[Trilug-ontopic] CentOS/Fedora/RHEL? was: RHEL5 help..

Cristóbal Palmer cristobalpalmer at gmail.com
Tue Jun 3 13:59:33 EDT 2008

On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 12:22 PM, Tom Roche <Tom_Roche at pobox.com> wrote:
> Also, why the coyness @
> http://www.centos.org/
>  > CentOS is an Enterprise-class Linux Distribution derived from
>  > sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American
>  > Enterprise Linux vendor.
> ? It's Red Hat, right?

Brief disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer. I'm a student who helps manage a
mix of Linux-based servers, many of which run RHEL. Take what I say
with healthy helpings of salt.

"Red Hat", the red hat logo, and various other artsy things ("trade
dress") are "property" of RHT, the company. The company must keep
others from abusing their name, trademark, etc. in the marketplace.
CentOS *must not* publicly claim that they are in fact redistributing
exactly what Red Hat distributes, because to do so would damage Red
Hat's brand.

Honestly though, they're NOT distributing what Red Hat distributes,
because what they *really* distribute that's worth anything is support
contracts. Granted, there's a lot of engineering and QA that Red Hat
people put in that has a lot of value, but that value is meaningless
and invisible to many businesses without the support contract. A
support contract from the people who put together CentOS isn't nearly
as meaningful, even if CentOS has much in common with RHEL under the
covers. Why? Look at the commit logs on any number of projects,
including the Linux kernel. How many entries have @redhat.com email

So, here's my personal breakdown:

* Fedora: radically free desktop OS sponsored mainly by Red Hat.
Update only if you know WTF you're doing.
* RHEL: Fedora + 6 months of top-notch QA + server focus + support
contact == OS you'd trust with mission-critical apps.
* CentOS: If this server falls over in the middle of the night, the
only person who will care is you and a couple of devs, but this server
needs to closely match a production server that's running RHEL4.
You're too cheap to spring for another RHEL license, so you give it
your best shot with CentOS. Also, you're not running any raid
controllers or anything that might have a special driver from Red Hat.

Cristóbal M. Palmer
http://tinyurl.com/3apraw "They also abandoned other volumes, later,
while fleeing from the librarians."

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