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Is Red Hat the Next Microsoft?

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the stuff-to-think-about dept.

Red Hat Software 341

Patrick Dunn writes "On ZDNET's Smart Reseller they have a story about Red Hat maybe being a mini-Microsoft by it's business practices." I'd guess that the 2 most common conspiracy theories that pop into my mail box are 1. MS-Linux and 2. Red Hat becoming the next MS. What do you think?

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected. source != Microshaft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968770)

As long as we have open source, things should be alright the thing that sucks now about microsoft is that the release shitty stuff that we cant fix

RH can NEVER be MS - thanks to the GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968771)


Red Hat could never become "the next MS" - even assuming they wanted to - because the GPL keeps them honest.

I'm getting a little tired of outsiders slandering one of our own.


Certainly Buggy Enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968772)

Once you get past the Redhat stuff, Linux is pretty decent... The Redhat part leaves much to be desired. They are getting better though.

yes yes yes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968773)

RPM's go against what a lot of linux is about:

1. Newbies learn rpm's and never know how to compile there own software

2. Never download a binary -- trojans abound !

and its really getting retarded that some apps are pro-rpm -- like GNOME ? Kinda funny that the only source install-guide is called "Installing from source for a RedHat system"

If it's from ZDnet, it must be MS-FUD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968774)

Anyone else notice that 99% of the stuff that is on zd-net seems to be, well, slanted in a major ass-kissing way towards Redmond?

since you asked... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968775)

I think its idiotic.

Redhat releases GPL licensed code.

Why is that a problem?

Qt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968776)

It may for the next release. Qt's license now satifies RMS and Eric Reymond. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for you.

Remember the early 80s? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968777)

Let's all just step back a few years when DOS was a very popular OS and it was made by a number of vendors. This caused problems when an application was made for one flavor of DOS and it wouldn't be friendly to the other flavors.

MS steps in, elimates the competition, and makes more of a standard for hardware and software.

This wasn't the best thing MS did, but what did it bring?

More compatible hardware, more compatible software, and an overall level of PCs being better than before.

Granted, eliminating competition isn't a good thing, but if you do it for a little while, then bring competition back, it can help you more than it will hurt you.

RH is a different story. They are trying to get a lot of companies to back Linux. Sure, many users don't like RH for their distribution, but they are making a big name for Linux in the corporate field. The rest of us will install anything else (Stampede, Debian, etc), but RH wants Linux to be known on the corporate space.

Don't flame RH for doing this, they are smart to try and bring something back to the community that helped make them what they are today.

RH is still open source, they will continue to be open source and they still contribute to the open source movement.

Once they stop supporting the community they help bring them up, then they have something to worry about.

Linux users becoming like MS users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968778)

Exactly. People on Slashdot (and elsewhere) are beginning to demand software releases. People are looking more at version numbers as a way to determine software quality/age/etc. These are all from the DOS/Windows world which Microsoft has created. I really wish the free software community was more like it was 1-2 years ago (before the "push" for "Global Domination"). I'm starting to wonder if its perhaps the Microsoft users -not Bill Gates- who makes Microsoft evil. Anyways.. main stream users have no respect for us or computers. They think of nerds the same way they did back in high school (pocket protector wearing dorks with tape holding their glasses together). I don't see why everyone thought it would be alright for millions of main stream disrespectful users to flock to Linux. They must not have thought about how the developers would feel about all of this. A year from now there will be a commercial Linux community with free software developers working with GNU/*BSD (Linux having next to no free software developers) or Linux will still have many developers, but will lack main stream users (current state). Linux could also die out. Users get sick of distributions not being compatible, binary incompatibility, etc. Developers would get sick of the users and move on.

Currently, I believe Linux to be losing speed. Personally I'm getting sick of all the people throwing words around trying to make their ego grow. I'm also sick of the flood of shoddy quality software (but thats a whole other story).

You are missing the point! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968779)

Wow! You really don't get it do you ? You have CHOICE. You can choose any distro you like. If you are really worried about this,
use Debian GNU/Linux it's the most free distribution out there.

Sorry already running Slackware and.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968780)

it rocks!

What does FUD stand for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968781)

I get the meaning by context, but I can't put together what the letters FUD actually stand for. (None of my guesses account for the "D")

Who Cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968782)

The problem is that the GPL is irrelevant. So what if the source is "free"? Microsoft doesn't control standards because the source is closed; they do it through power. 'Might makes right' is the motto.

RedHat could take their customer base and make de facto standards regardless of the license. Why does everyone assume the GPL does everything? When it can produce Coke from lead, I will fall down on my knees and worship it.

I personally don't care if they become MS or not. I run a system (SLS based) that I have been migrating up through the years. I only use tarballs. I realize this is cruel to tar, but I do it anyway. :)

On a side note, I don't remember the GPL being worshipped back in '92 as much as it is now. Does anyone recall whether that is true or not? I have slept since then.

Sean Farley

Some good point(s) about the article... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968889)

I initially gave a sigh of "more FUD" when I saw this article, but reading over it, it does bring up some good points.

1.) Red Hat should consider joining the LSB even if it doesn't agree entirely with it, at this point. If you don't like something, and you think you have a better way, present it to your peers. This seems to work extremely well in the Linux community. We have a low tolerance for BS. People in the movement have a much more clear vision of now and the future. Red Hat is probably holding up the acceptance of Linux a little by slowing the process of standardizing the Linux platform. Success cannot be had without at least a basic level of standardization. I urge Red Hat to just bite the bullet on this one, and find an agreeable solution.

2.) Red Hat should be able to make a certification standard for whatever they want. They create the RH distro, they know whats up (usually, damn suid bugs).

3.) I don't trust Ransom Love or Caldera as far as I could throw them. What have they really done for the free software movement? Granted, they are a business, but Red Hat's done far more for the community.

fsck redhat (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968890)

It's interesting the amount of outrage and support RedHat receives, at the notion they engage in some questionable business practices.

Of course the Microsoft comparison is a bit drastic, but is it totally off base? I have it on good authority that some of the largest Linux-only computer resellers have exclusivity deals with RH. Perhaps these were struck by the reseller and not RH, but likely not. IOW, if you buy a computer from one of these companies, they are obligated to sell it with a copy of RedHAt Linux, and RH only.
Is that acceptible? Perhaps ...

-No big fan of RedHat

Who Cares (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968891)

Even if Redhat is becoming the next M$, it doesn't matter, because they still have to release the code under the GPL. Even if M$ released a version of Linux, guess what, they'd have to release the code under the GPL. Besides that, if Redhat doesn't run the app you need to run, then use a distribution that will or modify Redhat so it will run the app. That is what Linux is all about, freedom of choice. To my knowledge Redhat has not put any secrect code in their distribution and they have never forbiden anyone from modifying the code and everything they have contributed has been free for the download or bought on a CD for $10 from another source. So my question is whats the problem?

Divide and conquer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968892)

Caldera is whining big time here. RedHat has so far done the "Right Thing". They have released all their sources unlike Caldera which has pursued the policy of vendor lock-in. The reason that RedHat is popular is that RH has been open and done the right thing by the OSS community. I wonder if Microsoft paid Caldera to whine like this and create unseemly infighting. LSB? Where was Caldera for the past few years trying to work with vendors and coming up with these supposed standards? Now that RH has the publicity, Caldera wants to undercut it by spreading FUD.

Wake up Caldera and stop these shady tactics!


Misunderstanding the Nature of Openness (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968893)

I think there's a bit of a misunderstanding over the nature of openness going on here. An open-community lets everyone invent and develop the innovations they want. Then the community decides which they will support. Its a fundamentally decentralized system. This article seems like its complaining that Red Hat are not supporting a centralized standardization-by-committee project which is pretty much the antithesis of this sort of openness.

As to Red Hat selling training for their brand of Linux (including specific quirks) it seems hard to see what moral compulsion there should be on them not to do this? Sometimes, its inevitable that a de-facto standard locks in, and other varieties become extinct. This can become a practical problem, but doesn't represent a moral failing on the part of the winners. (Even Microsoft are sometimes unfairly castigated just for being big - though they're often bad too)

NOT everything on RedHat's CD is GPLed... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968894)

Apache, BIND, BSD stuff, X, Netscape...

MSlinux? (Not a flame) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968895)

Red Hat _can't_ screw things up like Microsoft. Imagine a worst-case scenario: Red Hat eats all the other distributions, then starts producing bad software and support.

The solution? Somebody picks up an old Red Hat version that _works_ and makes their own distribution. Or they take a new distribution, hack on it, and make it work.

A major point of Open Source is that it is designed to make it impossible for anyone to hold the customer by the nose ring.

Red Hat is currently the 800-lb gorilla in the Linux market. They may become the _entire_ Linux market. If they end up with 80-90% of the market, it will be because we consumers want it that way.

Believe you me, if Red Hat owns the market and starts pulling a Microsoft, (or some name equally unlikely) will come online, complete with the full Red Hat source, and fork the development off. The only way Red Hat could prevent that would be to stop shipping the source code--an absolute breach of copyright. That would immediately attract a school of lawyers and work them up into a feeding frenzy on the legal end, and probably a small army of crackers to "liberate" the code on the illegal end.

The two reasons that Microsoft can do what they do are because they have the right to charge for licenses, and they have exclusive source code rights. Red Hat can become a market leader, and possibly the one-and-only vendor, but the nature of the copyrights guarantees that they cannot become a monopolist. The barrier to entry in this market will always be low, and compatibility need never become an issue.

How Stupid... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968896)

Redhat is not perfect, but its the best I have seen so far. Been using it for 1.5 years and no
real complaints.

LSB - some facts (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968898)

/. once again spins off into uninformed bigotry.

The LSB is not about making all distributions identical. It's about giving application authors a minimal set of libraries, header files, configuration paths, locations for dynamic state &c., in known locations. i.e. Things that just make life easier for an application writer to port their software to Linux.

Redhat being unenthusiastic about LSB, and just attempting to have their FS layout the de-facto standard (as it is now) would be a Bad Thing. Fortunatly Eric Troan was very positive about it when I last heard him speak on the subject.

I hope Red Hat's technical base manage to hold out against pressures from marketing to go proprietary.

Redhat not supporting LSB... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968899)

From the LSB web page (
Current Members:
Caldera Inc
The Debian Project
delix Computer GmbH
Pacific HiTech
>>Red Hat SoftwareSuSE. GmbH
Enhanced Software Technologies, Inc.
Metro Link, Inc.
Software in the Public Interest, Inc.
Linux Hardware Solutions
VA Research

As you can see RedHat, Debian, Caldera and SuSE are all members...

Linux users becoming like MS users (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968904)

RedHat isn't becoming like Microsoft, but Linux users have started to sound a lot like Windows users esp. some of the people on these boards.

Windows users used to flame and think users of other operating systems were inferior and not worth their time. If somebody didn't use their type of hardware, they would be laughed at.

Now, a lot of linux users are wearing that shoe. What were once advocates and evangelists are now incensed zealtos.

Now, I don't want to start a flame war, but I invite people to take a look at what they do and say before they actually happen.



Someone predicted this would happen. (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1968905)

Not to long ago, I read an article here about the "Backlash against Red Hat." Someone said (AC, so I can't attribute it:

This is is different than what I have been hearing
by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10

I, for one, generally agree with the tone of the comments above, i.e., Red Hat has been good for Linux and a win for RH is a win for Linux in general.

But: This isn't what I have been hearing around here lately. I have been hearing about "the Microsoft of Linux" for months now. If I were a Gartner Groupie hanging out on Slashdot, I would have certainly written the same article.

In fact, /. is a high-enough profile website that I wouldn't be surprised if some of the FUD about the Linux community had its origins right here. Take one halfclued reporter/analyst, half-a-dozen noisy distribution/free software/etc bigots, and presto! Negative press coverage.

Sometimes we need to think before we post.

This person got it right on. I think that this article came straight out of Slashdot, with a few of Caldera's sour grapes thrown in. (BTW, is it just me, or did it seem like this story could have been cooked up -- or at least heavily influenced -- by Caldera?) Red Hat has got their problems, but, hey. This isn't the way to world domination.

Maybe some truth there (5)

anewsome (58) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968907)

Personally I think it's a stretch to say the Redhat may be the next MS. It might be more accurate to say they'll be the next MS of the free software world.

The practice of being in the free software business is just too different to put them on the same playing field as Microsoft, who focus on just te bottom line, FUD and hardball tactics.

I don't see Redhat as being the strongarm of the free software world, but I also don't think that Red Hat's philosophy is at all in line with Linus'.

Linus says that his personal drive for Linux is guided by technical excellence and nothing more. I don't see any technical excellence being driven by Redhat with their 'not quite their yet' tools, stranger than strange file locations and other general 'do it their way' crap.

And yes I am a bit bitter about having to upgrade all ny boxes to redhat only becuase none of the commercial software (Oracle) ran on my Slackware boxes that I'd had for years.

Thanks, Aaron Newsome [mailto] .

Re: Maybe some truth there (1)

Gleef (86) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968908)

RedHat cannot be the next Microsoft, because even if they do have over 50% of the Linux market (a number which I doubt, SuSE is huge in Europe, and there are more people running Linux in Europe Linux than in the US last I checked), they cannot hijack things the way Microsoft did.

Yes, RedHat has been lukewarm towards the LSB, but the LSB isn't even ready for a draft standard yet, there is no guarantee they will finish, much less be good. The other standard out there, the FHS, they have followed quite well (far better than the stranger than strange file locations you get with Slackware). I am sure that if the LSB is halfway decent when it is done, RedHat will follow it (I don't know about happily, but there will be lots of pressure for them to follow it).

Don't switch your boxes to RedHat for Oracle, upgrade your libraries, and force Oracle to work for you. Better yet, use PostgreSQL (it now has better row locking and better performance than Oracle on single processor machines).

my post to talkback... (1)

mosch (204) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968910)

Conceived as a computing champion, Microsoft Inc got it's hand bit battling unstoppable moves by the likes of RedHat Software Inc., Linux Torvalds, and a bored doctoral student who is currently working on some of the Linux kernel for "fun". Now it may be borrowing a page straight from North Carolina.

Indeed, with NT garnering decreased credibility and various Linux distributions growing at a rate of 212% last year, the Redmond vendor suddenly finds itself the unintended target of an exploding industry. And Microsoft is using every bit of its current market lead to push its alternative operating system into a dominant position.

Smart business move? Possibly. But some critics, such as the United States Department of Justice, contend that Microsoft's business practices, under CEO William Gates, are becoming heavy-handed and bad for the entire computing industry.

Most controversial, perhaps, is the company's new plan to fix bugs and respond to consumer problems, while 3rd party efforts to make revenue off of the open-source inspired idea are in the hopper. Further flustering the hornet's nest is Microsoft's unenthusiastic reception of any standards, including POSIX above v1, X-windows, kerberos, CODA, IPv6, and it's unwillingness to accept RedHat's challenge of becoming profitable and dominent while selling what is basically a commodity product.

It's ironic that the company which claims to be the market leader is not supporting well-known standards properly.

While the DOJ and numerous other companies are involved with lawsuits against the Redmond based giant, it's clear that Microsoft is no longer the chummy place it used to.... oh wait... never mind.

Satisfied Slackware admin here... (0)

John Campbell (559) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968917)

It can't happen. Simple as that. I'm not a big Red Hat fan... I've had enough trouble getting even simple things to compile cleanly on their distribution that I recommend against it whenever anyone's considering a new Linux installation. But there is no way they can become the next Microsoft. The GPL protects us from it. That's why it's there.

Absolutely WRONG (1)

maelstrom (638) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968920)

Its obvious that this journalist hasn't a clue about the GPL or Linux in general. I've lost a lot of respect for Caldera after reading this article.

Ransom Love is whining that Informix targeted Red Hat for their port. Well guess what Caldera? If you really want to be compatible you could easily take Red Hat's ENTIRE distribution, slap your CLOSED SOURCE Novell crap on top of it and brand it Caldera. Mandrake Linux and others have done exactly this.

If you are incompatible, FIX it. That's what open source is about. Red Hat doesn't have any secret API's that are designed to break competing software.

I've used Red Hat quite a bit and I haven't paid them a single penny, unlike certain Microsoft products I no longer use and pay out the nose for! Furthermore, I heavily use Red Hat's ftp, web services, mailing lists, and take advantage of the fact that they are supporting development in GNOME, KDE, Enlightenment and the kernel itself (Alan Cox). I'm glad to see Red Hat is successful and as long as they continue to support Free software I will support them.

BTW, last I heard Linus used Red Hat. I'd sure like to see how HE customizes that bad boy :)

LSB ideas and ZDNet article. (1)

Codifex Maximus (639) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968921)

For LSB, why not just create a /compat directory with links to everything? That way, the different distributions could stay different yet remain compatible with the LSB. I know it wouldn't help much for libc5 vs glibc but... libc5 is discontinued! glibc6 is the way to go now so... is this still a REAL issue?

As for the article, I don't think RedHat has crossed the evil line yet. Anyway, it is in RedHat's best interests FINANCIALLY to remain in good standing with the community.

Not even close (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968924)

Posted by JerTheNerd:

>When you say microsoft is selling software >because they want to make money, I say, "Don't >waste your time typing that into a keyboard."

This is true... I should have just assumed that as a 'given.' I stand corrected. ;-)

>Now when you say RedHat is selling Linux becuase >it works, I say, "Are you out of you mind?"

I didn't say that that's why they're selling it. I said that's why they're pushing it, that's why they have half the sales in the open source community, and they shouldn't be picked on for it.

>RedHat isn't some non-profit organization >selling Linux CDs so they can buy rice to send >over to somalia.

Quite true. I know that they're doing this to pay the bills just like everyone else. My intent was to point out the marked difference between they way they and Microsoft handle the issue.

MS made 95 (again a given, but I'll make a thought progression out of it, don't worry!) and sold it to the masses for $90 a box. I'll admit, before I gained some knowledge, I thought '95 was the best thing that ever hit my hard drive. (=>@ *(*%(*^%(%(*%) Then MS makes IE4... freely downloadable from their conxion FTP mirror. Then... they make '98. And they sell the Windows 98 upgrade for another $90. Holy rip off Batman! 95 with IE4 and 98 are IDENTICAL!! There are only a VERY few subtle differences.

Now... Redhat makes a linux distribution. When a friend of mine bought the 5.1 box set it was $50. Then 5.2 was released. You can download the entire thing for free, or you can pay another $30 for the 5.2 box set.

Redhat is definately NOT in this for the principle of the thing, they want to make their money. But, they're also not just selling us something we already have. And they're not inflating the value of what they sell.

Again... my two cents. :-)

Redhat?! (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968925)

Posted by dwiiezle:

I agree with that redhat is a kind of mini-m$.
They have slow sucking "user-friendly" distributions with bugging libraries :)

The only difference is that caldera doesn't make money like m$ does ;)

Slackware rox! :)

Not even close (2)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968932)

Posted by JerTheNerd:

First of all... Red Hat and MS are two completely different animals. MS is pushing software on people, basicly to make money ($90 a pop for Windows 98... WHAT THE ????) and just because they can. They (or should I say 'he') are (is) using the fact that so many people are locked into using MS products to keep digging the trench deeper.

On the flip side of the coin, Red Hat is pushing their software because it WORKS! And works well. It's easy to install, easy to configure, easy to learn, and easy to use. Plus it doesn't crash. I think I've gotten my box to freeze all of once because that was way back (a month ago) when I had no clue what I was doing. Anyway... couple the fact that Red Hat makes good reliable software, with the price difference! I've seen the 5.2 box set for $30! Or if you're cheap, just download it!

At the very least I'd say that comparing the two companies in the first place (in that manner) is the quickest way to get "Gold Member" status on your Moron Club Card.

Just my two cents, feel free to dispense change. ;-)

As a Debian user, I think RH are all right. (2)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968933)

I've no reason to be a fan, but from what I can observe of their behaviour it's only possible to think that they're some sort of Microsoft if you imagine that they're ill-thought-of just because their software is popular, ie if you have utterly failed to take in just how nasty MS really is.

And they do support the LSB. And they fund free software development. And they support standards. I think their behavour is pretty much exemplary.

I still prefer Debian though...

Look at the LSB and decide for yourself: (1)

jabbo (860) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968934)

LSB Home Page []

My feeling is that it is very important. I run FreeBSD, Debian, and RedHat; I'd very much like for RedHat and Debian to be more compatible, as I imagine many people would like Slackware to be, etc. There's no reason for gratuitous incompatibility -- RedHat is a bunch of nice people, but sometimes their decisions for where to put things and what to include make little sense.

A common starting point would be very good for Linux, and would really stuff it to the "fragmentation FUDrakers" once and for all.

Redhat not supporting LSB??? (1)

TedC (967) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968937)

Red Hat has been misquoted by ZD before, so I wouldn't take this article to be the last word on their lack of support for the LSB. I hope it's not true, anyway.


Some good point(s) about the article... (1)

TedC (967) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968938)

I don't trust Ransom Love or Caldera as far as I could throw them. What have they really done for the free software movement?

They wrote the PPP and IPX stuff for Linux.

I find myself defending Caldera on an increasingly regular basis. This isn't because I like their distro so much as I dislike all the FUD _within_ the Linux community. FUD is FUD, whether it comes from MS or an AC.

BTW, I'm not singling you aout in particular, but I had to post this somewhere. :-)


How Stupid... (2)

TedC (967) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968940)

Why doesn't Informix run well in Caldera? Because Caldera is running totally out of date, bug-ridden libraries.

I assume you're referring to libc5. They are out of date, but they aren't "bug ridden". They used (past tense, so this post isn't out of date by the end of the month...) them because they're stable. A bug (unintended program behavior) is not the same as a missing feature (thread support).


You are missing the point! (2)

Phil Gregory (1042) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968942)

Linux is free.

That means that anyone who doesn't want to go with RedHat doesn't have to. Given the freeness of Linux, I see no way for RedHat to somehow deprive you of your choice among the distributions. If you don't like any of them, you can even roll your own. (I'd love to do that someday, but I don't have the time.)

How could RedHat make .rpms incompatible? rpm is GPLed. We'd all be able to see what the format changes were and they'd gain nothing but ill will.

Remember, RedHat is a company. Their primary goal is to earn enough money to allow their employees to make a living working for them. If they ever did anything along the lines of the paranoid ravings being spouted here, they would lose all community trust. With that trust would go their profits. I doubt they plan anything so insidious.

--Phil (Over there! It's a conspiracy! Made you look...)

I dub thee Rob Malda, Sir Troll of Slashdot! (1)

root (1428) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968951)

Not only is this more MS slanted stuff from ZD, it rings of Godwin's Law, which should be extended to include references or comparisone to Microsoft and it's overlord Bill Gates. There is, of course, only one proper response to a troll. Drumroll please....


All Hail Sir Troll of Slashdot!

You are missing the point! (2)

Juju (1688) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968955)

The problem with RedHat becoming the standard distro is about choice.

If I am not able to choose which one I want (RH, SuSE, Debian, Slackware, Turbo Linux...) then Linux will go a big step backward.

Ok Red Hat has done (is doing) great things for Linux but I want CHOICE!

Besides, Red Had having the biggest market share can (by changing it's "format") make all the rpm incompatible with other distros.
This remembers me what a company from Redmond is doing to keep the lead in the desktop market...

I am not against RH (I have it on my PC), just worried...

Incompatability (1)

BadlandZ (1725) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968956)

I think the LSB is a good thing, and the only fault I can find has nothing to do with Red Hat.

IMHO, the LSB is only weak because of lack of manpower. And I don't know if Red Hat supplying that would be a good thing. The LSB just needs people with time to get things going. They recently some stress over time to even keep the HTML up to date, and that's still an ongoing battle.

If you wanna see compatability, then lend a hand in the LSB, it's that simple. If you wanna see Red Hat Dominate, do nothing and just keep buying CD's from them. I don't have a problem with Red Hat, I use it on several boxes, but I would like to see the LSB get some more momentum, and that will just have to come from manhours.

If Red Hat is so secretly anti-LSB as the FUD artical says, why is Alan Cox (who works for Red Hat) one of the most active members on every LSB list?!?

Impossable (2)

BadlandZ (1725) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968957)

  • GPL'ed all software developed in house.
  • Allow free download of product they sell (including manual).
  • Openly communicate with competitors.
If you think those fit Microsoft, well, then maybe the two are the same.

I just don't see it (and haven't since the first time I heard this FUD over a year ago).

How Stupid... (0)

Amphigory (2375) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968960)

This orticle is really lame. Basically, I would interpret it as FUD from Redmond trying to make people think that Linux is more fragmented than it actually is.

Why doesn't Informix run well in Caldera? Because Caldera is running totally out of date, bug-ridden libraries.

Also, as I recall (and I am an informix DBA), Informix wouldn't run on Redhat 5 at first because it didn't support glibc.


Debian is our insurance policy (1)

Peter Koren (2433) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968961)

I use Red Hat and will soon also use Suse on another machine. But Debian is our safety net. I think the Red Hat guys are smart enough to realize that and won't pull any stunts.

Debian is important for all of us, even if we don't use it.

RedHat comparisions to Microsoft (2)

substrate (2628) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968964)

If the numbers given in the article are right, then RedHat does have a much stronger position in the Linux market share than any other Linux vendor. I don't see evidence of Microsoft practices however. They haven't embraced open standards, modified them and concealed the specifications while at the same time protecting the new specification as intellectual property. They haven't released something for free to crush competition only later to consider charging money for it. They haven't released software which only works on there distribution. What they have done is come up with a relatively easy to use Linux distribution and done so earlier in the game than a lot of the competition. They've done a better job than most on making use of the latest Linux technologies. It's the first point which got them market share and I would wonder how much of that market share has actually payed for RedHat and how much has downloaded it for free (or gone to cheapbytes and picked up an unofficial package) It's a bit of a rolling stone really. Since more people use RedHat chances are that more developers are developing on it and so its more likely that it makes use of the technologies present in a RedHat distribution. This may be unfortunate in terms of squeezing smaller competition out of the running but it seems like its unavoidable. For source distributions the user and developer community is still free to modify the code and make a more distribution agnostic version. It's not RedHat's fault that there are some distribution dependancies, they were in the right place at the right time with the right product. The market share isn't so high that it can't change either. If somebody makes a better deal for the consumer the market share can be moved (ease of installation, reliability, scalability, ease of use, feature set, price, pool of resources including people who can help fix you when you're broke)

If RedHat started developing its own closed source office suite and bundling it with its distribution then it would be infringing on Microsofts practices. I don't see that happening though. The various distributions happen not to be exactly plug and play compatible for software applications. Common sense says that most of it will work best with whoever has the largest market share.

The RedHat training is another point that I don't agree with. RedHat has a distribution. It only makes sense both from a business stand point and a feasibility stand point. RedHat employs a lot more people that know RedHat than know Caldera etc. Caldera has the option of providing training as well, and despite their vocal objection to RedHats training I'd be pretty suprised if they didn't also do distribution specific training.

It would be good if all the distributions had all the same libraries and all the various configuration files in the same place, but then there would only be one distribution with maybe some smaller companies selling CD's of the source and binary trees.

Rpm and Debian (1)

gas (2801) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968967)

I don't think RedHat is acting like M$ either, on the contrary, they seem to be better as time goes (no longer any proprietary software in the dist.) but I keep an eye on them in case that changes.

But one thing disturbs me, but I am not sure I got this right since I wasn't there at the time but:

1. Debian made their package system. (right?)

2. RedHat thought: Great idea, let's make one too.

Under many circumstances I can understand that. The problem is that the Debian system clearly is better so why didn't they use that? Or even renamed it to RPM but kept them compatible??? Or was Debians packaging system really crappy at the start?

I support Red Hat (2)

slothbait (2922) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968968)

...and as long as they continue to license their tools and software under the GPL, they can not become "the next MS". Think about Mandrake...people used it because they like RH but they also like KDE. Red Hat got the message and, since the license change, KDE will be included in RH 6.0 (atleast as an option). Now people will move back to Red Hat. With the GPL, we will always have this branching option.

I can't even think of examples where Red Hat has bullied other distros around (yes: I remember the LSB, but I understand that that is somewhat rectified, and I still wouldn't call it bullying).


First post! (0)

Squeeze Truck (2971) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968969)

speaking of triggered responses.

The users are going to destroy slashdot.

As long as each individual is facing the TV tube alone, formal freedom poses no threat to privilege.

redhat vs. other distributions (0)

drexel (3155) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968971)

RedHat seems to be the most popular distribution, but I will not be pleased with it until they clean up their RPM crap. If RedHat wants me to use RPMS, they should at least place the binaries in the default location. Until they do that, I will be using slackware.

Linux users becoming like MS users (1)

haides (3733) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968974)

Well you have to think about who most of the linux community is.. converted M$ users.. (not all.. just most). So the same way of thinking still exists. The only solution is just to "grow up"

Every OS sucks. Its just find the one that sucks the least for you.

It's under the GPL (1)

Vince (4999) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968977)

As long as RedHat continues to release their software under the GPL, other distros will be able to attain comatibility easily, and, like Mandrake-BeroLinux, be able to stay ahead of RedHat in terms of kernel, egcs, glibc, and other packages.

MSlinux? (3)

Vince (4999) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968979)

RedHat doesn't seem at all willing to work with Redmond. At the UCLA LUG meeting last year, djb reject the idea that they write a Windows program that detects the hardware, sets up partitions, and automatically installs Linux, because they refuse to hire or pay a Windows developer. If they're unwilling to work with MS when it clearly only benefits RH, I doubt they'd work with MS in some mutually-beneficial agreement.

redhat vs. other distributions (1)

Alan Shutko (5101) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968980)

"put binaries in the default location"?

Which default location do you mean? Many programs default to /usr/local/bin... does it make any sense for a dist to do this?

Exclusivity? (1)

sreilly (5153) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968981)

The GPL has no impact whatsoever on exlusive deals like the original author mentioned. However, since most of the redhat distribution is GPL'd, the OEMs could theoretically just buy one $50 copy of redhat (or even a $2 copy from cheapbytes) and install it on all of their machines. I expect the redhat "deal", whatever it is, is mainly just for providing support - not for licensing the software itself.

Why Red Hat is not the next M$ (1)

ed_the_unready (5193) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968982)

Try to imagine Micros~1 turning their high-profile website into a portal. Now imagine that this portal prominently displays headlines like this one from another site. Now imagine if this other site included commentary from any and everyone filled with the typical lies we usually hear ( "Red$at is just for newbies" vs. "Red$at makes me fix bugs", along with "Red$at makes me use their stupid Win95 imitating GUI" vs. "Red$at won't give me MY stupid Win95 imitating GUI").

Hard to imagine M$ doing this. Red Hat has already shown an acceptance of Linux diversity and a remarkable tolerance for criticism, deserved or otherwise.

Support the distribution of your choice, but also support Red Hat.

------------------------------------------------ --

Nothing to see here, just move on (1)

cthonious (5222) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968983)

This is ZDNet's obligatory linux article for today. It's just them not being able to come up with anything more exciting - so they made something up.

I just wonder how many interesting story submissions got passed up for this one (which was worthless).

Absolutely NOT. (1)

Ryandav (5475) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968985)

As has been explained before, RedHat is completely incapable of exerting monopolistic control over the linux market, and is fact unable to survive without an army of loyal supporters and coders. Were they to become as unpopular as Microsoft, they would cease to be relevant. This is just divisiveness, and is therefore bad for everyone. Not every large or growing company which is the computer biz turn into Microsoft.

MSlinux? (1)

ocie (6659) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968988)

Case in point - RPM

Many distributions are based on RPM to manage their installed software. RedHat _GAVE_ this away and doesn't require royalties for its use. It may give them jollies to see how many people are making use of their software, but isn't that what free software is all about? When was the last time that M$ gave anything away without an ulterior motive to destroy competition? One could argue that by giving away RPM, RedHat actually increased competition.

As a Debian user, I think RH are all right. (1)

Amadeus (7472) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968989)

I'm also a Debian user. I pretty much dislike the RedHat distribution itself, but the company has done a lot of great things for Linux... not only bringing users to Linux, but funding free software like Gnome and their own distribution's tools. I think we can safely assume that RedHat isn't the next M$.

Redhat not supporting LSB... (1)

pli (8167) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968992)

no, it's not about what window manager linux should have or not have, but instead about basic stuff like what the filesystem structure should look like, what basic libs should be included, what basic utilities should be included, etc.

btw, the link is

If it's not PRO-LINUX, it must be MS-FUD! (1)

Noke (8971) | more than 15 years ago | (#1968995)

Has anyone noticed that it's a triggered response from the linux 'community' to instantly shout "FUD!" about something (even if they don't read it/don't know what they are talking about) simply because it's not pro-linux? Hell in this case, it's not for or against linux, it's reporting about two diff distributions of linux.
These ideas about everything being apart of a vast Microsoft conspiracy to spread FUD about linux is really starting to get old. Some of you watch too much x-files.
Perhaps slashdot should change the slogan to "News for fanatics, stuff only about linux"?
BTW, I noticed that zdnet has a direct link to a "Linux Resources" from it's main starting page.
( - I hardly consider that to be "99% of the stuff that is on zd-net seems to be, well, slanted in a major ass-kissing way towards Redmond"

Red Hat -> Microsoft = FUD! (1)

brassrat77 (9533) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969002)

This article reminds me why I rarely do more than glance through "Smart Reseller".

The economic and technical conditions that enabled MS to establish a monopoly desktop O/S and extend it to applications and try with servers simply do not exist (at least at present) in the Linux community. It wasn't that long ago that Debian went from "new" to become a leading distribution.

We have different "flavors" of Linux distributions becuase the community has different needs.

IF RH were to start locking up applications, stopped supporting efforts like GNOME, stopped funding developers unless they licensed their code solely to RH, THEN I'd worry (and switch to another distro).

Rob, this must be a slow news day.

Speaking as a former reporter... (1)

Pudding Yeti (9773) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969003)

...I can confidently assert that this article is part and parcel of what you can expect now that Linux is "newsworthy."

They've figured out that Linux stories attract eyes, so they're going to write about Linux. Enter the other factor, which is what to write about once they've decided that they're going to write.

Well, conflict sells. Heck, conflict has been the primary basis of Western (and I mean that in the classic sense) narrative for millenia. We've run through the cycle of "GNOME storms the MS desktop stronghold" and "Big Name Adopters Prove Microsoft is doomed," so the next best thing to do is troll (and I use that in the "gill net fishing" sense) for some other conflict.

Red Hat is tailor-made for this sort of reportage, because anyone half-awake who reads Linux Journal (for instance) will come across a Red Hat hating letter every now and then. Anyone who frequents Slashdot will also come across the usual contingent of "Red$Hat" comments and the like.

This article is just a reporter being a reporter, writing about a general subject (Linux) that's been done to death by everyone and their mama's knitting circle newsletter, and trying to find an angle to make this story more interesting and more widely read than all the other Linux stories.

And, now that I think of it, we ought to realize that for every simpering convert, there's going to be a nay-sayer... you know... a water cooler sage... eager for the chance to say "I told you this whole loonis thing was going nowhere."

Use Debian and let your mind be free... (1)

NatePuri (9870) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969004)

Let your conscience be clear; become a nicer person...

Redhat not supporting LSB... (1)

Dast (10275) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969007)

Can anyone provide me with a link to more info on the LSB? Specifically, what is included in it?

If (from what I understand of it) the LSB includes a specification for a window manager (ie all linux distros will come with wm, or whatever), then I certainly agree with RH on not supporting it. But I would like to check it out myself.

Exclusivity? (1)

Theseus (10302) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969008)

How is an exclusive business deal w/RedHat possible, when the GPL permits anyone to copy Linux and install it on two machines, or a million? Unless RedHat is distributing non-GPL'd code... can anyone elaborate on this allegation? It sounds like a vicious, unfounded rumor.

Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (1)

Theseus (10302) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969009)

It's a marketing tactic IBM used "back in the day" to make customers afraid to switch to competitors' products. Today it means a factually-unfounded attempt by an established company to besmirch the reputation of a new, innovative idea.

Inevitable (5)

Laxitive (10360) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969011)

Well, from the past 5 comments.. I can see the linux defense guns coming up and aiming. "FUD" they scream. Step back and take a look people, I think this article has some valid points.

This sort of situation is really inevitable. When companies get involved, they are going to pursue their bottom line, and they really dont give a shit about anything else. They dont give a shit about freedom, open source, or the community unless it is really advantageous for them. There is no advantage for RH in LSB. Why should they advocate something that might take people away from their platform?

"Look at gnome.. rpm," you say. There's a difference. Gnome is different because I believe redhat sees a financial advantage right now about keeping it's contribution open source. Furthermore, they cant close-source it because it's based on GTK, which is OSS. They know that if they could close-it, and they did, everyone would stop using RH, pretty much, so they dont.

RPM is a different problem altogether. RPM was created by RH when linux was still quite a small deal. Since then, RH has grown by leaps and bounds, and so has Linux.

The thing to know about companies is, they are NOT human. After a certain critical mass, they retain NO human qualities. RPM was released when RH was still run by humans, and humans who cared somewhat for the linux community. Furthermore, Linux itself was a very small platform back then, and all developments had to be shared if it had any chance of hitting the big time. Now it has.

There's just one more thing I'd like to point out. There are tons of people out there who have absolutely no problem with Linux getting in bed with the big guys - IBM, SUN, SGI, Dell, Compaq, etc. I just ask, has anyone noticed how far Linux has come WITHOUT any business help? Were the businesses here when kernel 1.2.13 became 2.0.0? Why do people attatch such a big significance to "market share"? Is "market share" going to make Linux inherently better? Is the worth of an operating system decided by how many people use it, or it's technical features? What is the worth of an OS if it is used by everybody, but technically lacking? What price is this community willing to pay to gain widespread acceptance in the world?

Big business did not help Linux 1 iota in it's development - and they wont help either unless they see a very direct way for them to profit from it. And greedy profit-seeking, in this case, is very very bad.

The feeling now is something akin to "look mom, I build my own race-car and it won the indy-500, and now all these nice rich people want me to wear their shoes and clothing, and they say they'll give me lots of money for it too.. gee whiz". Big business has a way of leaving everything it touches in a state of decrepid waste. Watch out.


Redhat not supporting LSB... (1)

mattc (12417) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969029)

I don't have a link to LSB but I don't think it goes as far as default window manager. It is more for very basic system utilities and libraries.

This artical misses the point (1)

icedtang (12652) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969031)

It's not RedHat that's leading the linux industry/community, it's the people using linux that actually define what linux is. That's the key factor in linux that everyone seems to be missing. Companies like RedHat and Calder would be up the creek without a padle if what they started doing is against the popular will of the linux community. It's the million's of linux users that actually shape linux into what it is, because it's not just one company or one person that's dictating to the rest of the world how linux should be mantained. It's the end users, not the companies that dictate what happens with linux.

Some good point(s) about the article... (1)

raistlinne (13725) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969034)

Actually, if you go to the LSB homepage (, you will notice that RedHat is one of the members.

Isn't this Caldera whining? (2)

raistlinne (13725) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969036)

Isn't this article basically someone interviewing caldera as they whine that everyone else isn't as backwards as they are? Life goes on, and progress happens. Any app which isn't a major system app shouldn't be distribution dependent other than requiring certain minimum system libraries. So does Caldera want every dist to package antiquated libraries to be "compliant"?

And what is that about the LSB being "an industrywide push to decide what basic components should go into every Linux distribution"? Well, actually, I just checked out the page, and RedHat is one of the members. There doesn't seem to be much that's actually in LSB at the moment, aside from a spec for glibc 2.0. Exactly how imcompliant is RedHat to these "standards"? How many of these "standards" exist for RedHat's dist to be incompliant?

yes yes yes.... (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969037)

I have said before that Linux needs standards.. RedHat is making them.. first to go to glibc2 weren't they? The started this whole rpm thing.. I shodul be able to get one rpm from any company and install it on a nother distro right?.. not always so.. different packages have different package makers, and thus different package dependancies... I am not to fond of RedHat.. I like Slackware or SuSE better..... I am looking forward to a libc2 version of slackware..

MSlinux? (1)

NaTaS777 (14285) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969040)

I don't think so. Redhat is great and they do good for the linux community. I don't think they would do something so $hitty that would make them like M$. I look at M$ as a business that makes $hitty how is Redhat like M$? Now if you look at it as a power hungry business...I still do not see how Redhat is like M$. Redhat is great and there not monopolizing things like M$ so they will never be a M$ like business in my opinion.

MSlinux? (2)

NaTaS777 (14285) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969041)

As for my grammer. Terribly sorry.... Anyway I run Slackware 3.5 on one of my computers. I have 4. The 1st one is my 486 and it runs slackware...the reason is its the best for a lower end computer. Redhat tends to load to much crap at startup and Slackware is more convient in that area. Now my firewall runs Debian. And my k6-2 300 runs Redhat. I like redhat cause its the easiest to configure overall. I know how to configure Slackware to do the same thing...but its a hassle. Anyway and on my 4th computer I run LinuxPPC. So don't go off and Flame cause I run Redhat. I have tried every distro and the 4 I use are my fav's. I aggree that Slackware is cool...but once u run Slackware you have to have alot of time on your hands...and second have you every tried to upgrade slackware when buying a new Slackware CD? Pretty $hitty if you ask me. Redhat has a "upgrade" option on it and is a hell of alot easier to upgrade compared to Slack. Anyway Flame all you want but I think Redhat has done nothing but positive stuff for Linux. They haven't Fuxed anything up.

Red Hat (1)

Master Switch (15115) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969053)

I have used Red Hat, SuSE, and Debian. I see no real differences between any of the modern version s of these. Back when Red Hat switched to glibc, that is when everyone thought Red Hat was breaking compatability. In reality, it was a smart move, and everyone else soon followed. In general, the only real differences between systems is how the files are laid out. For the most part, they are all in the same place from distro to distro, with a few minor, but noticiable differences. Most of the necessary libraries are present, along with all of the necessary tools. The only reason SuSE RPM's and Red Hat RPM's are different is due to file layout, and some minor differences in XF86 setups between the distros. You can, and I have, install SuSE rpm's on Red Hat, and vice versa. It takes a bit more configuring, but it really isn't all that hard for most things. In general, I don't see Red Hat trying to bully the Linux market. They are the leaders because they have taken the time to develop(GNOME, RPM, Kernel Development through Alan Cox etc...) and market Linux. They have earned their position. If they should try to do anything stupid, SuSE would eat their lunch.

Raging paranoia (1)

Grisha (15132) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969055)

So now, apparently, companies that have a bigger market share are monopolies?

Redhat not supporting LSB... (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969058)

Let's see:

  • File system location standard: already exists for Linux.
  • Basic utilities: Posix.2 specifies this already.
  • Basic libraries: functions are specified in Posix.1 and friends, the X11 specs, et. al.
  • Widget sets: not a system specification, should be specified on an application-by-application basis.
What exactly is LSB specifying that isn't already a standard independent of LSB?

Red Hat another AOL? (1)

DonK (16030) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969062)

Rather than Microsoft as a business model, Red Hat may well become like AOL - achieving brand identification as the easy access to a technical area.

MS-Linux/Office for Linux: not likely (1)

Royster (16042) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969063)

Coming out with an Office for Linux would give more legitamacy to Linux than MS is willing to grant. MS is stuck in the same place that IBM was when they announced the PS/2. In order to protect their investment in and cash flow from big iron, they tried to tie their customers into a proprietary bus. The market abandoned them in droves.

MS is also addicted to its Office and Windows upgrade cashflows. MS is trying to pull the users along, but there is a lot of resistance. Because they have to protect their current cash cow, they can't do a thing that would offer the least bit of recognition to Linux unless it's part of a deal with the DoJ.

MS is doomed. Once their revenue peaks, watch the stock drop like a stone.

Remember the early 80s? Yeah, what about it? (1)

Royster (16042) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969064)

The incompatibilities in the early 80s were hardware incompatabilities, not software incompatabilities. Top applications vendors wrote specifically for the IBM HW platform bypassing the slow DOS/BIOS services for display. That was the death knell of DOS machines like the DEC Rainbow which had MS-DOS but not the register level compatability that the later IBM clone market had.

We're in a similar situation with sound cards now. "SB Compatable" cards have a software interface that makes them look like SBs to applications programs using Win APIs. We need kernel drivers that speak to the hardware, not Windows-specific software compatability layers.

What does this have to do with Red Hat? They currently give back to the community as much as they take out. I've used Slackware and Red Hat. My next distro will probably be a different one. There will always be a more open market for Linux just because we don't have little proprietary bits that tie anyone into just one ditribution.

How Stupid... (1)

mw (16262) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969065)

Fact is:
* RedHat is NOT the easiest to install (maybe you want to look at EasyLinux)

* not everything on their CD is GPL'ed, as well as in any other distribution (except Debian maybe). Or do you have a GPL'ed Netscape, xv, XFree86, Perl, Tcl ... on your RedHat CD?

* at least when it comes to buggy distribution, RedHat comes very close to Microsoft

Mario Weilguni

Its all the same (1)

Louie (17943) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969070)

The power just shifts--once again you will have a company that will do anything to hold its monopoly. I said it in my last Column that Red Hat could be the next MS, this is nothing new.

Advanced Micro Devices and Intel are another tale of power shifts. The players are changing thats what it comes down to.

Louis Pierce

off base (1)

augustz (18082) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969071)

The point with Microsoft is that they didn't allow any choice of operating system, witness how hard it is still to get one with linux or BeOS on it.

I suspect that Red Hat will allow companies to sell other products without charging them more for Red Hat (comarketing stuff MS was used to doing) especially since Red Hat can be downloaded for free, for commercial use, from and a whole host of mirrors...

One sided and full of flaws. Here are a couple. (2)

augustz (18082) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969072)

In terms of one-sided reporting, this piece by Ben Elgin ( takes the cake. I don't see ONE quote from Red Hat on the matter, despite the fact that they are the topic of the article. In fact, I don't see much of their side of the story at all.

So what's the story?

Do we want ONE standard from LSB, or do we want to let the different "quirks" thrive, the very diversity and ability to try out new ideas without "standards approval" (why does that sound so much like microsoft, and its windows logo/co-marketing deals)?

Do we really beleive that Red Hat has some proprietary libraries that allow Informix to run on their system but not one others, when ANY system, including Caldera's can take any library, even the Red Hat package manager from Red Hat and use it in their own distribution?

Do we see a company that provides programmers, bandwidth, and a damn nice distribution for free? Or do we see a microsoft which is shutting down the competition (there seem to be more distributions than ever).

What we see is a piece of rock-bottom ZDnet reporting, and I read their stuff every day, by a reporter who couldn't be bothered to get the other side of the story, and got the story wrong. It's so pathetic it is unbeleivable, and worrisome because it might be believed.

Maybe. (1)

kmactane (18359) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969073)

>RPM's go against what a lot of linux
>is about:

>1. Newbies learn rpm's and never know how to compile
>there own software
>2. Never download a binary -- trojans abound !

I'm not sure that Linux (and the Open-Source/Free Software movement in general) is really about compiling your own software. I thought it was more about having the freedom to see and modify and redistribute the code if you want to. Sort of like the US' freedom of religion, in which you are free to pick from one of the already-existing religions, change your mind at any time, start your own religion, or even ignore religion altogether.

FWIW, I've installed things both with and without RPMs. I definitely find RPMs easier -- just type one command and everything happens within moments! It beats "make, make check, make setup, make install" and waiting a long time while stuff compiles. Also, some things have refused to compile properly against glibc.

On the other hand, the pre-installation documentation that comes with non-RPM installation sets is usually quite helpful, whereas with an RPM the only docs usually seem to be the man pages. Which are all right as far as they go, but you can't even look at them until after you've installed the whole package.

As for downloading binaries, RPMs are binaries. And they could contain Trojans. I've never encountered one that did, but it's possible.

>and its really getting retarded that some apps are
>pro-rpm -- like GNOME ? Kinda funny that the only source
>install-guide is called "Installing from source for a RedHat system"

Here, I totally agree with you. Especially if the only way to install it is to use an RPM -- what if someone doesn't have RPM installed on their system?

(Important note, BTW -- you can install RPM on non-Red-Hat systems. I believe you can d/l the thing from Red Hat's site for free and that it's open-source. But that doesn't mean that most non-Red-Hat machines have bothered to install RPM.)

This sort of thing will simply hinder the acceptance of one's software. If only (let's say) half the people can even install it, then you've just halved your potential user-space.

Typical ZD BS (0)

Arandir (19206) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969077)

Once again, Bill Gate's lapdog is barking at the postman. The letter the postman is delivering is "your time is up."

There is absolutely nothing in this article that remotely compares RH to M$. RedHat's certification program uses what! Caldera considers RedHat a what! RedHat is taking a wait-and-see approach to a linux what!

zzZZzz (0)

Khan (19367) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969078)

Man....has ZDNet become the FUD arm of M$ or what? I wonder what the qualifications are nowadays to become a writer there? Maybe I should apply ;)


*for all you newbies* ;)

MS-Linux: not yet. Office for Linux: most probably (2)

ArchiBear (19772) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969079)

I'd say that MS-Linux isn't likely at least for the forseeable future: MS have too much of a
gold mine in Windows in all its forms to give
credibility to a competitor, plus they don't
exactly have a good brand image for this one.

However, Office for Linux is another matter - they
can play exactly the same game that they do with
Office for Macs.

Let's face it - the Halloween memos show that
MS is aware that the effect of Linux is to
commoditise the operating system. If there's
no way they can kill it [1], they'll want to
be in on it and the easiest way they can
do that is through Office.

[1] I'd guess an attempt at FUD, patents and
especially FUD about patents. I don't think
it'll work, but I bet they try it.

How Stupid... (3)

Transzip (19873) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969080)

Given that everything on Redhat's CD is GPL'ed, I can't see how they are supposed to maintain a monopoly. At least their software is all open, unlike SuSE's YAST tool for example. Fact is, Redhat are reaping the benefit of being the "easiest" Linux to install when more and more Linux newbies are arriving; 'nuff said

RH SHOULD contribute to LSB (1)

nnet (20306) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969082)

The "wait and see" attitude regarding LSB is NOT
a good thing. RH SHOULD contribute, and contribute
early, so it may best take advantage and have input as to the final outcome of a "Linux Standard". They have a chance here to help shape
ALL Linux, not JUST its own distro. THAT is whats
in the best interests of the Linux community. But
that I suspect wouldn't be good business sense.
In example; their "Certification Program". How
would they be able to make money from it if ALL the distros were so similar? Lets face it, ALL distros have a degree of propriety, and since RH
is the most commercial of the bunch, they'd be doomed financially to standardize as per the LSB.

Red Hat and KDE (1)

tonyj (20863) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969084)

As long as Red Hat is willing to change their mind on big issues, then they are NOT monopolizing a la MS. They've seen the light on KDE and are putting it in their 6.0 release, so they understand that if they didn't do it, it may still be good. Of course, as long as the software is Open Source, we, the users, are still in good shape.

Ransom Love ain't one to talk (1)

disappear (21915) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969086)

Of course his distro ships with HUGE proprietary bits, like the Novell support stuff.

If we all ran on Caldera, we'd all be paying licensing fees.

I agree, though, that RH should *ultimately* support LSB, but I'd give them some slack as far as supporting a thing which hasn't actually done anything useful yet -- they're fsstd compliant, which is a good start.

This is dumb (1)

JBettis (22153) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969087)

The two examples they gave are totally wrong. 1) No linux standard has ever really worked / been complete or universally adopted. Why wouldn't RedHat be "lukewarm" on the idea. 2) What else would RedHat sell training for? FreeBSD? Good greif, or is it unfair for RedHat to offer training at all.

good grief (1)

dieMSdie (24109) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969095)

RedHat has done more FOR the Linux community than any other company that I know of. They took the risk, and now they are getting some rewards. I for one am glad to see them making money. I've used RedHat since version 3, and I gladly support them.

As for ZDNet, well, what can you say? Clueless would be a good word, I suppose.

How Stupid... (1)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969099)

Given that everything on Redhat's CD is GPL'ed

Isn't Redhat now shipping with Qt/KDE?

Not even close (1)

The Fonze (28895) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969102)

When you say microsoft is selling software because they want to make money, I say, "Don't waste your time typing that into a keyboard." Now when you say RedHat is selling Linux becuase it works, I say, "Are you out of you mind?" RedHat isn't some non-profit organization selling Linux CDs so they can buy rice to send over to somalia.

One Acronym: GPL (1)

LordSuggs (204218) | more than 15 years ago | (#1969110)

That is why Redhat cant be another MS and push proprietary software....... nuff said.
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