[UCI-Linux] Re: redhat race

26 Mar 2003 16:21:39 -0800

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Redhat 9 is due (to RHN subscribers) on March 31st.

Redhat 9 is due out to the rest of the world April 7th.

Here are the EOL dates:

>       Red Hat Linux 8.0 (Psyche)        December 31, 2003
>       Red Hat Linux 7.3 (Valhalla)      December 31, 2003
>       Red Hat Linux 7.2 (Enigma)        December 31, 2003
>       Red Hat Linux 7.1 (Seawolf)       December 31, 2003
>       Red Hat Linux 7.0 (Guinness)      March 31, 2003
>       Red Hat Linux 6.2 (Zoot)          March 31, 2003

IOW, on Dec 31, none of the currently available redhat releases are
expected to be supported by redhat any longer.  This means no security

There's been extensive discussion of redhat 9 and redhat's new policies
on the internet, which I've just finished catching up on for now.

There is no clear consensus about what people are going to do about the
policy changes at redhat, as should be expected from independent-minded
linux people.  To wait for such a consensus could mean waiting a long
time.  Some people are moving to other distributions, like mandrake or
debian.  The more business minded appear to be purchasing licenses for
one of redhat's new premium products.  Some people don't understand what
the fuss is about and intend to continue with redhat's "community
product" (the one most people have been using) - indications are that these=
only have a tiny handful of machines.  Some people are compiling their
own versions of Advanced Server and doing without the support, and
risking not being able to get security patches in a timely manner.  Most
of these folks appear to own at least one license for the product
they're compiling.

There are 0 signals that redhat is going to change their new policies to
be more accomodating to nonpaying customers.  I'm sure you can imagine
why.  They only stand to gain from making the community releases
uncomfortable for enterprise users, who they want to see license the
enterprise products.

There apparently will be no x.1's anymore in the community product, just
9 followed by 10 followed by 11 and so on.  It appears that they intend
to ignore binary compatibility in the community products from here on
out, as they have done in the 8 to 9 transition, and hence the community
product will be even less of a stable computing base than it has been up
until now - the community product perhaps becoming a proving ground for
new technologies before they are introduced into the premium products.

The premium products will have dot releases (x.1, x.2...).

RHCE's are miffed, because their certifications are only good for two
major releases, which is now only about a year long.  Redhat may adjust
this aspect of their policy, so that certs last longer.  Note that this
is an adjustment to aid paying customers - the certs are somewhat

There was considerable disbelief about the next version being "9"
instead of "8.1".  Some people more or less insisted that someone was
spamming lies or even trying to trick people into paying for a product
that wasn't really theirs to sell.  Redhat posted a job listing seeking
someone to support redhat 8.1 customers, and there is a book about
redhat 8.1 listed on amazon.com.  The betas for 9 were labeled 8.0.9x,
suggesting an 8.1 release.

Indications are that users taking advantage of redhat's community
product will no longer have the advantage of seeing applications and
hardware supported on/by their platform.  The support is expected to be
for the premium products only, at the urging of redhat to ISV's and

There was some discussion about avoiding x.0 releases, because they
tended to be unstable, and there now being only x.0 releases.

> Even though [Red Hat Linux 9] will boost Red Hat revenue, the company's
> attention will remain on the premium product, Chief Executive Matthew
> Szulik said in an interview. 'You're not going to see any aggressive
> promotion with it,' he said. Advertising and promotion might increase
> sales, but it also increases expenses 'in a business that is not that
> interesting to the company,' Szulik said.

Dan Stromberg DCS/NACS/UCI <strombrg@dcs.nac.uci.edu>

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