[svlug] Red Hat and the ISVs?

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Mon Nov 10 09:42:32 PST 2003

On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 09:14:56 -0800 
Craig Oda <craigoda at communitybuilders.info> wrote:

> What's the skinny on Debian support of the 2.6 kernel?

Debian is pretty much kernel version agnostic.  There are .debs for the
2.6 test series, or like me, you can just build your own .debs from raw
kernel sources make-kpkg.

My general view is that ISV support for a specific Linux "brand" is not
far from as meaningless as, "We support the law of gravity!"  With rare
exception it is marketing blather which makes the uninvolved and
ignorant feel better for being uninvolved and ignorant.  In terms of
application support all of the larger Linux distributions are LHS
conformant.  With astonishingly rare exception they fully publish their
kernel sources and can run the same kernels with but trivial effort.
The rest of the variance really comes down to exact construction of the
files under /etc and glibC tweaks -- neither of which are either
difficult to replicate or painful to adapt on other distribution
platforms.  Determining and defining the differences at this level is
pretty much just a question of grabbing the appropriate source balls for
the distribution in question and checking the added patch list.
Installing a binary package meant for a different distribution on your
choice is rarely anything more than minor difficulty thanks to Joey
Hess' `alien`.

Which is not to say that ISVs won't persist in chasing after the
"supported" brand standard.  That's no reason to encourage them however.
This is the primary advantage of the OSS arena: transparency.  You can
trivially know exactly what your system is comprised of, and can
deterministically edit that fact.

J C Lawrence                
---------(*)                Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas. 
claw at kanga.nu               He lived as a devil, eh?		  
http://www.kanga.nu/~claw/  Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.

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