Cluster Poll Results (tangent into OS choices)

Mike Snitzer msnitzer at
Mon Nov 3 23:28:49 EST 2003

On Mon, Nov 03 2003 at 18:42,
Greg Kurtzer <gmkurtzer at> wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 03, 2003 at 04:51:41PM -0700, Mike Snitzer told me:
> > Rebuilding RHEL3 into a freebie-ripoff version doesn't pass the smile-test
> > for corporations trying to coexist and actually work with Red Hat.  Why
> > not focus that questionable rebuilding effort on a more worthwhile task?
> > E.g. porting Fedora Core to support amd64, ia64, etc; adding features to
> > Fedora Core that are relevant to clustering, etc.
> I guess what some would consider a worth while task others would consider a
> waste of time. From what I see, Fedora core is an unreasonable solution for me
> and I will not be contributing to it while RH holds every seat on the steering
> committee and rules all directions. Not that I have anything against RH, it is
> just that there is a major conflict of interest, don't you think?
> If Fedora gets too good, won't it take business from RHEL?

I have the same concerns but think it would be better to challenge the
level of control that the RedHat-only committee will exert on the Fedora
Project sooner rather than later.  Below you reference how RedHat says its
not about the code; so why should Red Hat _really_ care if Fedora is even
better than the enterprise offering?

If RedHat holds Fedora too close to their chest they'll give people a
_real_ reason to defect to other solutions.

> > > Even though Rocks is based on RedHat distribution, it is complete, which 
> > > means you only need to download Rocks ISOs to accomplish your 
> > > installation.
> > 
> > All well and good, but basing a "complete" clustering solution on a reverse
> > engineered RHEL is completely underhanded and wrong (regardless of whether
> > you feel RH is being greedy or whatever).  Ripping off RHEL is a pretty
> > cheap contribution to the advancement of free clustering technology.  But
> > maybe this type of thing gets peoples' ROCKS off?
> Uhmm, what is reversed engineered? The source _is_ open ya know... ;)

Yeap, reverse engineered is the wrong term; how about time spent
uncovering what is RH-specific that needs to be removed/replaced.  I'd be
inclined to say that the sustained engineering effort that is proposed for
cAosel would be better spent innovating Fedora; but maybe thats just me.
Today, RedHat developers openly stated on the fedora-devel list that
RHELv3 code (specifically amd64 code) is open for all to filter into
Fedora.  Now thats a true test of the RedHat-only committee, no?

> Not that I have anything against what RH is doing, but to prove a point...
> Isn't RH taking code from the community, and selling it back to the community
> with limitations on redistribution? It seems to me that to accuse the
> community of "ripping off" OSS software is a bit harsh.
> So as RH has stated, their business model is not about the code, rather their
> support models around the code, and their trademark.
> Now I do want to mention that I think that RH's new direction is what is
> needed for Linux to become a suitable Enterprise solution. This move however
> left a vacancy in the community which is why projects are emerging or changing
> direction to fix this. It is OSS evolution (see:

Fair enough, but keep in mind that the polished innovations that RedHat
has put into the Red Hat product are free too; hence the ability to just
rebuild their RHEL SRPMs.

Red Hat realized there was a large segment of the OSS community that would
be left in the cold by their move; they balanced that fact with Fedora.
Conspiracy theories on the RedHat-only committee aside, Fedora is a pretty
good peace offering.  Time will tell if Fedora truly is good for OSS; but
to just go off and further splinter the RPM-based Linux distro space (with
cAos, or whatever) is short-cited.  OSCAR, ROCKS, Warewulf, <insert other
splintered cluster offerings here> could very easily take the time to make
Fedora into what they need it to be.  In that moderately innovative
competing solutions to the same problem has been the chosen path for
clustering; why not seal the same fate for the Linux distributions that
their based on, right? 

This is a fun debate, but might be too off-topic... feel free to email me
either way.


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