[svlug] Installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux from the Source RPMS

Walt Reed svlug at linuxguy.com
Wed Apr 12 12:42:16 PDT 2006

On Wed, Apr 12, 2006 at 11:04:23AM -0700, Joe Buck said:
> On Wed, Apr 12, 2006 at 08:52:11AM -0700, Don Marti wrote:
> > I'm all for CentOS, and I think it's important to have
> > it, but I'm uncomfortable with using it as a way to
> > pay proprietary vendors but not a free/open source
> > vendor.  Reinforcing the wrong behavior like that
> > seems counterproductive in the long run, since even
> > software company executives are capable of conditioned
> > learning.  So I would never lie to a support person
> > about whether or not I was running RHEL.
> It gets worse.
> Some of those proprietary vendors have support arrangements from Red Hat.
> If you lie and say that you have RHEL, and you have problems that the
> vendor can't solve, they may go to Red Hat for help, and Red Hat will
> waste resources helping you that they think are going to help paying
> customers.  You are engaging in fraud if you lie to a vendor that you
> have RHEL, because what you are saying is "We have a support contract
> from Red Hat" when you do not.  If you provide hosting services to the
> public and you change the CentOS info to the corresponding RHEL info
> you are defrauding the public, because you are saying not only that
> the software matches that of an RHEL system (it does), but you are saying
> that you have Red Hat support (and you don't).
> I'm fine with people running CentOS, as its availability is part of
> the deal Red Hat has to make when they build their system on GPL code:
> they have to put the source out and let others use it.
> If you're buying proprietary software, you should have no objection
> to paying Red Hat, when you will pay the other vendors far more.
> Some of the money you pay will fund hundreds of free software developers.
> If you're not buying proprietary software and just want a solid server
> distro, by all means use CentOS if you like it.
> You may not like Red Hat's arrangement that allows them to charge for
> RHEL.  Fine; use a different distro, use CentOS, whatever.

... Which is what we do.

Nobody is telling hosting clients that they are getting redhat when they
are not. We don't HAVE hosting clients.

For you to come in and tell me that if I want to use commercial software
or even the Linux drivers for my hardware that I have to pay redhat a
large amount of money is out of line. Maybe what is out of line is
RedHat's licensing model which I and may others do not agree with.  Annual
subscriptions suck. They especially suck if they force me to pay for
services I do not want nor need. They do not offer a licensing model
that is acceptable to me.  So I go elsewhere.

If I buy a BMW, I should not be forced to buy "Firestone brand" tires
and only use "Mobile" gas in it. The idea that if I buy a product from
company X that I should pay company Y "because I can afford it" is total
nonsense. The two are unrelated. Maybe I'd rather put my money into
developing other open source applications or providing a free service to
the world.

As for the "fraud" charge, that is bogus IMHO. It's just as bogus as the
vendors insistance they they only support one flavor of Linux.  When I
call for support on an application, it is for the application and not
the OS. What the vendor's relationship is with Redhat is none of my
concern nor business.

Redhat's old model of paying for the install media and up2date access
was fine. The new model is not and they lost customers and potential
revenue because of it. CentOS would not exist if it wasn't for that new
model.  The bottom line is that it is unreasonable to pay for a level of
support that you do not want nor need and that is the only license model
RH has.

Do I like and appreciate what RedHat provides to the open source
community? Yes. Do I like what the open source community provides for
RedHat? Sure do. RedHat gets a HUGE financial benefit from the
opensource community. Do I like RedHat's licensing model? Nope. Do I
feel obligated to support RedHat financially because I use another
companies products? Nope.

Lastly, there are other ways to give back to the open source community
such as being a download mirror, do open source development, and
providing a free service all of which my client does. They just don't
pay RH because they don't USE RH.

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