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- Sep 2012
Free linux ? confusion for REDHAT and OPENSUSE
I am in a confusion, please let me know when linux is free for all then how can REDHAT be makeing it and sell it(the one as enterprises) if its derived from origional linux , if they are selling better version to companies and giving Fedora as a testing ground to user or to their programmers i find why RED HAT of first degree is not given to users for free.is it dual statndard.
And guys same with Novell's open SUSE why they are selling the other version.
so i find ubuntu all free as an OS. but tech support is what they are earning it from that looks fine but ubuntu is just one and all free.
Please clear doubts i may also be wrong in what i believe.
This is perfectly fine according to the gnu license
Frequently Asked Questions about the GNU Licenses - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)
RedHat needs to release the source and they do.
Binary compatible distributions like CentOS or ScientificLinux use it as a basis.
For private and business use, CentOS is surely capable for server usage.
However, there are some parts of business, where a commercial RedHat licence is an advantage.
Think: HighSecurity setups, that require tight SLAs.
I am not saying, CentOS/debian/etc are less secure.
But managers and lawyers tend to be easier convinced to trust a contract with a known company (ie RedHat)
then some rather vague (for them) group of linux enthusiasts.
Also you as a customer have access to and can demand high level support.
A friend of mine found a bug in gfs locking in combination with an oracle setup some time ago.
Through his contract he had access to kernel developers at redhat and they were able to create a patch.
Again, also not impossible to do via the community or if you are in the lucky position to be able to do it yourself.
But the *guaranteed* access to support is valueable.
Another point is, that RedHat certifies hardware.
Currently I am faced with a few thousand HP Generation 8 machines running debian.
They work, but during the deploy process one can see kernel oopses and during operation the hphealth tool sometimes crashes.
I am trying to steer towards centos, as a testdeploy has shown none of these hardware/kernel related issues.
Lastly redhat does contribute a lot of code and experience back to the community, as well as pushing forward in the enterprise world.
This helps linux as a whole to get attention and marketshare.
So in short:
If your only concern is to have to pay money: Dont do it and choose any other distribution.You must always face the curtain with a bow.
As a company you won't afford to work on a free environment without a legal contract with RedHat, for example, to provide you assitance when something is going wrong.
Fedora is the test evironment for RedHat where they provide all the up-to-date packages and of course it's free for all the people to test them. The same goes with SUSE enterprise and OpenSuse.
Another free distribution that is trying to copy RedHat is CentOS. This us an exact copy of RedHat but without support.
So as a company, with servers in production, you are paying them for assistance as mentioned in the contract you signed.
It's free as in "free speech", not free as in "free beer". That's why some people prefer to use the term "libre"."I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"
Also remember, Red Hat isn't making Linux and selling it. They are contributing to the source code of the kernel and to security patches. Amongst many other things!
After that, they send their code upstream for the benefit of other OS contributors and distro devteams.
What Rh sells is support for their specific version. You can freely download RHEL any time you want. But support and updates means you have to open your wallet.
Frankly... it's a great business strategy.