back to article Oracle's got a giant Red Hat fork coming, says spaceman

Oracle's assault on Linux looks to take the shape of a fork in the near future, according to Canonical founder and Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth. "They must be on track to fork soon," he told us, during an interview here at OSCON. "They are hiring too many people just to deliver patches. My assumption is that they are on track …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once again

    I'm surprised that no one sees it coming. In my last post about open source I noted that big business was going to overrun OS and I got flamed like mad. However I'm surprised no one else is seeing it. MS is not caving in, there recent "agreement" is meaningless and now Oracle is jumping in as well. These are mega players that didn't get huge being nice. They've found a way to attack OS by playing the OS game just long enough to establish a beachhead and then destroy those hippies in the commune that didn't have the sense to flee screaming before the Empire marched in.

    Don't believe me? Watch and see...

  2. Don Mitchell

    Open Source Making A Better World

    It's heartwarming to see how the open source movement could allow IBM and Oracle to become as rich and powerful as Microsoft. Think of how much better the world will be then.

    Then perhaps they can get rid of annoying personal computers and give us all cheap thin clients, so we can pay them even more money to do all our computing and keep all our files on their big servers.

  3. Macka

    The road to Hell

    --< Shuttleworth, however, sees Oracle gearing up for its own, full-fledged version of Linux that would compete with software from Red Hat, Novell and others .... "I think it would be great," Shuttleworth said. And we happen to agree, given that Novell seems a rather ineffectual competitor against Red Hat." >--

    And you're all stark raving bonkers. A move like that will have a disastrous effect, not only on Redhat, but for all the commercial Unix variants. CIOs would jump at the chance to have their database tightly knit with the underlying OS and supported under one contract and one roof. IBM, HP and Sun would be relegated to the position of box shifters with most of the software, licensing and service revenue from the bare metal upward going into Oracle's coffers. Oracle mean time would get even fatter and more powerful, and as their Linux grew in popularity they would expand beyond their traditional market into the landscape occupied by Redhat, SuSE, and commercial Unix vendors. And they would all be crushed by it.

    What you describe is doomsday for the Unix and Linux market. It would likely result in the death of Sun, and the Power and Itanium platforms would become unsustainable without a viable vendor Unix to drive them.

    Son of Raw Iron, this time based on Linux would not have the server proliferation draw back of its predecessor. Oracle would succeed this time round and we'll all suffer the consequences.

    And you welcome this Ashlee. You've completely taken leave of your senses!

  4. Alan Donaly

    Get a grip

    Who cares if it's like everything else oracle does it will cost the earth and be so big you'll need another computer just to run your first one please fud is only believable if it comes from quality not just another widget company like oracle what next threatening us with Microsofts version of Linux it's the same thing none of these companies can get out of their own way anyone using this will fin it's costing them more and it runs the same on more expensive hardware same shit different day.

  5. Glen Turner

    Red Hat have the CIO mindshare, not Oracle

    Hi Macka,

    You paint Oracle as a force that will enter the Linux market and steam roller it, based on CIO's irresistible attraction to the Oracle name and slightly smaller administrivia.

    It's not going to happen.

    If the world is as you paint it, then Oracle wouldn't be shipping a Red Hat-compatible operating system, but Red Hat would be shipping a Oracle-compatible operating system.

    Imagine that "smaller administrivia" negotiation in that single contract with Oracle. You are running PeopleSoft, Oracle, and OracleLinux. Do you think you are in a better position to do a deal them someone running PeopleSoft+Oracle, lots of MySQL, and RHL? Or do you think your migration costs lock you in to whatever price Oracle asks? So drinking the Oracle KoolAid isn't going to save money.

    Nor is it going to reduce risk. Who would you rather take Linux maintenance from: Red Hat on a Red Hat-built operating system, or Oracle on a Red Hat-built operating system. I think the market has already answered "Red Hat". Red Hat haven't even dropped their costs, so Oracle have failed to lay a glove on them.

    Oracle's next response is a true OracleLinux. But that still doesn't help get rid of the Red Hat taint. A Red Hat sales person can very simply show that there is 100,000% more Red Hat code in OracleLinux than Oracle code. It's still too obvious a re-badging of a product better bought elsewhere.

    Sure, Oracle is giving it a go, trying to "own" the enterprise server market. That's the best response it can think of to lock customers into Oracle before MySQL eats away its database business. But Oracle has miscalculated again.

    Cheers, Glen

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wow, Oracle going to kill the *NIX eh. All drop their enterprise plaform of choice and run to Oracle because it forked RH. STOP sniff'in and smok'in crack!! They will pickup clients, they will cause some disruption, but come on people they are not going to kill anyone except maybe Novel. Though the buzzards have been circling that dead dog for years.

    Everyone, including myself, is not going to start a pilgrimage to Larry's place because he's picking on a smaller competitor (Remember he's still pissed that he lost JBOSS to RH, UGH me Lary angry at little RH must kill little RH). Linux has it's place and some love it enough to run their Oracle stack on it, fly be free, but the big UNIX 3 hardly has anything to worry about. I personally admin Solaris and live Linux away from the office and they both excel at what they do. My company already cringes at the cost of running Oracle databases but understand that you need a solid DB partner when dealing in Billions $$ of asset information. I, IMHO think Solaris on SUN HW is the best OS for our environment. If i can run my DB on what ever platform i choose i will choose to run it on a platform that works for me I am happy with SUN. The Biz down the street OTOH might be running HP with Oracle and the next guy AIX and all of us feeling the same way about our choices. Oracle knows this are not really targeting the big 3 clients anyway. Anyone who does leave is a bonus but it will be such a small percentage anyway that it will be a footnote more than big news.

    M$ OTOH should be concerned. Those people who are looking at an enterprise DB for the first time and are already a windows shop might take a second look if Oracle does it right. Drop in the CD err 31 DVDs and install a complete Oracle system thinkin "How frick'in sweet!!!" while singing the The Jefferson's theme song as they deploy their first real enterprise app.

    In recent years M$ has wanted to be an enterprise DB player real bad and for them the inroads have not been too friendly. They created a product that M$ sysadmin chimps can run. Though, if you have terabyte DBs there is a snowballs chance in hell it will run on MSSQL. If Oracle can make it easy to do using a linux distro and send their pinstriped borg to assimilate the SMB M$ dominated world; look out!! It will be fun to watch

    Ashlee, keep up the good work; you always goat the tinfoil hat wearing freaks in giving such thoughtful comments ;-)

  7. joe_bruin

    Ashlee Vance on the sauce?

    Seriously, what in the hell was that detour about animal abuse? You admittedly have nothing bad to say about a person and you feel compelled to make something up. This seems like a personal problem to me. I encourage you to air these issues out with a trained professional, not on these pages.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wow Joe - you must have actually *felt* that as it went flying over your head.

  9. amanfromMars Silver badge

    All Systems Go for a Shuttle Worthy Launch into AI New Era OS?

    "If Shuttleworth is, in fact, not abusing cute animals, then he's been busy denying Microsoft's advances to sign a Novell/XenSource/Linspire-like intellectual property and collaboration deal."

    Crikey, Ashlee, that second page was all over the place. The clarity of the first page must have taken its toll on the ye olde grey matter :-)..... but it does satisfy prior commitments though, I suppose.

    You can be sure though that as the latter is true in the above quote all cute animals are safe, which is something which Microsoft must be wondering about. I wonder if they are feeling as vulnerable as they should be, for the Sun Gods are burning up/turning up the heat on the Dark Matter Forces infesting and afflicting Operating Systems are they not?

    The following is optional, although obligatory for space cadets to understand for Safer Space Flight in order to guard against Delusional Space Sickness .... aka God Rush. Your OS should have necessary Help Desk Details. Early symptoms of exposure are well documented, if not actually yet proven empirically? .....

    From Space, you have a very clear Quantum See on Earth and the Relative State of Man for All Life is Invisible on Earth when travelling through Time in Space being Reduced and/or Concentrated into mere Pixels of Colour and if you can get High on IT, the See can be as a Future Perfect Hypervision to Share via IT and their Operating Systems to create another Global Picture .

  10. andy rock

    i dunno about the sauce, maybe something a bit stronger...

    joe_bruin: i'm with you there. what was the deal with animal abuse? moreover, what the hell does this mean:

    "Is that what you tell the penguins, Mark? Is that what you tell them when their eyes swell with tears made of blood?"

  11. Steve Browne

    For those that cant remember

    A company called IBM runs a one stop shop, but got a little too big for its boots around the mid 80s, and they have suffered for it ever since. They ended up playing second fiddle to a company from Seattle. Bet they wish Gary had been home when they called !

    Robert Heller does a wonderful description of it in "The Fate of IBM".

    The real problem they face, if M$ are their target, is that Windows looks nice. Whatever M$ may do elsewhere they put a lot of work into their user interface and it shows. Everything comes second to good looks. If M$ paid as much attention to the functional parts of their systems, then it is Oracle that will be having problems.

    So, Oracle are going to try to create a one stop shop for themselves. This is an area where they have no experience, and without significant enhancement of the user interface, an area in which they will fail. Just taking a distribution at random, OK, RH probably isn't a random choice, still leaves them dependent on an OS supplier. If this damages RH in the process, this will be another classic case of shooting oneself in the foot. RH are not the problem, they are part of the solution !

    Thin clients will not succeed either. When a functional PC costs as little as £299, inc VAT, who cares about the cost. When a laptop can be had for nothing, sign up with Orange for £15/month broadband, get a free laptop, who cares about cost.

    There is one and only one problem that is faced by M$ competitors and that is the GUI, plain and simple. Once you have the good looks of Windows, the superior internals of Linux et al will have a serious chance of success. Until then, it is merely bickering in the playground.

  12. Reg Sim

    Err, did'nt Oracle have a linux Distro awhile back?

    If, and I do mean if (as I have not had a lot to do with Linux over the years), memory serves Oracle had a very nice Linux Distro way back when Linux was first coming to the fore.... maybe it was corral.

    Anyway, it does depend on markets, being able to do an oracle course, and install and admin a product that comes in one box on multiple DVD's does sound appealing for somebody who wants a stable DB. However I would expect any distro like this to be a 'light' version for smaller firms who can not go the whole hog or employ very expensive people to manage there IT equipment.

    People in small firms with little money to throw around and often few IT people to throw at problems like to buy quality, or perceived quality as its easier to pay alittle more now say for the oracle brand and 'know' you have a quality product than say some other product.

    I find Computer sales are often like that. Small company's with oodles of cash for there IT will more often take on custom systems/multiple systems for improved performance/price where as folks with less cash need something that will work and if it does'nt its somebody else job to fix it because we don't know how.

    [ of course there is always IT managers who like to see big brand names on there IT equipment too.]

    My thoughts on the Oracle with there own linux distro is, who cares?, I think the impact will be slow and considering everything else that is going on around IT its a small splash in a very large pond. I do not think it is the beginning of the end for players like Red Hat, its effect will be felt if by anybody by M$ target small office's.


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Huh? Wha? Kill Linux? How?!

    I think that's a bit of an overreaction. As a sysadmin myself, I like the idea of having a single integrated OS/Database platform. Like another poster said, it's going to cost a bloody fortune, which oracle already does. So, basically, a bunch of people that are already paying a fortune for RHEL+Oracle will now just spend the fortune on Oracle directly. Efficient.

    Linux will *always* be around now, though. There are way too many forks and special ideas and dedicated developers to be forced out. Also, don't forget the army of smaller tech businesses, who use Linux for everything but the kitchen sink.

    Linux isn't about "competing" against Microsoft-- it's all about being able to do what you want with your hardware. You want a samba server that backends against a mysql database? There you go. You want a lightweight machine to play mp3s from the trunk of your car? Linux to the rescue. You want a php scripting platform? Duh.

    Windows is a client. A front end to more powerful and interesting systems. And, it plays games *real* good. I wouldn't trust it to keep track of my financials, though, or to hold precious data.

    Totally different objectives, not *really* in competition.

  14. A J Stiles

    Oracle need to worry

    I'd say it's Oracle who need to worry. Someone like Red Hat (or even Ubuntu?) could take an existing Open Source database server such as Postgres or MySQL, add some tweaks for compatibility and create a serious rival to Oracle's offering -- with the added advantage that the complete Source Code is available for inspection.

    At the moment, nobody's pushing that aspect. But people *are* getting burned by the practice of withholding Source Code. And it's surely a matter of time before someone asks the question out loud, "Would this have been avoided if we had the Source Code?"

  15. Jamie Anderson

    re: Oracle need to worry -- Already been done. It's based on PostgreSQL, and from what I've seen it's pretty cool, but I don't think it has managed to gain much traction thus far.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like