There's a lot of reasons not to use Oracle Linux, most of them non-technical. Oracle is simply not an ethical member of the Open Source community, and if you trust them, they will screw you, some day, some way. Red Hat may have their flaws, but they've never sued over patents and they've never attempted to destroy competing projects or companies through legal threats and bullying. CentOS may be slow to jump on updates sometimes and to get out new releases, but at least it's a good Open Source citizen.
As an aside, if you want a faster moving RHEL rebuild that has paid developers working on it, you might try Scientific Linux. It is built by CERN and Fermilab, and tends to be very solid and fast to update and invisible (i.e., I don't think about it, at all, and it Just Works). We switched from CentOS to SL back when CentOS 6 was so late being released; couldn't be happier with it. We added support in Virtualmin for SL for just that reason...so many of our customers wanted 6, it was worth the effort to add a new OS.
So, yeah, Oracle is gonna have to have a "come to Jesus" moment if they want to participate in the Open Source community. They've got a lot of repenting to do.
As far as I'm concerned this isn't even a valid attempt on their behalf to earn the trust of the Open Source Community. Taking something that already works and touting your own horn about how you can provide faster updates isn't really something that a big corporate player that wants to get into the open source market should be doing. I'm sure there are plenty of technologies at Oracle, that if open-sourced would have a much bigger impact, and would put them in a better relationship with the open source community.
Finally, when you are an enterprise/corporate player, and your press release for a new product is littered with "this is not a gimmick" there is definitely something wrong. In all honesty this just sounds like one of these "come with me kid I'll give you some candy! It's gonna be ok don't worry, just a little further". This is not something I would expect from such a big company.
At the end of the day, my view here is that Oracle has actually produced something useful, but lots of people are blind to it, in no small part because of what ultimately boils down to zealotry (which doesn't seem like an awesome reason to me). Hence the point of trying to get this out there.
Oracle is a corporate sociopath. If you wish to label me a zealot for expecting ethics from the people and companies I work with, that's fine. But, it's not going to alter the reality that I am not alone. Many people mistrust Oracle, and just because one unit within Oracle seems to be trying to do right, it doesn't alter the fundamental nature of that creature. It'd be easier to overlook past misdeeds if Oracle was not currently behaving in unethical ways on a massive scale, and attacking Open Source on several fronts.
Oracle cannot have it both ways. It cannot wage war against Open Source and software freedom, and expect the Open Source community to just look the other way and choose Oracle products. At least, I sure as hell won't be looking the other way.
We simply don't trust your employer to behave with anything even approaching good faith in any interaction. What happened to Solaris alone is a huge warning flag, those of us who have interacted with Oracle in a professional capacity have...more reasons to believe this.
The short explanation is that when Oracle acquired Sun, all of the hopes and dreams of Solaris users, particularly OpenSolaris users, were dashed. Many great technologies were pushed onto the back burner. All of Sun's Open Source portfolio saw a massive shake up and very little came out the other side healthier. Pre-acquisition, Solaris/OpenSolaris was a reasonable OS choice for new server deployments, particularly in cloud environments. Post-acquisition, you'd have to be a little bit nuts to deploy Solaris. Solaris has a lot of die-hard fans, with good reason...so this was a bitter pill to swallow for a lot of folks.
Oracle is simply ham-fisted when it comes to dealing with Open Source technologies that it comes into possession of. It's a really good example of a company that doesn't "get" Open Source. It's not limited to Solaris, Solaris is just one of the most popular, and the most difficult to replace for people who are relying on it.
Sun could have had a compelling desktop-to-datacentre story, all Solaris, on Intel PCs all the way to SPARC near-mainframes. But they succumbed to short term thinking and killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. The alternative to the Oracle acquisition was for them to go the way of SGI...
You say that they've produced something useful; can you say a little more about what Oracle has specifically produced with respect to Oracle Linux? My strong impression is that they've taken 99.9% Red Hat's hard work, dumped their own 0.1% on top (OCFS2, some IB enhancements, etc.), slapped a big price tag on it and then exclaim, "look what we made!"
Removing that price tag doesn't change much. I'm open to being reasoned with, though, so please tell me why I'm wrong.
Instead, I want to look at the following case: you're a sysadmin running CentOS. You don't pay anyone for support, and you have no intention of ever doing so.
There, I think the benefits are, in brief, the things you're able to achieve when you have large-scale resources: timely releases and better QA, while maintaining 100% RHEL compatibility. Basically "what you love about CentOS", minus "what you hate about CentOS".
But yes, it comes from Oracle :)
...doesn't Oracle Linux cost money? A: Oracle Linux support costs money
That "support" word, right there, is the thing that makes me stay as far from Oracle as I can. It's like "Dude, here's the software. Have it, it's cheap/free." When things go wrong you get stung for exorbitant support/consulting fees, because, hey, you're tied in. With nowhere to go.
Sadly, too many organisations still go by the mantra of "The answer is Oracle. Now, what's the question?". That's no basis for a business case.
And yes, this is a rant, and I do have an axe to grind. I'm sorry if that offends (not my intent).
You can, at any time, switch away to CentOS, Scientific Linux, or Red Hat (if you're willing to write the check) and not have to totally reinvent your stack from scratch, since they're all binary-compatible.
There are so many mature linux distros to choose from and plenty have trustworthy, battle-tested, commercial support-options if that's what you need.
I can't come up with a plausible reason why anyone would even consider Oracle.
Oh, I need to write my own? Or will Oracle help me? For free?
Your plug for faster updates, for example: Security updates for Solaris used to be free.
So while I know that Oracle is large enough to host many different philosophies in many different departments, what Oracle has done to the former Sun departments really makes me wary of trusting any free offers by Oracle.
And from a technical perspective, if the OS is managed anything like the database or client tools, I wouldn't touch it with a 1000ft pole.
It did make me double-check the URL bar with the "If you find yourself needing to buy support, have fun reinstalling your system with RHEL before anyone will talk to you". But is perfectly valid.
The problem with Oracle Linux is that it's from Oracle. And I just don't trust them at all. I know I can revert back to CentOS or SL or whatever, but that's a pain. Trust is the problem.
You have a steep hill to hike, but it sounds like you may be cut out to take that on.
It looks like this script is one way as well. Joel provided good advice ages ago - make sure people can switch away again: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000052.html
I think it's going to take a lot of work for Oracle brand to gain any trust in the eyes of Linux nerds.
If you want to market to linux nerds, you need to change the perception of the company, because that's what matters most right now. Stop being evil, and then we'll give your products a chance.
Furthermore, if you are indeed correct and Oracle Linux is something useful that a lot of people will benefit from I seriously doubt that zealotry will stand in the way of its adoption. I guess we will have to wait and see.
Presumably the enterprise customers are all either running RHEL or are already buying Oracle Linux support contracts, and wouldn't be interested in "Oh, I could just run this CentOS-like thing for free".
I realize I could answer my own question with a little searching, but the main reason I would consider an Oracle branded Linux distribution would be for a reasonably 'official' way of getting some of what made Open Solaris compelling. Whatever the story is, I think my curiosity is predictable and common enough to warrant a mention in your article.
I should note that I am completely uninformed, and only have a passing interest in these things. What little I know is second-hand and years out of date. Although I just did just do a 'sudo yum search zfs' on RHEL 6, which is the only search I should need.
I was going to leave you alone about the 'messaging' aspects of your post, but now I'll point out that your reply exhibits a similar tone.
For my part, I think this is a good effort.
Don't get me wrong, Scientific Linux is great, but it's not for everyone.
But, so many people are only using Open Source software, and just want a really popular, really stable, really long lifecycle Linux distro for their servers. That's the boat I'm in. I don't currently run anything that I can't get in source form on our servers, so I don't have any concerns about binary compatibility.
That said, both of our products that specifically support SL and have binary packages in their repos (Virtualmin and Cloudmin) use the same yum repository of binaries across RHEL, CentOS, and Scientific Linux. We've never had any bug reports caused by that sharing of binaries. So, binary compatibility is pretty good in our admittedly limited experience (we only provide a handful of binaries).
That's the thing that always kills me about the mindset that ethics don't matter, when you're talking about business decisions. Why would you believe that a company that has repeatedly screwed customers and competitors won't screw you when there's even modest economic benefit to doing so? History indicates you will be screwed, at some point, by Oracle, if you rely upon them. And, by supporting them, you're supporting the ongoing damage they do to our community and the tech industry in general. That's lose-lose.
So, doing the right thing has a pretty good business case.
It's just one data point, but:
Red Hat released RHEL 5.6 on January 13, 2011, but Scientific Linux didn't release SL 5.6 until June 21, 2011
CentOS has for years been the go-to for running Oracle without paying anyone for the OS (RedHat EL or Windows). Now that Oracle has it's own Linux, it makes perfect sense for them to provide a free path into that offering.
And, most of our customers think the same way. CentOS is, by far, the most popular OS for running Virtualmin/Webmin/Cloudmin. Ubuntu has been gaining pretty fast, particularly now that LTS releases have become relatively stable (6.06 LTS had some awful breakages, 8.04 has some minor breakages, 10.04 and 12.04 seem to be pretty stable so far), but RHEL-based systems still have a strong lead in web hosting.
For people already having to sign a deal with the devil, using Oracle may make sense. But, I don't have that requirement. Everything on all five of our servers works fine on CentOS, RHEL, and SL (and Ubuntu, Debian, etc.).
This seems almost mean. Its a billion dollar company calling out a volunteer group of a couple of guys for being slower than them.
Part of the reason I switched to rhel was exactly this graph, I didn't have a lot of faith in centos as a going concern given the delays on 6. But also, its clearly not easy for a reason. There is a lot of work to be done, and the farther you trace your way up the rhel/epel/fedora tree the more you realize this is a community providing an insane amount of value and deserves to be funded.
So if Oracle is going to sell me on using and/or paying for their distro, being faster than a handful of volunteers isn't gonna do it. Going toe-to-toe with redhat on funding, contributing, producing and supporting open source software such that I want to fund you is what'll do it.
That's not quite the intent. Look, here's the deal: I know we all like to think that corporations are evil and the presence of corporate interests actually messes stuff up.
But this really is one case where you want the oomph of bilion-dollar company making sure that you get your security updates in time.
No one else is providing that. Oracle happens to be doing so, and we're making it available to you for free, so why shouldn't you benefit from that? (And seriously, I get that you're not paying for CentOS, and I'm not interested in getting you to pay for Oracle Linux either.)
But Oracle actually is evil.
> But this really is one case where you want the oomph of bilion-dollar company making sure that you get your security updates in time.
Don't be naive, Oracle wouldn't be doing this if they didn't see a substantial business advantage.
> No one else is providing that. Oracle happens to be doing so, and we're making it available to you for free, so why shouldn't you benefit from that?
Awww. Oracle is so altruistic!
Oracle has proven time again that they can't be trusted, and giving Oracle more control can only be bad.
Oracle's a business--they make good products that many businesses rely on. While they've done some stuff that this crowd greatly disproves of (see: Java copyright/patents lawsuits), their motivation for doing this could be as simple as keeping the brand's security image in place.
I just want you to know that you had a good opportunity here, and you wasted it.
We didn't discontinue support for CentOS; our legacy customers can continue to get access to Ksplice for all the distros we used to support. We did stop accepting new customers for anything other than Oracle Linux, though.
The same source code that Ksplice made available at http://ksplice.com/software is also now currently at https://oss.oracle.com/ksplice/software/
Regarding the source code, yes the original code was GPLed is still available. But are you saying that Oracle/KSplice will continue to make available ongoing versions of KSplice?
The link you provided is to a source tarball that was mostly last updated in August 2009, except for a small change in July 2011 (removal of zlib detection). Therefore, either the KSplice code is not being maintained at all, or there are ongoing updates to it that will no longer be released in source form.
Plus included with the price you get our awesome support-plan which you never call, but when you do it will only take weeks before they return a canned response designed to make you buy more products instead of actually solving your problem!
Personally I don't regret sticking with deb-based distros. They have problems of their own, but at least none of this extortion-bullshit.
It used to have some really interesting stuff on there, but after the move to Oracle, the interesting posts disappeared.
I'm talking specifically about 'Coffee shop internet access'. Man that was a cool post and it taught my brother and I a LOT. Then it disappeared, along with most mirrors of it. I was able to find one left, here:
after around a full 60 minutes of searching-- and it doesn't have the images from the original.
I emailed you guys, and J was kind enough to send me the text of the post, but again no images. She said she hoped the coffee shop post would make it to the oracle blog, but this was about 6 months ago so I don't think that'll happen. Anyway, I hope you're able to do good at Oracle, and I hope that you're still trying to, and I hope that you don't get taken advantage of.
It is up to Oracle to figure out how to build the required trust to market this, not up to consumers to accept it given Oracle's history. Millions of people are missing billions of opportunities every day (and you're probably one of them!) but you don't blame them for it, you figure out how to market a product more effectively instead.
I've met a lot of smart and friendly developers who work for Oracle (or companies acquired by Oracle) so I know for a fact there are many people in that organization which are genuinely good and really smart.
However, it seems to be a culture which promotes aggressive "shark" type personalities into leadership positions - people who, in my experience, have less focus on ethical business practices and more focus on increasing profits, crushing competition, and advancing up the ladder.
It obviously makes for a successful company but it's a not one which I would trust to have my business' best interests at heart.
And in the unlikely event that it were to happen, you could just switch to Scientific Linux, or whatever new RHEL clone would crop up in the wake of the news.
i am not sure why your compassion is so selective. people who work for fucking oracle are misunderstood saints, while the poor sods that put centos together - who have never done anyone any harm - should be thrown to the wolves.
But if I were a sysadmin, would I run CentOS in production? Is CentOS perfect? I'd say no on both counts, and I think there's nothing wrong with saying "There's room for improvement, and we think we've done better."
put it another, more constructive way: wouldn't it be better to help centos rather than try to kill them? why not take that route?
CentOS is free, so as long as the sponsors continue to sponsor the work on CentOS and as long as whoever pays for the servers &c continues to do so, the project can continue.
Scientific Linux and PUIAS exist for other reasons than commercial server provisioning and those reasons will probably stay around.
The CentOS and Scientific Linux forums contain useful information, the mailing lists contain more technical information. Oracle won't to my knowledge be providing self-help forums or other community features as they wish to package support as a product. I can imagine Oracle Linux users who do not require support dropping into, posting to and contributing to the CentOS and SciLi forums.
How will CentOS (or another clone) be impacted to the point of extinction by Oracle Linux? Am I being dense here?
is noticing that i am angry somehow going to make everything
work out? when centos folds and oracle decide to "raise margins" me being angry will make centos come back?
because if not, i would suggest worrying a little less about my emotional state and a little more about the future of your operating system.
For many years I was a Debian package maintainer, and Debian got by ok without much corporate support, despite the existence of Redhat.
In other words, your thinking is way too zero-sum. I think there's room for both. Perhaps the competition will make Redhat think about their model some too, improving things for everyone.
Evil is stomping a kitten to death.
Evil is the gulag, the concentration camp, the cultural revolution.
Oracle is just a business.
A hard-nosed business decision. Potentially lucrative, profitable. Not illegal. But demonstrating utter contempt and manipulation of their customers. If this is how Oracle treats its own customers, how do you think they treat competitors like CentOS and the OSS community?
You also have to factor in that ATG's old licensing department was chronically incapable of delivering the correct license files: they used to send out production licences for the wrong IP addresses, session limitations or bad expiration dates, and it wasn't uncommon to have 3 or 4 runarounds with them in order to have what you paid for.
That said, I'm not looking forward to use Oracle Linux in any of our production servers, unless my clients specifically asks for it and pays for the support. And this support has to be of very high quality, it will take me just one canned reply to put CentOS back in.
Have a good day.
And surprised that you think defending patents is evil because almost every major IT company right now is doing that.
Don't argue that patents are good because everyone uses them. Find a better rationale for your patent love!
If all the sheep walk off the cliff then it's the right thing to do!
It's just that it's the kind of business that makes me glad kitten stomping doesn't have an appreciable ROI .
Current North American society appears to deem sociopathic behavoir as being evil - so it's not much of a stretch to claim businesses are evil.
Not saying they can't act good or do good in society though as many obviously do. It's also worth noting that good/evil are not objective binary things - so your definition of evil is likely different then the GP's.
If this is an actual opinion held by North American society - whatever that is - then NAs needs to re-think it's definition.
It's also worth noting that good/evil are not objective binary things - so your definition of evil is likely different then the GP's.
I hold to the - possibly old-fashioned - notion - that there is good, there is evil, and they are objective binary states.
True, and one that exists to maximise shareholder value. Alas, that aim may not contribute positively to the larger picture, hence various forms of regulation that exist in many countries.
This is an issue too large for this particular page.
I was giving my honest opinion of his honest opinion.
An opinion that is held by many people
These people have a weak grasp of the concept of 'evil'. In my opinion.
Maybe instead of browbeating
I wasn't doing that. My opinion.
You could consider encouraging Oracle
I'm nobody Oracle is going to listen to. I say this as a guy who has been dealing with Oracle for about a decade, supported database and application servers.
Oracle pays attention to guys that write checks. And not just any checks but big checks.
If the CIO of (say) AT&T brings this up with his sales rep, things will happen. Me .. not so much.
BTW, it isn't illegal
I believe you are reading things that I did not write.
What we do as developers matters. Our time on this world is short enough already. What reason is there to spend years of our lives to further the aims of a company that doesn't share our goals and hopes, and in the end may be acting completely opposite to what we believe is fair and honest competition? What a waste...
Looking forward to seeing more and more of the OpenSolaris/SmartOS/Lumiere innovation spread to the rest of the community now that Oracle has caused everyone to jump ship. In some really cool technical ways SmartOS is really advanced, but the usability definitely needs work... things should improve as more people start hammering on it. Would be good to see more cooperation/coordination between SmartOS & Linux distros.
This thing with Oracle Linux - I always felt that Red Hat should've made RHEL (+ Desktop) freely available (including updates) since the beginning.
Corporations are people too, you insensitive clod!
As a developer they've done nothing but deliver very welcome new features to the platform and add stability that Sun could never bring.
If that were all that was going on, then Oracle would just provide funding and engineering support to CentOS.
Since you aren't doing that, one of two things must be happening:
1. This is part of a long term strategy, which means it will somehow make a play for my wallet on some future date.
2. This is not part of a long term strategy, which means it is a low-level initiative. Most likely it will chug along until the responsible middle manager retires, transfers or gets bored with it. If by some happenstance it becomes successful enough to attract the attention of top management, then goto #1.
Bottom line - Oracle is a business and wants my money. I know it, and you know it. Using free products from Oracle is like accepting a favor from Tony Soprano. Sooner or later, the bill comes due.
Canonical isn't that big on a scale of Red Hat, and is rounding error on a scale of Oracle. They punch well above their financial weight and good luck to them
We do want big companies behind the Linux ecosystem. There are already many out there (Red Hat, Canonical, among them) doing just that.
So if I have a budget for paying for a Linux distro, where do I want my money to go? Red Hat, Oracle, or Canonical? In my mind I'm ranking them
2. Red Hat
3. everyone else in the world
You need to fix that perception before Oracle Linux will go anywhere. Freatures won't do it. You could offer free support for a year and I wouldn't do it.
At the end of the day, most of us know that the value out of a 'support' contract isn't really the support. It's knowing that the product will continue forward. So who do I want my budget to fund?
I don't think that anything is evil per se, but I do think that corporations and modern businesses are defective by design. Why are they defective? Several reasons.
A) They are frequently more populous than can be effectively managed (also see: Dunbar's number).
B) They are unethical by design since money can be made by simply throwing money in a particular direction. This make no fucking sense whatsoever. Imagine if money didn't exist and we only had physical goods. It would be the equivalent of having 100 logs, putting them on a particular patch of ground then ending up with 200 logs a week later. This just makes no sense.
C) The are unethical by design since the wage gap is huge and the scenario is essentially that many hundreds or thousands of people are working to make a tiny minority extremely rich. It ain't slavery, Bob, but it sure as fuck smells like it.
C part deux) They are unethical by design because when a worker creates something, it is by default not his. Common sense dictates that what comes from your hands belongs to you. The rules of business are such that what comes from thousands of peoples' hands belongs to one person. If there was ever a scam...!
D) The purpose of the business is to ensure it's own survival. A more enlightened approach would be a business which ensures the parent society's survival. This makes more sense because when an entire society flourishes, so do all the businesses contained in it. When a single business flourishes, other businesses and, by extension, parts of society will suffer for it. In other words, the world ain't zero sum and modern business practices do not appear to take this into account.
I don't see how this story doesn't end with a whole bunch of people having to convert back to CentOS when someone at Oracle questions the value in offering this distribution for free.
I've tried to analyze this a dozen ways and so far the only one that makes sense is that Oracle has decided to kill RedHat. They want a billion dollar OS business and RedHat has that, but they can't just buy RedHat because with Linux the guys just quit and set up service as 'BlueHat' and continue on their merry way and the customers follow them.
So. The only way to kill RedHat is to take all of their customers. Since RedHat has a GPL'd product Oracle has just as much right to give it away as RedHat does. They try to convert 'free' customers to 'support' customers when a problem comes up.
If they are successful, people migrate to their version of Linux, RedHat dies, Oracle gets the support business because they are not dependent on Linux support revenues to survive. "Poof" Oracle 'owns' a billion dollar OS business. Their investment in getting it is probably less than a 'normal' buyout price if RedHat was a commercial software company.
Of course if they don't convert customers fast enough I'm sure Larry will grow tired of this ploy and flush it down the toilet. At which point people on Oracle Linux will be either sudden new RHEL customers or back to CentOS/SL.
Normally centos users would "grow into" payed support from RH. Now Oracle claims to give them that support without cost.
Unbreakable Linux was never an attempt to have their own distribution, it was to undercut RH, and now they're found a new way to do that through Centos.
It may cost Oracle money, but it costs RH more money, because, after all, they actually build a distribution.
Ideally, kill/buy RH, phase out Unbreakable, and cram in proprietary Solaris. But for now just destabilizing the RH ecosystem has to do.
Red Hat must have pissed them off or something. Maybe they realized how many people are leaving Solaris for RHEL.
Again, I'm not saying that they _will_ do the above; just that there is economic incentive for them to bring users into paying for support, and as long as they give it away for free, no one will bite.
There's an old wives saying (used in a different context), that says "why would a guy buy a cow, if he can get the milk for free?"
Using Oracle is a liability as the Google trial showed us.
I agree with you that corporations are not inherently evil. However, I am of the opinion that Oracle is inherently evil, and it's their business practices, pricing practices, and licensing practices that are ruining their reputation in the industry.
I form this opinion from personal experience dealing with Oracle over hardware, database, middleware, support, and operating system issues with my current employer. Oracle here is not well loved and the concept of converting CentOS instances to Oracle Linux is greeted with peals of laughter at the very suggestion.
I wish you luck in your endeavors, but in your enthusiasm please also keep in mind that Oracle is not known as the most trustworthy company on the block and people are righly justified in being wary of Oracle's intent in providing a "free" product or service.
That matches Scientific Linux in terms of full time paid packagers/QA &c
I'm not sure how much paid development time PUIAS has but there is some as it is the system used at the host institutions.
I imagine that the Oracle Linux team has plenty of extra people providing the paid support.
What I find interesting is that you can't simply download an .iso, you have to create an account or run a dodgy script. Strange combination of free and corporate approaches.
I take the point that the script and the reversion of the changes introduced by the script could be tested on a development box running CentOS.
Disclaimer: I am not part of the target market for your product. Just a desktop RHEL clone user.
Yes, that was my thinking here. That you'd spin up a CentOS VM or run it on a test system, see if you were happy, and then you'd run it for a while. Once you were happy, you'd then run the script everywhere.
We eventually switched back to RHEL. It's well worth the money for any serious player. The "support" from OEL seemed fairly amateurish -- for example broken hotfix packages that appeared to be one-off builds.
IMHO, Oracle is certainly the LAST company you should use any product from unless you are absolutlely forced to (like Java, unfortunately, or their bloated DB if your are in the financial industry). Once you are dependent on them, no matter if you are a partner or customer, they will definitely find a way to screw you over. If you want supported Red Hat linux, just buy it from Red Hat.
[UPDATE]: Also, how nice of the to mention Ksplice in the announcement as a quick reminder how they like to screw existing user bases of their products.
This is not some gimmick to get you running Oracle Linux so that you buy support from us. If you're perfectly happy running without a support contract, so are we. We're delighted that you're running Oracle Linux instead of something else.
At the end of the day, we're proud of the work we put into Oracle Linux. We think we have the most compelling Linux offering out there, and we want more people to experience it.
Hihihihi. Sure you are.
If you want support for Centos, please consider redhat *
I'm sure there are some good people at Oracle, and maybe this is a genuine project by some of them, but the hierarchy Oracle is under is just too fickle (as what happened with OpenSolaris).
*Not redhat affiliated. Not even running redhat or fedora anywhere. But on enough mailinglists to see that RH isn't a respected open-source company for nothing.
I've known companies that used CentOS for all the dev boxes and Redhat for production to save money. That has downsides because you are running different distros in the end (there can be subtle and not-so-subtle differences) and, if you have a problem on a non-prod box, your forced to use community support.
Oracle Linux will become a viable alternative here. Run the same distro on all boxes and only pay for production boxes. Then, if you have a problem on an unsupported box, you can bump it up to supported without altering the box.
The key here, for Oracle, is whether that support is actually worth paying for.
I'd call anyone claiming this strategy a looney if it weren't for the fact that the company doing this is Oracle and I'd put nothing below them as far as a business strategy.
Fundamentally, there is a market need for something to fill the niche of CentOS. I happen to think that free-Oracle-Linux can be a better CentOS than CentOS, but if they were both to suddenly go away, something new would come to fill the obvious void.
You know what fills the niche of CentOS pretty well? CentOS. If CentOS goes away, you know what will fill its niche? -- Scientific Linux.
> I happen to think that free-Oracle-Linux can be a better CentOS than CentOS
I think Oracle (which is already not having a stellar reputation in the open source community) just worsened its position. People with money pay Redhat for support. People who don't want to pay, will use CentOS, and a large proportion of those don't like Oracle and out of principle will avoid it.
It seems after the litigation debacle, Oracle could have done something to improve its standing the programming community and maybe donated to CentOS, for example. That would have been nice. Instead they keep shooting themselves in foot.
Will this affect Oracle's bottom line. Perhaps not. Maybe in the longer future. But don't be surprised at the negative reaction from other programmers on HN or other tech sites.
It took me some moments to realise that Oracle Linux 6.3 as a clone of RHEL will, of course, include libreoffice as the office package for the desktop installation as opposed to previous RHEL versions that included OpenOffice.org.
There is a degree irony in this, but I imagine the number of customers using Oracle Linux as a desktop OS is small. I gather a number of financial institutions do use CentOS on desktops and RHEL on servers however.
A permanent reminder to whoever looks into Oracle Linux of how they've treated the Open Source community.
The sweet, sweet irony.
They mean to replace RHEL (paid support) but try to win over CentOS customers (who surely won't pay for support, if they would want to, they would use RHEL and thus would have even faster security patches then Oracle Linux).
Stay away.. as far as possible.. thanks.
Where is the script to easily switch back when Oracle decides to screw everyone over as many have already brought up?
As for everyone else, yeah, a '--reverse' was somewhere in our set of desired features for the script, but ultimately this became about some combination of "Launch early, launch often" and "MVP", two topics I know we all love here :)
(And seriously, editing the script and hacking together a quick reverse is pretty easy, but I just want to make sure we take the time to get it right in all the annoying little edge cases that inevitably crop up.)
By claiming you're RHEL compatible, you "merely" compete against Red Hat, Cent OS and some other clones that some might not even have heard of (eg. Scientific Linux).
You automatically exclude Ubuntu, Debian, Suse and so on, but while reasserting that RHEL compat is somehow important, you push them to the defenses, not yourself (except from the point of view of Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, ... fans, but you won't convince them anyway, so why bother?).
That might be a reason why Red Hat doesn't bother too much about the clones: they make the RHEL ecosystem stronger, provides incentives for RHEL certifications, and RH can still try to upsell Oracle Linux users for the "original".
The OpenSolaris community is also thriving, and Oracle's partnership with Google has helped move Android forward leaps and bounds.
Seriously: what a palaaver that a huge company has to shove a tiny project aside.
They have made a number of very useful improvements to the JVM e.g. addition of JRockit, new parallel GC etc at no cost. It is annoying that they don't offer a repo to allow for easy updates but there are scripts to help.
And they just seem eager to push the platform forward with a confidence that was lacking from Sun.
It don't see a major drawback here:
- You get faster and more reliable updates, especially important for security updates.
- The release schedule will be more predictable (I know a lot of people moved to ScientificLinux while waiting for the CentOS6 release)
- It's binary compatible with RHEL (and therefor CentOS). Meaning, that you can drop the Oracle repos and move back if you don't like the behavior you're seeing upstream.
My goal is just to have people consider the case on its merits.
If you've thought about it and concluded "OK, I see what you're offering, but I'm distrustful of Oracle based on past behavior, and that outweighs your benefits", awesome. I might not agree, but at least we had a reasonable discussion about it.
As opposed to, e.g. "Oracle bad. Google good. Microsoft bad." (Which I'm totally guilty of myself, so I get where people are coming from.)
I'm not sure how much success you'll have getting people to separate their issues with the larger entity from considering your project. After all, when it comes to business decisions it is understandable that people would want to take these issues into account.
What I could imagine to happen is your project building its own separate (and good) track record from Oracle. I think some people asking for a reverse-to-original option/script might have come off as insincere, but I think it would be a crucial part. If you can say "try it, use it, and if you don't like it or anything happens, there's an up-to-date and tested way of returning to the original", it could alleviate peoples fears for lock-ins.
But it'll be hard to work against things like peoples fears that one of the reasons is an attack on RedHat. The only way to deal with that will be time and good behavior (not doubting that you'll do that, but you came out of a perceived lions cage. So the gazelles will watch you for a while to make sure you aren't a lion after all).
And for zealotry analytics, Oracle:bad Google:bad Microsoft:bad Apple:bad. Just because I use an OS (or several) doesn't mean I completely trust the intents of the companies supplying that OS (or several).
I suppose they wouldn't be very hard to do (essentially drop Oracle specific packages, and point yum to the original repos).
'--reverse' is something I'd like to see implemented, though, if nothing else because it'll assuage people's fears, and makes it feel less risky to experiment.
This is pure "evil"
Disclaimer: I do not support servers, I just have an interest in CentOS/SL on the desktop.
(The confusion stems from the fact that Oracle also has the "Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel", which it also offers, but you need to explicitly install that with the "kernel-uek" package.)
Not that I care either way, I don't have any stake in the matter. I just don't have much experience with them outside of limited usage of Java.
2. They participate in strong lobbying to get governments all over the world to purchase their overpriced products.
3. And support.
4. They recently sued Google over seven lines of code for billions of dollars.
5. They've let some technologies purchased from Sun languish, and have contributed to the fracturing of the OSS communities around these technologies.
6. Larry Ellison bribed his way out of a billion dollar insider trading deal.
In short, Oracle is the poster child for why OSS users need to be vigilant and why government contracting needs serious reform.
From outside, neutral point of view, all these corporations Oracle, Google, Facebook, Apple, etc. are equally "evil" - especially from point of view of Open Source community. Am I wrong here?
BUT, strange enough, i'd say Sun had a pretty good reputation as software company, great engineers and minds. In the past, i'd rather agree to use Sun Solaris rather then some Oracle Linux. (Now, that Solaris is from Oracle, i wouldn't do that anymore)
On one hand, good for Oracle, this actually sounds like a good initiative. On the other hand, Oracle consistently gives us reasons to distrust them. Consequently, while I think this is a good effort, I certainly wouldn't install it. In fact, I somewhat suspect that I'd find a way to make A/UX work before I install Oracle Linux.....
Better like Solaris? Needlessly different for it's own sake!
Hah, no thanks.
// I don't visit HN for memes, and don't like to have to click through to follow discussions.