Redhat Fedora

Daniel Pfenniger daniel.pfenniger at obs.unige.ch
Sat Sep 27 04:44:42 EDT 2003


adm35 at georgetown.edu wrote:

It just seems to me that the entire question is less than relevant for so 
many of us.  In many cases, we're *compelled* to use one particular 
distro over all others, because the researchers we support are using 
binary versions of applications that require a particular distro, which 
is frequently RedHat.  I actually discovered one today that REQUIRES 
RedHat 8 or better!!  You can all imagine that I was less than amused.

I have seen the problem for the driver of InfiniBand cards made by 
Mellanox and distributed
by various companies.   The driver source code is of course not 
available, so the Infiniband
companies provide binary drivers for certain RedHat and Suse kernels.
Because InfiniBand is recent on the market, it is likely that new 
clusters aimed at high
performance computing use freshly made components, so the kernels are 
rapidly
not compatible with both the binary drivers and the recent kernels. 

A solution that at least one company was offering is to custom compile 
the driver with
the particular customer kernel.  The customer sends the kernel source 
with the custom config
file and the company sends back the compatitble binary driver.  

Such solutions seem to me the most convenient for having  coexisting 
open and closed
source software.

     Dan



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