[lug] Fedora *MEETS* KRUD comments wanted
neal at bcn.boulder.co.us
Fri Sep 26 16:56:13 MDT 2003
I've really enjoyed the quality of this discussion!
A month or two ago I started digging in to the sorts of questions that
are coming up with respect to Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL),
redistribution, licensing, etc.
Here are my notes and quotes on the topic, with references (usually...)
Not real organized or pretty, and sometimes contradictory, but
I'd love to see definitive answers on some of these questions.
But of course many of the answers can change over time....
Neal McBurnett http://bcn.boulder.co.us/~neal/
Signed and/or sealed mail encouraged. GPG/PGP Keyid: 2C9EBA60
*Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
Announced in 2002-5
Created because ISVs said that
Red Hat's consumer/retail products were not suitable for meeting the
long term needs of the commercial IT infrastructure. A different
product strategy was required.
Enterprise: less bleeding edge, slower release cycle. 12-18 vs 4-6 month
=> time for certification, benchmarks
long-term support, vs "errata for 1 year from initial product availability"
extensive API compatibility focus
2003-03, current versions: RHEL v2.1 and redhat 8
[Looking for free redistribution of all the RPMs for Red Hat Enterprise
a reader speaks loudly: Is this product going to fall under the GPL
license? If so will the ISO images be available for download?
Shadowman says: Like the Red Hat Linux products before it, Advanced
Server contains software from a variety of sources. The majority of
it is open source (using a variety of licenses, including the GPL),
with a few packages consisting of "redistributable" content.
This means that, like the Red Hat Linux products before it, the
sources for the software comprising Advanced Server will be available
to anyone wanting a copy. And -- as always -- any code written by Red
Hat is GPL'ed, with the sources being freely available.
However, unlike the Red Hat Linux products before it, we will not be
making ISO images freely available for Advanced server. However, if
you are a "1337 haxx0r d00d" with "m4d ski11z" (or even a mildly
interested sysadmin with a year or two of Linux experience), and you
want to roll your own, go for it. Shadowman recommends that you might
consider reviewing our trademark policies
(http://www.redhat.com/about/corporate/trademark/) before doing
something like going into business selling it on eBay, however. Since
Java technology is part of Advanced Server, if you "roll your own",
you'll have to acquire a JRE/JDK yourself.
Wed, Jun. 11th, 2003, 03:51 pm
Letter to FSF on Red Hat GPL compliance:
Today I sent a letter to the FSF asking for their opinion on an
apparant discrepancy I've noticed in the Red Hat Linux EULA and the
requirements of the GPL.
"Red Hat Linux itself is a collective work under U.S. Copyright Law.
Red Hat grants you a license in this collective work pursuant to the
GNU General Public License."
From this it appears safe to assume that they are releasing their own
content as GPL-covered code and are not implying and modification to
the underlying licensing of the component software.
"This means that, like the Red Hat Linux products before it, the
sources for the software comprising Advanced Server will be
available to anyone wanting a copy. And -- as always -- any code
written by Red Hat is GPL'ed, with the sources being freely
However, the Red Hat Linux Advanced Server and Services Agreement
is not in keeping with the EULA. Specifically, it draws no
distinction between an installed copy of the GNU/Linux software and
an instance of the software which is participating in their paid
services program. In fact, the document appears to specifically deny
the existince of such a distinction, effectively binding me into
purchasing their professional services simply as an inherent
byproduct of installing GNU/Linux.
Their contract is for the various services, not the software, and
for the services they are entitled to demand whatever concessions
they think the market will bear.
The binary ISO's from what I recall have binary images that are not
covered under a redistributable arrangement, so in order to
redistribute them Redhat AS CD's, you would have to remove the
Images and replace them with something else.
But the tarballs haven't been modified, or, if they have, it's
exclusively using separate patch files against the pristine
sources. IANAL, but I suspect RH are technically creating 'collective
works' rather than 'derivative works'.
I seem to recall reading that the public selection of src.rpms for AS
are incomplete, presumably for reasons including encouraging people
to buy it from RH (after all, RH are obliged to distribute the source
of GPLed components, but not necessarily their src.rpms and/or .spec
quotes FSF 2nd hand as saying that you would have to re-build from source,
Red Hat Enterprise Applications is a set of of software products. For
more information about Red Hat Enterprise Applications, see
Red Hat Web Application Framework; Red Hat Enterprise CMS, a content
management system; and Red Hat Enterprise Portal Server, a portal
April 2002: http://www.practical-tech.com/infrastructure/i040703.htm
The End of Free Linux Binaries? -- 7 April 2003 by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
[addressed to linux resellers]
So it is that the day of free business Linux distributions is for all
practical purposes at an end. There will always be some of us, of
course, whose expertise lies in getting the most from any Linux for a
customer and others for whom tweaking a Linux distribution just so
for a vertical application is the way to go. But for the vast
majority of resellers and integrators, you'll need a commercial
Linux. It is, after all, what most of your customers wanted all
along. Some Linux resellers don't care for this.
Red Hat still offers a no-cost option for their Red Hat binaries, but
there's no link to it from their Web site
SuSE's UnitedLinux build, SuSE Linux Enterprise Edition 8, is only
available to paying customers.
None of these [enterprise editions] have ever been available in free
binary formats. None of them ever will be.
May 19, 2003 -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ:SUNW) today announced
that it has entered into a global alliance agreement with Red Hat
(NYSE: RHAT) to distribute Red Hat's market leading Enterprise Linux
operating system, and to broaden the use of each other's technologies
in the rapidly growing volume server marketplace. As part of the
agreement, Red Hat will distribute Sun's Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, extending the reach of the world's
most popular application environment.
Mandrake's download page: "Since Mandrake Linux is an Open Source
product, it needs your financial contribution. Developing a Linux
distribution is very costly, so it's up to the community of users to
ensure its health." Mandrake, for those who don't follow such things,
is in the French equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Some have asked couldn't they switch to one of the Free BSDs where
free binaries are still the rule. Well, they could, but there's far
less public support and the only BSD with business class support is
Wind River's BSD/OS with its $497.50 per CPU per license per year
with a small number of licenses. TANSTAAFL
Doesn't Redhat need a large pool of folks running Enterprise versions at home
for free to make it viable? Perhaps they did originally but not now?
How OpenBSD makes money - the software is free, but the official CD
images are copyright and non-redistributable.
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