SUSe is f**king Red Hat Linux! I repeat: forking Red Hat Linux

Forum Forums General Other Distros SUSe is f**king Red Hat Linux! I repeat: forking Red Hat Linux

  • This topic has 29 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated Jul 17-4:17 pm by techore.
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  • #111402
    Member
    PPC

      On the news: http://debugpointnews.com/suse-rhel-fork/

      If you do not keep up with FOSS news, recently Red Hat, meaning to kill off 2 distros that are based on their distro, kind of “closed sourced” it’s OS source code. Only Red Hat costumers can access the source code, and if they do something like fork the source code, they are black listed by Red Hat, and stop being their costumers.
      This partly complies with the letter of the law, in what concerns giving access to the source code, as that access can be performed using any means, and of course companies can cut ties with any client when they want to (if their contract so allows).
      And Red Hat invests a lot on open source development and they make that work available for free for everyone to use (upstream their OS, not on the source code of their OS itself). Red Hat wants just to kill off distros that are just rebrands of their OS. I can understand that. But unfortunately for them, they base all their work on FOSS software. If Linus makes the Linux Kernel closed source, it ends up killing their business model (because they can no longer use newer kernels for free). As it often happens, they see just with one eye – “no one can profit from our hard work, but WE can profit from other folks hard work”.
      Why would Red Hat make such potentially suicidal action? Hum… you see, it was bough, by billions, by IBM, a while back. IBM is a mega corporation. They want profit. They do not want to see others profit out of their work.

      So enters SUSE, another mega CORP (at least for Linux standards) and they think – “hum… Lets invest some millions and fork this guys!”

      Now we sit around, reading tech news, like it’s a slow motion battle of giants, eating our popcorn and hoping “the hero” wins… I’m just not sure who the hero is in this battle…

      • This topic was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Brian Masinick.
      • This topic was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by PPC.
      #111408
      Moderator
      Brian Masinick

        There have been a couple of articles and plenty of speculation about all of this.

        Further investigation would reveal that

        1) it’s still possible to get the source code for Red Hat Linux.
        2) Oracle Linux offers a very similar version of Linux and also has offered to make freely available Oracle and RHEL equivalent distributions.

        Look at the thread provided and then look at the Oracle article.

        Moreover it’s not difficult at all to obtain a free access to the source code and build it yourself. IBM and Red Hat are not violating anything at all; the code is available; they have simply removed the convenience of binary versions of that 100% free code from their internal servers. Source code is there for those who understand where and how to get it.

        --
        Brian Masinick

        #111412
        Member
        PPC

          I should have included this on my first post:
          The initial statement from Red Hat: http://www.redhat.com/en/blog/furthering-evolution-centos-stream
          I quote:
          CentOS Stream will now be the sole repository for public RHEL-related source code releases. For Red Hat customers and partners, source code will remain available via the Red Hat Customer Portal.

          Edit: CentOs Stream source code is available at http://gitlab.com/redhat/centos-stream
          CentOS Stream source code however is not Red Hat Linux (http://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/linux-platforms/enterprise-linux ). Like I said in my OP- Red Hat’s source code is available only for their costumers- i.e. no longer publicly available (I’m not sure of the exact date since when this was enforced). This complies with the letter of the law- giving their clients access to the source code. Not allowing the clients to freely do what they want with the source code, however, violates most FOSS licenses out there. Red Had has been warned, over the years, that they committed of some FOSS violations. Right now, this is a grey area- what they are doing is not according to the spirit of FOSS, but may not violate some licenses they apply to their work, possibly. It’s impossible to tell, without reading the licenses they use for all their software.

          P.

          • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by PPC.
          #111419
          Forum Admin
          rokytnji

            I used to know a smart white dude online who lives in Mexico right down the road from one of the largest volcanoes who ran

            http://scientificlinux.org/

            He gave me the impression it was a rpm distro like centos on steroids.

            Scientific Linux is a rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (property of Red Hat Inc NYSE:RHT). We informally call them “The Upstream Vendor” or “TUV”. Our references to TUV are intended to make it clear that Scientific Linux is in no way affiliated, supported, or sanctioned by upstream. By not using their name we hope to make this distinction as clear as possible

            He is like fermi accelerator smart. He showed me how to backup a complete install using gzip and a live cd session.
            This was before we had snapshot. You just zip up the whole partition.

            Unzip it later with a live session onto the new drive partitions.
            Saves grub and everything.

            Sometimes I drive a crooked road to get my mind straight.
            I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute off it.
            Motorcycle racing is rocket science.

            Linux Registered User # 475019
            How to Search for AntiX solutions to your problems

            #111426
            Moderator
            Brian Masinick

              @rokytnji Yeah, that was a good one; unfortunately 2020 was the last time they shared a version of Scientific Linux.

              http://debugpointnews.com/suse-rhel-fork/ – this article says that Dirk-Peter van Leeuwen, the CEO of SUSE, and also Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE’s Chief Technology and Product Officer, intend to keep choice prominent. When it comes to enterprise software, SUSE Enterprise Linux is one of the major competing commercial distributions; Oracle Linux is the other. SUSE promises to “demonstrate SUSE’s deep-rooted commitment to fostering innovation and nurturing community-driven development, and it reinforces the fundamental values of open-source software. We invite the community to actively engage and collaborate in shaping the future of this essential software. We firmly believe this new RHEL-compatible Linux distribution, together with SUSE’s portfolio, will help the community and customers navigate unprecedented advancements in enterprise Linux, cloud computing, containerization, edge, AI/ML, and other emerging technologies.“

              Moreover, in the next post http://debugpointnews.com/oracle-offers-ibm/Oracle “offers” to ease the burden of RHEL development and takes a swipe at IBM.

              “The divergence in philosophies between Oracle and IBM becomes apparent in their approaches to open-source stewardship and GPLv2 compliance. Oracle has always made Oracle Linux binaries and sources freely available to all without subscription agreements limiting redistribution.” (at least for now)

              IF this stuff still scares you, there remain PLENTY of alternatives (antiX obviously, and also the very next post from this guy describes another distribution that I frequently test and use:
              http://debugpointnews.com/endeavouros-artemis/

              --
              Brian Masinick

              #111428
              Member
              techore

                ating our popcorn and hoping “the hero” wins… I’m just not sure who the hero is in this battle…

                Debian, hopefully.

                Not surprised by this at all. I have a long and gory history with IBM. Also, I started using Red Hat mid-90’s, became a vary early RHCE, and left them a couple times to finally give up when Red Hat killed the CentOS Community Project. Moved to Arch and Debian but now I am happily using antiX and Devuan.

                There are three major events that led Red Hat to this point. Won’t detail it and bore folks unless asked.

                • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by techore.
                #111431
                Moderator
                christophe

                  There are three major events that led Red Hat to this point. Won’t detail it and bore folks unless asked.

                  Alright. ????
                  Tell us the story.

                  confirmed antiX frugaler, since 2019

                  #111432
                  Moderator
                  Brian Masinick

                    I should have included this on my first post:
                    The initial statement from Red Hat: http://www.redhat.com/en/blog/furthering-evolution-centos-stream
                    I quote:
                    CentOS Stream will now be the sole repository for public RHEL-related source code releases. For Red Hat customers and partners, source code will remain available via the Red Hat Customer Portal.

                    Edit: CentOs Stream source code is available at http://gitlab.com/redhat/centos-stream
                    CentOS Stream source code however is not Red Hat Linux (http://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/linux-platforms/enterprise-linux ). Like I said in my OP- Red Hat’s source code is available only for their costumers- i.e. no longer publicly available (I’m not sure of the exact date since when this was enforced). This complies with the letter of the law- giving their clients access to the source code. Not allowing the clients to freely do what they want with the source code, however, violates most FOSS licenses out there. Red Had has been warned, over the years, that they committed of some FOSS violations. Right now, this is a grey area- what they are doing is not according to the spirit of FOSS, but may not violate some licenses they apply to their work, possibly. It’s impossible to tell, without reading the licenses they use for all their software.

                    P.

                    All of this keeps both IBM and Red Hat within the GPL guidelines and also what Richard Stallman intended and wanted. He had no objection to people having to PAY for products and services; all Stallman ever wanted was the ability to obtain source code, and if he wished, alter it without any legal penalty or lack of access to the code. He had his reasons too. A long time ago there were some printer systems with pretty good capabilities, but they were not free nor was there code to modify them. Stallman wanted to make certain features behave differently and became furious when that was not possible, so he created the GNU (GNU’s NOT UNIX) and he started a project to replace the proprietary UNIX operating system; his first project was a rewrite of Emacs, which itself became an editor as a collection of TECO macros (I’ve written about this before’ ask if you need details).

                    Meanwhile, AT&T and the Regents of the University of California at Berkeley were also at war, fighting over their respective rights. Berkeley staff and students had added a number of features to the original seven releases of Unix and formed the Berkeley Standard Distribution. The ex and vi editors were two of the prominent features added to the early versions of BSD. AT&T started distributing them with UNIX when they produced UNIX System III (3) after they had their seven internal releases. Berkeley wanted recognition and if AT&T was going to SELL their work, Berkeley also wanted compensation. AT&T argued that Berkeley was improperly distributing code that AT&T wrote.

                    That’s the backdrop that led to the complete rewrite of BSD, leading to FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD, each with different goals, expectations and deliverables. The initial work that led to the development of these three was happening at ALMOST the same time that Linus Torvalds took Minix and used it to bootstrap his own kernel, which he eventually called Linux. Linus did this because he already paid a few THOUSAND dollars for a computer, and he couldn’t afford purchasing another thing, such as the $3000 operating system he could have purchased to avoid using QDOS – “quick and dirty” operating system, which eventually became MS/DOS, and later still, Microsoft Windows. DR DOS was an alternative, but that cost money too and didn’t have the features any of these intelligent computer scientists desired for their systems.

                    Ironically this same split in otherwise “similar capability” operating systems also divides the current mobile operating system communities. Steve Jobs at one time left the company he co-founded NeXT – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NeXT_Computer. A derivative of this, which derives from BSD Unix, is what forms the essence of iOS used in Apple products today.

                    antiX, MX Linux, and the hundreds (even thousands over the years) of Linux distributions, are based on the other complete rewrite of UNIX, beginning with the Linux kernel and the GNU commands, tools, and utilities.

                    There are a number of places where you can find the exact details that took place; I cited one of them; I’ve cited many of the precise sources of information to this essay in prior written material, which can probably be located by searching a few words I used in a public search tool of choice. Much of this is also by memory from my research that I wrote nearly 25 years ago (citations were included in my original research papers).

                    --
                    Brian Masinick

                    #111434
                    Member
                    techore

                      Alright.
                      Tell us the story.

                      1. 1994 Red Hat Linux is born
                      2. 2003 Red Hat changes its licensing to no longer provide free and publically available installation media or binary packages.
                      3. 2003-2004 White Box Linux (WBEL), CentOS, and a bunch of other community distributions are spawn in reponse to item 2.
                      4. 2014 Red Hat provides funds the CentOS Project and the CentOS Governance Board is establish with Red Hat having three seats
                      5. 2018 IBM acquires Red Hat
                      6. 2020 Red Hat kills the CentOS Project
                      7. 2020 Rocky Linux (and Alma) distributions are spawned in response to item 6 with initial testing release early 2021.
                      8. 2023 Red Hat/IBM announces new and prohibitive licensing changes

                      I couldn’t find a good analsis of the new license, but this article pretty much sums up the general open source sentiment.

                      http://www.businessinsider.com/oracle-red-hat-linux-licensing-change-2023-7

                      If you have more information, share! 😀

                      • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by techore.
                      • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by techore.
                      #111436
                      Moderator
                      Brian Masinick

                        @techore thanks for the article at
                        http://www.businessinsider.com/oracle-red-hat-linux-licensing-change-2023-7

                        Nice take on the entire mess. If this works out, IBM could lose a LOT of their $34B investment in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and
                        SUSE Enterprise Linux still exists; so does Oracle Linux, and I’m SURE the two of them would be HAPPY to collaborate if Red Hat
                        wants to continue to play this game! Larry Ellison or whoever is at the helm at Oracle these days would relish that opportunity!

                        --
                        Brian Masinick

                        #111440
                        Member
                        andyprough

                          So enters SUSE, another mega CORP (at least for Linux standards) and they think – “hum… Lets invest some millions and fork this guys!”

                          I started using SuSE in 1998, and it had its start as one of the earliest distributions all the way back in 1992. I hope you are not under the impression that SuSE is some recent fork of RedHat. It’s older than all of my children, and I’m a grandfather three times over.

                          Edit – sorry PPC, I didn’t click the link. That’s what I get for not reading articles before responding.

                          • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by andyprough. Reason: because I'm an idiot
                          #111442
                          Moderator
                          Brian Masinick

                            Yeah, multiple “partners” in the SUSE Enterprise Linux are disappointed in the behavior of Red Hat and SUSE, to the point that they’re considering being “good citizens” and spending several million dollars to create an ecosystem capable of providing equivalent source code packages for people wanting to create their own SUSE/Red Hat/Oracle Linux alternative; The Oracle group shot back similar comments.

                            To some degree that may be “marketing talk” from the two companies, but since at least one of them mentioned money, they may be willing to invest because they DO make money from service contracts, paid technical support, on site engineers, etc.

                            Red Hat has these things too; they run a risk of losing business, all this after IBM putting a whopping $34 Billion into the intellectual property rights and ownership of the entire Red Hat environment. Fedora remains, but I’m not sure if there is freely available software in that bundle, or just binaries. I don’t think Red Hat has an issue with individuals getting free source code; they’re trying to use every available vehicle for preventing their competition from using Red Hat resources to acquire, store, build, and release code. What they are doing is not illegal, but they are definitely likely to get a LOT of push-back from the development community in places that aren’t using Red Hat.

                            • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Brian Masinick.

                            --
                            Brian Masinick

                            #111469
                            Member
                            PPC

                              @andyprough – I remember testing Suse Linux some 25 (?) years ago- it looked very professional then, but it seemed a bit too different from what I was used to- then I was a Windows (98, ME, XP?) user, starting to test out Linux, mainly running live from distros that came in disks included in computer magazines. I even bought a new (well second hand, on a flee market) 33k external modem, just to have dial-up internet in Linux… Yeah, those were the days… 3kb/s internet connection, and I was like “Wow, this is fast, this image only took some 5 seconds to load!”. I used Opera browser, with it’s acceleration. It allowed me to open simple web pages (with text and pictures) about as fast as a broadband connection did (but with very low quality images)… you see, then the web was not filled with adds,or tracking, and there were no social networks, only chatrooms. It was a simpler world, but on its way to the present day tech distropia some of us are living in…

                              @Mr Masinick – my post, and my opinions do not mean to blemish Red Hat’s reputation. I’m a lawyer, I’ve read the GPL3 license. I never said Red Hat was wrong to only allow their costumers to view the source code- access to the source code can be done in any way possible, even by snail mail. I never said they were wrong, charging their costumers- GPL license also allows them to do that. They are a corporation, their duty is to make a profit.
                              But removing public access to their source code is, in what concerns public relations with the FOSS community, a shot on the foot… and they walked, limping, right to the corner where Oracle caught them and did their master move to reveal they intend to fork RH’s OS and offer its code for free to the community. Oracle, or rather Suse, can also legally do that. Both sides (IBM/Red Hat in one side and Oracle and Suse on the other) are well in their rights.

                              In “legalese”, what I meant, is that it’s a very grey legal area, allowing users to access the source code, but not allowing them to do as they please with that code. GPL license applies to derived work… this means that anyone can fork any software published under GPL, as long as the derived work uses the same license and recognizes all the authorship…
                              What Red Hat is saying to their costumers is basically: “Here it is, dear costumer. You can look at the code, but you can’t touch it, can’t do a single thing to it, or you cease being our costumer and lose access to the code. Enjoy”

                              Red Hat business model, until this recent change was basically: “We sell our OS, but you can get an equivalent version for free, if you want to. Our real profit is from Tech Support.” (I never read their EULA, but it probably also forces them to pay their costumers, if their software blows up the costumers hardware, etc).
                              Now, Red Hat means to say this: “We make our profit from Tech Support AND by selling our software. No one can copy our software, we won’t allow that.”
                              What Suse is saying is this: “About 100% of RH Linux is built on opensource code. We will pick all that up, and create a (free) OS, and share that code freely with the community. It won’t be an 100% copy of RH minus the de-branding, like Rocky Linux is, but it will be very close to that. Feel free to do as you like with this, even selling support for any fork of it you create, in the process, taking a small bit at RH’s profits. Why are we doing that? Why, for the kindness of our corporative heart, do you believe that? No?”

                              P.

                              • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by PPC.
                              • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by PPC.
                              • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by PPC.
                              #111477
                              Moderator
                              Brian Masinick

                                Regarding either SUSE, Oracle, or both, I actually HOPE that they DO make some kind of move in terms of both a “peace offering” to rival customers and a marketing jab at their #1 rival; after all, when it comes to corporate sales, I’m pretty sure that Red Hat is quite a bit ahead of the others. This is a major boo-boo from a Red Hat/IBM marketing prospective, and both SUSE and Oracle would be fools NOT to jump all over this. I hope it happens.

                                None of these distributions is my “favorite” for regular use, but professionally, the few times I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to run Linux server software, every instance I can remember was Red Hat Enterprise Linux, not a single Oracle or SUSE, though I HAVE run into Oracle database software many times during my professional career; the VERY first time was in the first 3-4 years of my career; the last was within the final 5-6 years.

                                Let the marketing wars escalate – it’ll be good for publicity and it’ll also be another positive event to level the playing field and bring the name Linux into the news once again.

                                --
                                Brian Masinick

                                #111479
                                Member
                                techore

                                  On Rocky Linux, they have taken steps to prevent a takeover as happened to the CentOS Project.

                                  How will you ensure that Rocky Linux truly remains a community enterprise operating system?

                                  First, we’ve taken steps to legally protect the Rocky Linux name. This means registering its trademarks and various associated properties to protect them from being controlled by another entity. We’ve achieved this by establishing them under the Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF). Next, we’ve drafted a community charter that defines the organizational structure, objectives, values, and mission behind the legal entity that represents Rocky Linux. Critical in this charter is the establishment of principles that enable and protect the community: transparency, community involvement, open development, and independence. Rocky Linux will never be controlled, purchased, or otherwise influenced by a single entity or organization. Finally, we’re architecting and deploying the necessary infrastructure to further enable to the community to contribute to Rocky Linux.

                                  Reference: http://rockylinux.org/faq

                                  Charter: http://rockylinux.org/community-charter/

                                  I am done with Red Hat based distributions outside of my day job but if I was open to using a Red Hat based distribution, Rocky Linux would be a serious consideration.

                                  • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by techore.
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