Fuck j00, man! I guess j00 just aren't l337!

Average PC user: For me to poop on.

The End

The moral of that story is, NO FUCKING SHIT!! SuSE and Red Hat are fools if they envision themselves as anything other than charities. At least when I give money to the FSF (which I do regularly), I know that they aren't kidding themselves.

It's been said [] countless times in the past. I'll certainly be glad when this little fad is over so we ("we" of course being professional developers) can go back to programming as usual.

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