Redhat Free?

Posted on 2003-12-10
Last Modified: 2011-04-14

i've been an avid fan of redhat since 5.x...however lately i'm very disappointed on how they shifted their strategy from free distro(7.x, 8.0, 9) to commercial Enterprise redhat...and left us with the Fedora project.

my question is:
1. i'm finding ways of migrating my server to another distro, what would you recommend for my web, mail, dns..etc application server?
2. should i shift to BSD (OpenBSD, FReeBSD)?
3. Based on your answer above for question 1 & 2 (linux and BSD), what assurance would you give that it would not follow the same path as that of redhat (which is it will first let you taste its procuct, says its free then after you get to like it, it will then says it cost something)?
3. what is your opinion about REdhat move to Enterprise?
4. Is Fedora reliable, could i use it for my application server (web, mail, dns)?
5. What are other new developments with regards to open source, that somehow you will convince me or not to shift to commercial software (Windows)?
Question by:webwab
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 9917743
1. If you want free, switch to Debian. This also answers 3. Debian is free and will stay free.
2. This is up to you. I would not, but that's just my opinion.
3. Every company has the right to change what they are doing. If RH thinks that they are more profitable without consumer products, it's their right.
4. Don't know. I've never used it.
5. Again, that's up to you. If you want free and open, stay with Linux (or any of the BSDs), if you want closed source and no control, switch to Windows.
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Expert Comment

ID: 9917800
for the Fedora project stuff there is lot of discuss here have a check

FreeBSD and OpenBSD is also good and I use the FreeBSD for my FTP server.

About point 3, I don't think there is/are any assurance the other linux distro become like RH, but under the GPL they need to keep there source open and free for download, I think that's why RH move the free stuff into Fedora.

On my own, I will build my own Enterprise, i.e. I used RH for mail, web and file servers, FreeBSD for ftp server, now I'm trying to use the debian or Suse.

Many people said Mandrake is similar to RedHat, or should say mandrake is from RedHat.

What I thinking is no matter what/which linux distro you use, as long as the applicaitons is free you can employ a total software free server (not include your download time and bandwidth)

Expert Comment

ID: 9921324
You can basically call Fedora RedHat 10.  They bought the company Fedora, and are going to continue to develop an open operating system, so that they can channel new developments into their enterprise software.  It is a business decision, and not a technical one, so that RedHat can try to move it's image in the minds of investors to purely enterprise.  RedHat has offered an enterprise version for a long time now, but it has really just been one kernel revision back from their free release.  This doesn't change with Fedora, but now RedHat gets to let all of these other developers out there help them develop Enterprise via Fedora!  It's sort of like free labor.  So instead of RedHat open Linux and RedHat Enterprise/Advanced Server, they are called Fedora and RedHat.  Same products.

By they way, all Linux'es are BSD.  There are two Unix-type kernels, BSD and SVR4.  SVR4's kernel is owned by SCO, hence their lawsuit with IBM.  BSD was split from SVR4 in a court case back in the 80's when AT&T owned the SVR4 kernel.
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by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 9921652
Linux is Linux, and BSD is BSD. And BSD is not SVR4.

All BSD versions are decendants of the original BSD system. BSD is much older than SVR4, and was not split from SVR4. It's actually the other way around: SVR4 is a combination of System V, BSD and Xenix. System V was the fifth version of the AT&T Unix, Xenix was Microsoft's Unix.

Linux was developed from scratch.

Expert Comment

ID: 9922151
Linux was developed from BSD by Linus Torvalds druing his time in college as a response to the "made from scratch" MINIX, using available BSD Source code under the GNU public license.  His first apps were ports of BSD based BASH and gcc.  Part of his original description:

>As for the features; well, pseudo ttys, BSD sockets, user-mode
>filesystems (so I can say cat /dev/tcp/,
>window size in the tty structure, system calls capable of supporting
>POSIX.1. Oh, and bsd-style long file names.

SVR4 is System V Unix (revision 4) and is not a combination of BSD and Xenix.  Saying it is combined with Xenix would be redundant - Xenix is Unix and was SCO's version of Unix for the Intel platform, as opposed to the RISC, and was around well before Microsoft existed.  SCO Xenix now exists as SCO Open server.  They then developed a version of SVR4 for the Intel platform which is SCO Unix.  Many SVR4 Unixes, such as Solaris, also include BSD applications for compatability, (i.e. whoami versis "who am i") but are not a combination of BSD and SVR4.

Microsoft never developed a Unix/Xenix, but when they bought Word, they also inherited a lot of Xenix based applications, including MS Word for Xenix - which looked just like the DOS version.

I still have copies of SCO Xenix, SCO Unix, AT&T Unix, MS Word for Xenix, and an early Linux that we maintain for purely historical purposes.
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 9922478
This is probably not the right place to discuss the history of Unix, but I still stick with my statements.

BASH is not BSD based, it's the GNU interpretation of the Bourne Shell, again, developed from scratch. The same goes for GCC. That Linux has BSD sockets does not mean that it's derived from BSD, it just means that somebody implemented sockets according to the BSD interface.

Check out the Open Group Unix History page:

They have this to say about SVR4: 1989 - SVR4 - UNIX System V Release 4 ships, unifying System V, BSD and Xenix

It's not that some SVR4 systems include BSD applications, these applications are part of SVR4.  

Expert Comment

ID: 9930302
Not everything you read on the web is accurate (am I presenting an oxymoron then?)  But SVR4 is definitely not a unification of System V, BSD, and Xenix.  Most SVR4 Unix'es such as Solaris, were new operating systems that replaced BSD operating systems (such as SunOS.)  Sun only kept BSD commands in for backwards compatability, but SVR4 has it's own commands and libraries.  Remember, it is in the financial interests of the Open Group (yes, they still get $$ from SCO) to say that SVR4 includes BSD so that there is more "evidence" for the SCO lawsuit against IBM.
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by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 9931493
Here are a few more sources: - shows a connection from 4.2BSD to SVR4 (Source: The Unix Heritage Society) - the last few sentences in the 4.2 chapter tell this story: "Most of the Unix vendors shipped a 4.2BSD system rather than the commercial System V from AT&T. The reason was that System V had neither networking nor the Berkley Fast filesystem. The BSD release of Unix only held its dominant commercial position for a few years before returning to its roots. As networking and other 4.2BSD improvements were integrated into the system V release, the vendors usually switched back to it. However, later BSD developments continued to be incorporated into System V."

... and, I'll unsubscribe from this question.
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by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 10338302
Too many answers, and not enough points to split...

No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
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