back to article The killing of CentOS Linux: 'The CentOS board doesn't get to decide what Red Hat engineering teams do'

Brian Exelbierd, responsible for Red Hat liaison with the CentOS project and a board member of that project, has told The Register that CentOS Linux is ending because Red Hat simply refused to invest in it. Early last month Red Hat shocked users of CentOS, a free community build of the same sources that make up the commercial …

  1. boblongii

    What a giveaway!

    "If business model includes non-revenue"

    Talk about dinosaur outlooks. Of course non-revenue contributes to the business model. Being perceived as trustworthly, reliable, or just plain Not-IBM, is important to anyone's business model. To say nothing of social factors of the "high tide floats every boat" type.

    Not that it matters at this point; RedHat was doomed the moment IBM touched it; it's just a question of how long the life support will be left on now.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: What a giveaway!

      Doesn't he remember the years that RedHat went without producing revenue? It was a running Slashdot joke for a while.

    2. grantmasterflash

      Re: What a giveaway!

      The number of companies that I have consulted for that used CentOS in all of their non-mission critical systems but still paid for RHEL for all front-facing mission critical systems is currently at 100%. Getting rid of the backend does not mean they will sell more, it means they will lose these customers. So short sighted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a giveaway!

        My employer uses CentOS for development and testing, and for running in-house code.

        We buy RHEL for anything where we might need support (or where IT wants to spread liability for outages.) That's basically all the Production and customer-facing servers. And for expensive software that specifies RHEL like large databases.

        There's really only a small group of people promoting Linux here. We just had to slam the brakes on deploying CentOS 8, had to defer some server upgrades, and have to reconsider budget for some Linux-hosted Expensive Software. The hardware is coming. We have a Windows roadmap. We're scrambling to make a new Linux roadmap and to restore confidence that it has a future here.

        As someone who much prefers to run Linux than Windows on servers, this sucks.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What a giveaway!

        Same for me - the support/no-support model works well for my clients. Having essentially identical OS's for all stages of software lifecycle was a key benefit of the RHEL model.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They still don't get the issue with "stream"

    I want to know that the install / configuration process I have _now_ for Stream 9* will be re-creatable two years down the line (i.e., exactly the same versions of all components).

    * If I went that way, which I won't.

    1. thames

      Re: They still don't get the issue with "stream"

      I have an open source project which I test on about a dozen different distros, including a couple of BSD variants. I have a fully automated test system which cycles through all the supported platforms. When I make a new release I then give a list of platforms which it was tested on, including which version.

      One of those distros is Centos. If Centos Stream is just a rolling release then there's not much point in testing on it, as I can't then say that a specific version is tested and supported.

      I have no intention of signing up for a developer account as I have no desire to jump through their hoops and become one of their minions just so I can do free work for them.

      I'll keep the current Centos VM in the test system so long as it remains relevant, but once it gets too old compared to their current Red Hat release however, then I'll just drop it. As someone running an open source project, It's really not worth the effort to support a distro that anyone puts hurdles in front of.

      1. needmorehare
        Happy

        Just install Oracle Linux

        It too is an RHEL rebuild which is 100% compatible with upstream just like CentOS Linux. Oracle even has a script you can use to switch from CentOS and the distro is free to use for all purposes with no special licensing changes. It has also been quicker to release patches than CentOS for quite a while.

        Of course, if you’re looking for something that isn’t RHEL and want an enterprise-grade solution with full community support, openSUSE Leap is looking like a pretty sweet option now, as it’s downstream from SUSE Linux Enterprise except with community supplied goodies on top. It might not get quite the amount of battle testing that Fedora gives to RHEL but bugs you file against it will be looked at as if they’re bugs affecting SLE too in a lot of cases, so there is that,

        1. erikscott
          Coat

          Or for that matter, "anything"

          Containers don't care if you're running Slackware. Or anything else. I can tear out YYY Linux and replace it with ZZZ Linux and docker will never know or care.

          Heck, docker on windows works. I don't exactly recommend it, but it makes a cool party trick. At least at the kind of parties I go to these days, which tend to be held via zoom and that isn't making them any worse...

          Yeah, OK, there are gotchas if the container has to reach down into /dev and do - unsanitary - things. Granted.

          I'm curious. How many instances of RedHat are running worldwide, compared to Amazon Linux? I can't say I've ever missed not having pre-built CentOS AMIs. They probably exist but they don't show up in the first few screenfuls of options.

          Icon: let me grab my coat and I'll run out to the car and get a different distro for you.

          1. teknopaul Silver badge

            Re: Or for that matter, "anything"

            kind of, unless you want a container with (just) apache, imagemagik perl python and bash, you are likely better off having a distro put those together with a compatible libc. If all you run is your own code you are not really a classic linux/opensource user.

            What's true is that redhat have not done much in the container space as they desperately try to hang on to os licence sales and are becoming increasingly irrelevant, while debian/devuan and Ubuntu do that job well, as part of providing a full server/desktop.

    2. s2bu

      Re: They still don't get the issue with "stream"

      If you want to run the *exact* same software for two years, I dearly hope your security department gets you fired for refusing to security patch for that long!

      1. Ozzard
        Boffin

        Validated environments...

        If you're working in healthcare, or a number of other areas, then you may need to "validate" your environment according to ICH-GxP or a similar standard. You really, really, *really* do not want to have to go through this more often than you have to. You have to revalidate *every time you change anything about the system*. Generally, this means re-testing everything you care about, with test scripts, with each step on each test script initialled to say it has been run and each script signed and dated and run by someone who has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and experience to run that script and understand what they're doing. This can easily take a couple of months. Then there are days of paperwork to release onto the production systems.

        Monthly security patch cadences are far too fast for validated systems. Annual... maybe, but only if you can make them coincide with other updates and test the whole lot in one go.

        1. baspax

          Re: Validated environments...

          one would assume two things:

          * a critical system like that runs on licensed RHEL, not CentOS.

          * don't use CentOS/Stream but use RHEL, SuSE, or any other distro

          1. Ozzard

            Re: Validated environments...

            Oh, indeed - there's a reason anything "healthcare" costs 10x more than non-healthcare, and the validation and consequential license fees are one part of that. That said, we chose CentOS over RHEL because a) we knew what we'd be paying for features like virtualisation, and b) we could bring support in-house if absolutely necessary. We chose Linux over VMware for our virtualisation layer because of VMware's complete lack of LTS; having to upgrade your virt layer every couple of years to retain support sucks.

        2. Mark 65 Silver badge

          Re: Validated environments...

          I would hope such systems are very isolated from others that do not share the same controls like the Windows desktops with working USB ports etc.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what he said is

    That the previous statements by RedHat have been both incorrect and false. Bye RedHat.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    ""We're working on an FAQ which has all of the specifics. It gets into things like cores and other pieces"

    Translation: Manglement didn't predict the predictable response so now we're making it up as we go.

    1. rnturn

      Re: Cores?

      Who left Oracle and took a new job with IBM/RedHat? What's next? License terms specifying CPU clock speed?

      1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

        Re: Cores?

        Close given that CPU cores was a specific point mentioned for inclusion in the FAQ.

        1. FILE_ID.DIZ Bronze badge

          Re: Cores?

          IBM's go to model is PVU, or Processor Value Units.

          DB2 and WebSphere MQ (or IBM MQ... whatever) are the two that I'm unfortunately familiar with.

      2. sniperpaddy

        Re: Cores?

        Painfully close to the truth.

    2. keithpeter Silver badge
      Windows

      Given RedHat's history in the HEP world (circa 2003) I noticed that exact quote. The history is out on the Web but basically RH wanted to charge *per core* in those days.

      I think we can say that fermilabs and CERN will be restarting their own builds quite soon. Unless that drive by throwaway about 'not wanting to stop cancer research' actually results in a concrete low friction offer to large scale non-commercial users. Which would be sensible.

      By low friction I mean none of that special phone home audit server bullshit.

      1. Ozzard

        Yep. "Phone home" inside the lab setup with which I work would be looked on... poorly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Quite. Furthermore, phone home is simply not possible in some environments -- completely isolated from the internet. It can be a challenging (and irritating) environment to work in sometimes, but I get it.

          It can be an adventure sometimes trying to track down what the OS vendor slipped into their config, assuming that internet connectivity was a given.

  5. thondwe

    So...

    Does this sort of compare with Microsoft's Insider Program? - Fedora = Dev Channel, Stream = Beta or Release Preview Channels, Red Hat = Release.

    Noting that MS requires you to own a copy of Windows to access the Dev options whereas Stream/Fedora are free. And yes the MS Beta Channel is usable as a daily driver.

    If so it seems a muddled way of labeling it all? Any rather implies that Stream and Fedora are not production level OSes?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So...

      They are not. Production requires repeatability so you can repeat the build exactly as you did on test, so you can guarantee that what you're releasing your product on is exactly what you tested on and the customer approved. RHEL and Centos do that but not stream as it changes every day.

      Also I don't know anybody who runs yum update every day, that's madness in a production environment.

      Not sure what we'll be doing yet, we won't be paying RedHat. Centos has been rock solid for us, now need to find and test and alternative.

      1. cyclical

        Re: So...

        Yeah, we were in the early throes of a centOS 8 upgrade programme when this was announced. We've now retooled and are going Ubuntu and becoming a paid customer of Canonical instead of red hat. Noone appreciated the EOL rug being pulled out from under us, and the response of everyone from engineers to directors was 'screw redhat' except not as polite as that.

        1. Dr Dan Holdsworth
          WTF?

          Re: So...

          We are still in the "Decide where to go" process where I work.

          We are a large education place, and have a lot of dual-boot systems sitting around for students to use as they see fit. We use Scientific Linux for this, and were going to use CentOS right up until RedHat decided to drop that particular bombshell. Now we have to decide which way to go, and Ubuntu LTS is looking bloody good as an option right now.

          After all, past behaviour is known to be a good predictor of future behaviour, and RedHat have just gone back on their word big-time. They've done it once, they'll do it again in future. How many times do we want to have the "Which way now" discussion?

          1. Smirnov

            Re: We are still in the "Decide where to go" process where I work.

            We decided to migrate our existing CentOS and RHEL systems to SUSE (SEL/openSUSE). Mostly because we already have most of our machines on SUSE, which is also the 2nd largest enterprise Linux vendor after RH (and SEL is the default supported platform for SAP HANA and other large software).

            We looked at Ubuntu a few times but it's not even close to RHEL, CentOS and SUSE when it comes to stability, and Canonical's enterprise offerings are a far cry from what you get from RH and SUSE. There's also a reason why Ubuntu is known as "Windows amongst Linuxes".

            We've been on SUSE for more than 10 years and it served us very well. And SUSE has made repeated commitments towards openSUSE so it's not going to go away in the foreseeable future.

            1. sabroni Silver badge

              Re: There's also a reason why Ubuntu is known as "Windows amongst Linuxes".

              There is. They try to make it easy to use.

              Pricks.

              1. Gene Cash Silver badge

                Re: There's also a reason why Ubuntu is known as "Windows amongst Linuxes".

                > There is. They try to make it easy to use. Pricks.

                Ubuntu: Swahili for "I failed to install Debian"

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: There's also a reason why Ubuntu is known as "Windows amongst Linuxes".

                  People fail to install debian? How? Its easier than installing Windows at this point

                  1. iron Silver badge

                    Re: There's also a reason why Ubuntu is known as "Windows amongst Linuxes".

                    According to the article on this very site last week, no it isn't.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      @iron - Re: There's also a reason why Ubuntu is known as "Windows amongst Linuxes".

                      It depends largely on who is trying to do the installation. There is a class of people who are blissfully ignorant of release notes, hardware compatibility lists, installation guides etc. Maybe it's because Microsoft never bothered to provide this for more than two decades.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: @iron - There's also a reason why Ubuntu is known as "Windows amongst Linuxes".

                        Or alternatively - it does exist for windows but rarely needs consulting. A well-designed installation process should not need so much documentation, it should provide the user (installer) with a good experience that meets their needs - sort out any problems that can be automatically sorted out, recommend solutions to others and be on the users side. It should not, as debian attempts to do, just sit by and watch the user try and do the install, then regularly beat them with a stick and tell them they did it wrong and to start again, but with no additional guidance.

                  2. needmorehare
                    Trollface

                    Linus failed... repeatedly

                    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHGTs1NSB1s

            2. Macka

              Re: We are still in the "Decide where to go" process where I work.

              That comment about Ubuntu stability and enterprise offerings is just pure FUD. I've experience of Ubuntu, CentOS and RHEL and they're much of a muchness these days. A solid enterprise experience which ever one you choose. Ubuntu LTS is a sensible and safe alternative to CentOS.

              1. C.Carr

                Re: We are still in the "Decide where to go" process where I work.

                For 97% of people who aren't sure if Ubuntu LTS is a suitable replacement for CentOS, it is. The less sure one is, the more likely Ubuntu LTS is a perfectly fine replacement.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: We are still in the "Decide where to go" process where I work.

                  <-- This is excellent advice

              2. The Count Is Dead
                Facepalm

                Re: We are still in the "Decide where to go" process where I work.

                "and they're much of a muchness these days"

                What the hell kind of expression is that? Is that even English? Speak plainly man.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Speak plainly man.

                  Get used to ElRegSpeak.

          2. keithpeter Silver badge

            Re: So...

            Springdale Linux? Some assembly might be needed

          3. spuck

            Re: So...

            We're in "wait and see" mode for our existing systems. CentOS 7 (unless RH changes their mind) is supported until 2024, so we're going to stay on that horse while the dust settles for the next 12-18 months to see which alternatives are looking good at that point.

            But for new projects, I don't know what to suggest. I worry that things on whiteboards now need to be built over the next 6 months, and I don't know what we want to be supporting for the next 4-5 years.

            A lot of our developers are keen on Ubuntu, but most of our new projects are containers.

        2. Jakester

          Re: So...

          Beware of the "Snap" applications in Ubuntu 20.04 desktop. I don't know if they are in the server version of Ubuntu, but I had to switch from Ubuntu with the 20.04 release because of system stability issues and the snap applications, in some cases, just don't work at all. The transition to Debian was quite painless and involved much less time to implement than the time I wasted trying to get a working Ubuntu 20.04 system. I tried on several systems (old and new) with similar results. Still running Ubuntu 18.04 on a new Lenovo laptop, however, as I can't get Debian to complete the boot process. Your mileage may vary.

      2. Pete B

        Re: So...

        I had just started an upgrade to CentOS8 when this was announced as well. I decided to look a bit more widely and finding FreeBSD is a really good fit for most of my servers - it's more like Linux used to be before the systemd virus crept in.

      3. Evilgoat76

        Re: So...

        Used Centos Small scale for a while, we were about to bump to 8 and have a much larger setup we had planned to Initially deploy and launch in a month after much documentation and testing with a view to moving to RHEL later. So now I have wasted a good few months work and nothing is as portable as intended. I won't be giving them any money at all now. For a stable production environment stream is utter madness

        1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

          Re: So...

          I'd definitely call the wasted months in dev and test for CentOS 8 the real evil here. Very bad timing.

      4. spuck

        Re: So...

        I regularly build systems which are running yum update every night, but as soon as they move from "building" to "production", the repo configs are pointed from mirrors.centos.org to a local copy that is controlled.

      5. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: So...

        Speaking of rocks... wonder what this means for Rocks? Current version is based on Centos 7.

        We did Ubuntu for a while, it's always been a little odd in how it approaches some things (dash, no-root etc.) and I usually find RH more comfortable in terms of how things are configured generally. But these are mostly quirks when you compare to things like dropping Mate.

      6. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. nematoad Silver badge
    FAIL

    So?

    These are people who, the CentOS team said, "never called, never write, they don't interact with us."

    I would have thought that these are the people that Red Hat/CentOS would have wanted to attract. They give no trouble, do not take up time and resources and generally have no impact on the bigger picture. Or is that why these people are so unattractive to Red Hat? There is no way of influencing them, there is no data to be mined and maybe Red Hat just sees them as freeloaders. If so, why bother claiming that the ethos of Red Hat/CentOS is that of "free software"?

    This group may be evangelising others or otherwise spreading the word about how good Red Hat/CentOS is. They may be small non-profit concerns or small businesses with someone capable of running their systems without the paid for hand-holding that constitutes the main source of income for Red Hat.

    It seems to me that Red Hat is getting a little too large for their boots and seems to forget that in the FOSS world people have a choice and that antagonising their users is probably not the way to make friends and influence people.

    1. jilocasin
      Happy

      Re: So?

      Now that you've hooked up with that IBM trollop, you never call, never write, you don't interact with us at all...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: So?

        IBM business model:

        1, fire all your customers

        2, fire all your engineers

        3, hire a new CEO

        1. FrankAlphaXII

          Re: So?

          You forgot number 4. Sell chunks of the business to Lenovo.

          1. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: So?

            a.k.a. Step 5 PROFT!!

          2. Displacement Activity

            Re: So?

            You forgot number 0. Give everything away to Bill Gates.

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: So?

      In any sane software organisation the level of quiet contentment CentOS users had for the product would produce a warm feeling in management, knowing that these users had a pain free transition into the paid-for product should they so decide. Instead they decide to take a model that’s been working for years and drop kick it over the nearest cliff.

      The CentOS forum currently has 78% (ok, only from 81 votes) of respondents looking to leave before maintenance support dies, v8 users are not happy bunnies. There'd have been a lot less upset caused if they'd announced v8 support was now following the v7 timeline with its 2024 EOL.

      1. mlupo

        Re: So?

        So this article already has more comments than CentOS users?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So?

          There are millions of servers running CentOS.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So?

        "The CentOS forum currently has 78% (ok, only from 81 votes) of respondents looking to leave before maintenance support dies, v8 users are not happy bunnies. There'd have been a lot less upset caused if they'd announced v8 support was now following the v7 timeline with its 2024 EOL."

        The irony being that those 81 votes are the people who DO call, write and interact!

    3. Dazed and Confused

      Re: So?

      These are people who, the CentOS team said, "never called, never write, they don't interact with us."

      That's because most of the time it just works. Why talk to them if it just works.

      I used to work in support for a large Unix vendor, in support you only ever see the problems. I never had a customer ring me up and say "Hey Dazed, you know everything is just fine today, nothing wrong, no problems".

      After I moved on I did some work with a company who used the systems I used to support, I ended up taking the manager out for a drink with my old support colleagues just so they could meet a happy customer say "the only time I login as root is when some joins or leaves and I need to add/remove accounts..."

      If people aren't bitching is might be because they've not got anything to bitch about.

    4. rcxb Silver badge

      Re: So?

      These are people who, the CentOS team said, "never called, never write, they don't interact with us."

      Ever tried filed a CentOS bug report? Every one has been sitting open for several years with no sign any other human has ever seen it.

      1. mlupo

        Re: So?

        Because there were no Engineers working on CentOS, since it was just a very small "community" of rebuilders.

        But now you can submit patches against Stream against a version RHEL engineers built. Still on a gratis basis, so no SLA (like on any other gratis distro), but much closer to the source.

        1. rcxb Silver badge

          Re: So?

          Because there were no Engineers working on CentOS

          That's fine, but it's disingenuous to then claim: "they don't interact with us." when the primary way users *would* interact with upstream is getting no attention/support/etc.

          now you can submit patches against Stream

          Yes, the theory is that this will be more valuable to RHEL, but that remains to be proven. Red Hat already has much of that from Fedora, so it's not certain at all they will be very interested / responsive. Until recently, the theory was that Red Hat knew CentOS provided a lot of value...

          If there's a problem with a fresh RHEL package, users who hit the bugs have a support contract and will see it quickly fixed by the source. With Streams, that "no SLA" issue might leave you in a very bad state for a long time.

      2. purple.sunrise

        Re: So?

        I see a bunch of "acknowledged", "assigned", and "resolved" entries in the "Status" column:

        https://bugs.centos.org/view_all_bug_page.php?filter=6013f57ba6ab6

        Also, a lot of the problems are directed to "upstream" (hehe, it says "stream").

    5. NeilPost Silver badge

      Commercial Joaters

      At most ‘at scale commercial Cloud Hosters’, ‘free’ CentOS is a default Linux option. They even have packed up ‘ready to go’ images to deploy.

      Perhaps a few shekels from their likes into the CentOS project would not have been a bad idea. They are making money off the hosting... even if it’s used to just house v Infra appliances like vRouters/LoadBalancers.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So?

      Have they forgotten how much of their OS they got for free from other contributers?

  7. alain williams Silver badge

    Centos was happily independent until 2014

    Then RedHat acquired it (the decided to sponsor it). This meant that Centos did not need to worry about funding and so lost the ability, and memory of, how to fund itself. Now that that is lost: RedHat has changed the rules and Centos has to follow them as it is no longer able to be independent. This is rather like a corporate buying its competitor.

    The discussion about streams is a red herring.

    1. fandom

      Re: Centos was happily independent until 2014

      "happily" as in they could hardly cope with all the thankless work

      1. Lon24 Silver badge

        Re: Centos was happily independent until 2014

        Not caused by us. We migrated our Centos servers to Debian in 2013 and never looked back. Mainly to maximise compatibility with our Kubuntu workstations. Not so much software as wetware - remembering when to type apt instead of yum.

        Looks like a good decision. I'm afraid we find Ubuntu Server a bit too 'racy'. Servers are meant to be boringly stable for the maximum time possible. It's not like the old days when progress was steeper and worth breaking stuff occasionally. Nowadays progress is slower and incremental and the greater complexity gives even more opportunity to break things.

        Hence the Debian EOL cycle means we can leave 'em be for 4 years by which time a hardware change is usually desirable. So today Stretch & Buster - and towards the end of the year the remaining Stretch stuff will probably move to Bullseye and so on till Debian's funders get itchy.

        Not sure who they are. But, at least, it ain't IBM and hopefully not another of the gobblers.

        1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

          Re: Centos was happily independent until 2014

          +1 for Debian being stable. But aren't there missing bits? I particularly call out ZFS, which is only kinda-supported.

          1. amacater

            Re: Centos was happily independent until 2014

            ZFS is probably missing bits in every Linux except Oracle's : the licensing is such that there are arguments that it can't be incorporated out of the box into any distribution. If you - as a user - choose to do that for yourself - that's different. You can get ZFS on Debian - you can even get root partition on ZFS on Linux - but it's not officially supported.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Centos was happily independent until 2014

              To me, ZFS is a non-issue because if you need ZFS, then you need some kind of data store/retention that should be dedicated on BSD (most likely). That said, not only can ZFS work under Linux, it's actually maturing faster than BSD's and some claim it currently outperforms BSD's. If the Linux dev's ironed out BtrFS (not sure they have), that would work just as well as ZFS. There's nothing magical about ZFS, someone just essentially threw Reed Solomn at a TOC during a time when non-super computers were finally feasibly fast enough to use the matrix (PAR2 is another notable example).

            2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

              Re: Centos was happily independent until 2014

              Rubbish.

              apt install zfs works on Ubuntu, as they tolerate the license. On Debian, you have to enable the non-free repos, and it is supported via DKMS, so you get to recompile from source for each kernel upgrade.

              So, like I said. A missing bit.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Centos was happily independent until 2014

                You'd rely on a critical filesystem being installed as a third party package?

  8. Binraider Silver badge

    Much of the point for RedHat, and by extension, old CentOS was that it was a stable development target. Centos streams objectives are, as far as I can tell, little different to Fedora to be a testing ground for new.

    Without a cost effective way to develop/test stuff on RedHat without licensing it a) costs for those that use RedHat will go up, and b) centos users will go elsewhere. An unintended consequence of both is that if there is justice, a new "standard" distribution could emerge outside the claws of IBM. Suse perhaps the most obvious choice, what being freely usable and licensable if you want the latter.

    Truth of the matter is I only keep centos around at all to run drivers for an LTO tape drive that I haven't yet got working on alternatives.

  9. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Thanks for the Root Map, Brian. It's beautifully comprehensive.

    Why doesn't Red Hat simply say, you can use RHEL in production for free if you do not require support?

    Red Hat would surely be much better off simply saying you can use RHEL in production for free if you can provide all necessary support?

    "The core of the programme is still focused on developers, but there is going to be a use case here for hobbyists, system administrators and others who don't self-identify as developers. Remember that a component of the announcement that we made is around development teams in enterprises. So I don't want people to think we bolted this on."

    Quite so. Regarding those others who don't self-identify as developers ...... would particular interest and enterprise be afforded to project creators with accompanying dedicated programming drivers? Blue Sky Thinkers and Deep and Dark Web Tinkerers with Practically Viable Utilities in Command and Control of Virtually Real Abilities via Remotely Accessed Facilities?

    It's certainly a fine destination/starting point/launch pad/project for programming projects and programs not entertaining pogroms.

    [Definitely something wrong with the comments UI, El Reg. A lot of dead space suddenly appearing which never happened before unless decidedly intentional]

    1. The Pi Man

      Re: Thanks for the Root Map, Brian. It's beautifully comprehensive.

      You can can’t you? One subscription to download ISO images and updates, then run as many servers as you want?

      1. amacater

        Re: Thanks for the Root Map, Brian. It's beautifully comprehensive.

        No. That's not how it works. One subscription per server, thanks, as far as Red Hat is concerned if you're using it in production. Sorry to see that they regard the provision of software updates and security fixes as being paid for support - that's just standard running for a security conscious Linux distribution: you have to pay extra for it and people won't do it. Charge for support for problem solving / corner cases, yes, but not for security updates.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Thanks for the Root Map, Brian. It's beautifully comprehensive.

          >Sorry to see that they regard the provision of software updates and security fixes as being paid for support -

          And presumably recognise that you redistributing those changes to yourself for the other servers is covered by the GPL

    2. Hero Protagonist
      Flame

      Re: Thanks for the Root Map, Brian. It's beautifully comprehensive.

      “[Definitely something wrong with the comments UI, El Reg. A lot of dead space suddenly appearing”

      They’re now inserting ads in the middle of the comment stream

      1. PTW

        Re: They’re now inserting ads in the middle of the comment stream

        Really!? I'm behind a pi hole so just see the dead space. Up until last year I'd have considered a subscription to fund el reg, but it's been downhill since the move to .com

        BTW did I miss the coverage of the Sonicwall hack on here?

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: They’re now inserting ads in the middle of the comment stream

          BTW did I miss the coverage of the Sonicwall hack on here?

          The one in this week's security roundup article or This one from October? They could have made a full article about this week's, but they do have a section.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          it's been downhill since the move to .com

          Auch!

          So I am not the only one noticing the difference.....................................

  10. PeeKay

    Debian all the way

    Used CentOS at a previous role, and they were migrating away to Debian 10+ years ago.

    I've only installed Debian servers since. Don't honestly see any benefit now unless you're stuck with Orable.

    CentOS is a massive loss. RHEL wax lyrical about support including the patches etc, but forget all the FREE work they get out of the community.

    Guess that gate doesn't swing both ways, eh RHEL?

    1. Macka

      Re: Debian all the way

      You've a point. Debian is a solid contender for many use cases. If the hardware you have is well supported then why not. Choosing Debian you can't have the rug yanked out from under you by a commercial OS vendor who has a change of priorities or ownership.

      1. PeeKay

        Re: Debian all the way

        Until IBM buy them up too...

        1. Macka

          Re: Debian all the way

          You can't buy Debian. They're not a corporate entity.

          1. PeeKay

            Re: Debian all the way

            Glad to hear it. Thanks for pointing that out.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When somebody says it's not about money...

    ... it is about money.

    1. mlupo

      Re: When somebody says it's not about money...

      And when somebody insist it's about the money, you say?

      1. jilocasin
        Linux

        Re: When somebody says it's not about money...

        it's still about the money.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When somebody says it's not about money...

      " When somebody says it's not about money...

      ... it is about money."

      Hey, we are talking about IBM here: *Everything is always about money*. No matter how much they lie about, it's about *profit*.

      Them MBAs having no clue how to make profit is another thing, but they don't *ever* think anything else. Shooting customers is totally OK to them as long there's profit in it.

      1. mlupo

        Re: When somebody says it's not about money...

        If you know IBM that well, you would know that they are providing paid support for *CentOS Linux*. Sounds like realky stupid by them...

  12. mlupo

    I don't get it....

    I switched my ~ 100 servers from CentOS 8 to CentOS 8 Stream on the day of the announcement in less than 10 minutes (looking at you Ansible). And I am running nightly yum update on all of them.

    I just don't get what all the fuzz is about? You want free RHEL? Take CentOS Stream, it even comes without the 2 month delay of security patches as old CentOS. Or are you saying you want to stay on something that always struggled to keep up?

    You go from free CentOS to *paid* Ubuntu, because Red Hat keeps investing in a free copy of their paid RHEL - you were never willing to buy - that is not months behind? But somehow they are now evil and you rather put your money into a company, that depend on their (benevolent) dictator, was never profitable and layed off tons of folks recently?

    You rather go to Oracle - which still has to wait on RHEL to be released - or to one of the other - hopefully (keeps fingercrossed) soon released - RHEL rebuilds, that still need to wait on RHEL and will struggle to keep up? All because screw Red Hat, but each one of your alternatives still fully depends on Red Hat and so are you...

    I don't get it...

    1. keithpeter Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: I don't get it....

      I'm glad you have found CentOS Stream useful. Many don't.

      Some common use cases need the ability to define the environment unambiguously and require an environment that does not change rapidly.

      Eg a software company can guarantee that Version 97 of frobulator enterprise edition works on RHEL 8.x. Something that is *significantly* different to RHEL 8.x isn't going to be any use to them. Developer licence might be OK for them depending on the size of the operation.

      Eg. Large academic users (multiple clusters with 10^5 cores, computations/simulations lasting months, online data processing at petabyte rates) don't really want a random stream of weekly updates. The throwaway sarcastic comment by the corporate type quoted in the OA about 'not wanting to stop cancer research' was aimed at this use case I suppose. Probably not going to earn any PR points for RH there, but we shall see what appears. For this use case farting about with subscription servers, phone home auditing &c will go down like a bowl of sick.

      1. mattdm

        Re: I don't get it....

        > Something that is *significantly* different to RHEL 8.x isn't going to be any use to them.

        I think you have a basic misunderstanding here. CentOS Stream 8 will never be significantly different from RHEL 8; CentOS Stream 9 will never be significantly different from RHEL 9. All updates headed for CentOS Stream are already approved to land in that major release of RHEL, with the same general rules about stability that RHEL holds to.

        More about this on the CentOS blog here: https://blog.centos.org/2020/12/centos-stream-is-continuous-delivery/

        1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge
          Boffin

          Re: I don't get it....

          Missing a point here when it comes to many of the use cases mentioned have a factor called reproducibility tied to them. Whether it's nuclear weapons simulations or anything to do with sciences and medicine, no updates are allowed either during or between runs of the software. That's why there's been a hard push for both code and the datasets, along with which updates were in place, for all research these days. Without it, you aren't doing science.

          I have the same issue in AI/ML as with my engineering projects which is why I'm quite meticulous about my configurations. Stability and reproducibility are absolute. For this, Centos Stream is right out. [And yes, none of these machines are connected to anything except each other on an isolated network due to non-existent security patches.]

          1. mlupo

            Re: I don't get it....

            How exactly is stream here any different than CentOS?

            If you truly want a reproducible repo, you snapshot CentOS - whether it is Stream or not - into a dedicated on-site repo. So how is Stream any different than regular CentOS? Will the packages in your air-gapped mirror magically be updated?

            1. Mark192

              Re: I don't get it....

              Mlupo asked: "If you truly want a reproducible repo, you snapshot CentOS - whether it is Stream or not - into a dedicated on-site repo. So how is Stream any different than regular CentOS?"

              I'm guessing that they want it to be easy for someone else, long after the event, to be able to easily use exactly the exact same version of the OS.

              1. mlupo

                Re: I don't get it....

                They should look at https://composes.centos.org/

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I don't get it....

              "So how is Stream any different than regular CentOS? "

              What version is your Stream? Oh, you don't know. That's the difference. But of course you choose not to understand why version is important.

              Why do think programs haver version numbers in the first place?

              1. mlupo

                Re: I don't get it....

                My CentOS Linux only had an exact version the moment I would have installed from a static install tree (e.g. the release drops or a mounted DVD). As soon as I ran yum update it highly depended on the moment in time I ran it.

                However, since I always had CentOS updates and even CR in my kickstart config, I never ran an exact version anyways. And I am not yet speaking about required 3rd parties repos like EPEL.

                So I never had something with CentOS Linux that you are telling me I am loosing with Stream anyways.

                1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                  Re: I don't get it....

                  Nice for you with your single instance, but it tells us you don't even understand the problem described.

                  1. mlupo

                    Re: I don't get it....

                    You probably also say Red Hat does not understand that problem. However, this means you built a solution around something gratis where you didn't make sure the provider (Red Hat) understands your problem. Sounds like a solid approach...

                2. hittitezombie

                  Re: I don't get it....

                  I'm dealing with thousands, not hundreds, not one, instance. I need reliability, I need repeatability. I need consistency.

                  Which "version" of Stream any of my instances are running? Who knows?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't get it....

          "CentOS Stream 8 will never be significantly different from RHEL 8;"

          You don't understand at all. It's either *exactly the same or it isn't*. No other options exist in this game and spewing excuses isn't going to create them.

          Also, respective RHEL8 doesn't even exist at that point so you have no idea what it will be in it, eventually.

          Only something which "looks like the same" and you could as well use Fedora.

          1. mlupo

            Re: I don't get it....

            You want exactly RHEL get RHEL.

            You want something gratis that eventually looks like RHEL? Take one of the rebuilds that come with some months of delay. All that Red Hat did is to say they don't see any benefit to do that by themselves and will stop investing into it. But they are not stopping anyone else to do it, actually they are providing anything they need to do so.

            But I understand you, you are now depending on someone else to invest their time and resources, so you can continue to get things gratis to build your income on top.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @mattdm - Re: I don't get it....

          Are you trying to say CentOS Stream is an LTS distribution ? Can you support your statement with some proof ?

          1. mlupo

            Re: @mattdm - I don't get it....

            It gets updates as long as regular RHEL gets updates. Which is at least the same amount of time Ubuntu LTS gets updates.

            So if the latter is an LTS version and RHEL is one, then Stream is also one.

            Or what is your definition of Long Term Support?

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: @mattdm - I don't get it....

              LTS is bug-fixes only, not randomly dropped new features.

        4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: I don't get it....

          "I think you have a basic misunderstanding here. CentOS Stream 8 will never be significantly different from RHEL 8; CentOS Stream 9 will never be significantly different from RHEL 9. All updates headed for CentOS Stream are already approved to land in that major release of RHEL, with the same general rules about stability that RHEL holds to."

          You seem to be misunderstanding what you wrote. If you get updates to 8 which are already approved for 9 then you're half-way between the two but are actually neither. Updates only in 9 are not 8. Stuff not yet updated to 9 is not 9.

          It's not all bad. Your headline is correct.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: I don't get it....

            Dammit, I'm getting old and slow. I should have checked. This was mlupo's first post.

        5. keithpeter Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: I don't get it....

          It will be interesting to see the takeup of CentOS stream by small companies who want to release and support builds of proprietary software aimed at a specific RHEL version.

          Surely such companies would be better off with an appropriately licenced (possibly at zero cost) RHEL of the same version?

          Icon: clueless end user

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: I don't get it....

      "I switched my ~ 100 servers from CentOS 8 to CentOS 8 Stream on the day of the announcement ..."

      You're a better man that I am, Gunga Din!

    3. Jan 0 Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it....

      > I just don't get what all the fuzz is about?

      They're about to confiscate whatever it is that you're smokin'.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get it....

      Many people don't want to run their production servers on a rolling release. They want a stable, static release that won't potentially break due to last night's yum update. Furthermore, it's hard for developers to certify commercial production software for a specific release when you have something like CentOS Stream. It just doesn't meet the requirements for what most people consider a "production" server.

      1. mlupo

        Re: I don't get it....

        This is why you get RHEL and Stream is the next *minor* RHEL release. This is far from being rolling.

        If you don't run yum update, your system won't change whether it is stream or not.

        If you want to have a truly reproducible install based, you must snapshot your repos, even with RHEL. Same thing you can do with Stream.

        You are talking about a feature that never existed, for RHEL neither CentOS, so you don't miss anything with Stream.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't get it....

          This is why you get RHEL and Stream is the next *minor* RHEL release. This is far from being "rolling."

          BS: Stream is a rolling version without numbering.

          *A snapshot of that* is RHEL-version, but before it's published, there's no way to know what packages it will have and those packages have been updated many times in Streams as it has been rolling all the time.

          So either you do the package collecting yourself or you have a rolling version, like Fedora.

          1. mlupo

            Re: I don't get it....

            Fedora is not a rolling release, but if you think it is, I see how you would think Stream and so in the end even RHEL is one...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't get it....

          "If you want to have a truly reproducible install based, you must snapshot your repos, even with RHEL"

          That's blantant BS. When I take RHEL version x.y.z it is *the same* regardless of time, static collection of packages, each with their own version number.

          Streams is never static and there's no way to install a known version of Streams: It has only generic major number and in extreme case *every package inside has changed* without version number change.

          Sheer stupidity in production.

          1. UK DM

            Re: I don't get it....

            Of course streams has versions. 'rpm -qa' will work like before, simply save it to a file.

            It's just that there maybe 3 versions of a patch as they tinker with the final version in CentOS Streams distro and the RHEL only gets the 1 version, the last one.

            The question is, will the version numbers used be exactly in sync?

            This begs the question what if I only install a CentOS Steams update when the RHEL version number for the same package exists, do I now get back to CentOS like before and effectively skip the 2 tinkering with package updates.

            1. amacater

              Re: I don't get it....

              So - "there maybe 3 versions of a patch as they tinker with the final version"

              So - CentOS Streams 8 today -> RHEL 8.4 in about April; How do I know what version of packages I've got in six months time - where's my kernel version going to be, what do I build my hardware compatibility for my 30G interconnect on? What level of package churn do third party repositories like EPEL now need to cope with?

              Some things - like your university cluster - run isolated, no updates from the outside world for a couple of years. For all other systems, maybe you _should_ run yum update once a week / once a month to be patched against security problems - but the point was that CentOS provided RHEL level stability. The kernel version you installed on day 1 would still be the same major kernel version on day 3650. The major version of GCC would still be essentially the same ten years later.

              CentOS Streams gives that stability for six months plus all the development / debug artefacts. For the first five years or so of the Red Hat release cycle, with each point release you get added features / preview releases / features which may or may not get into RHEL next major version available which people may or may not adopt. Now you've got that degree of instability every day with the added uertainty that tomorrow it will change unpredictably.

              Fedora - 13 month supported cycle -> cherry picked CentOS Streams - 6 month supported cycle -> stabilised expensive Red Hat on a five year support until the next one. CentOS had a large silent community of users - most of whom could do their own support - and a small cadre of repackagers maintaining a build infrastructure and a small group doing SIGs

              Red Hat engineers have taken on the build infrastructure for Fedora and CentOS: Red Hat as a whole has lost goodwill and isn't gaining the community of savvy users as paying customers necessarily. They've opened up outside contribution to CentOS Streams to a community of ?? - people whose work will be monetised by a for-profit they can't control who will charge them for their own code.

              All of the repackagers - Oracle, AWS, Rocky Linux and others - now have a harder job so Red Hat gain in one way but lose massively in potential customer base. It's not necessarily malice that's done this but it might be incompetence and lack of appreciation of why people used CentOS and what the value proposition was. Attempts to find out now are too little, too late.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't get it....

        "Many people don't want to run their production servers on a rolling release. "

        No. No-one sane does that. That's a shooting offence.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't get it....

      "I switched my ~ 100 servers from CentOS 8 to CentOS 8 Stream on the day of the announcement i"

      Yea, sure. Have you any idea what you are doing? Because it looks like you understand only the 'doesnt' cost anything' -part of it.

      How are you going to test any software against moving target?

      1. mlupo

        Re: I don't get it....

        You can use https://composes.centos.org/ as composes delivered by the project

    6. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it....

      The whole point in CentOs is that is IS RedHat. Centos Stream isn't. It's therefore no longer the same development target; so if you want to develop for RedHat without licensing overhead you are stuffed. Or, maybe you're a home hobby user that has Centos around because you want to learn what Corporates are using.

      Stream is a perfectly useful OS in it's own right, but it's not what Centos was specifically useful for. That is a problem, and why at least two distros I know of have spawned to refill that gap.

      I wouldn't touch Oracle with a bargepole. SUSE genuinely looks like the closest alternative in terms of corporate support plus a free-use option.

      1. mlupo

        Re: I don't get it....

        If stream is the next RHEL minor version, how is it not RHEL?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: I don't get it....

          If it's RHEL next minor version how is it RHEL current?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sid/testingstable

    So from now on in debian terms, Fedora is sid, centos stream is testing, and rhel is stable. And this guy is suggesting we use testing in prod.

    They either don't understand why this is a terrible idea, or they're pressuring centos users into buying rhel (centos 8 eol just effectively brough forward by 9 years with minimal notice). Either way, I ain't using their products any more.

    1. mattdm

      Re: Sid/testingstable

      No, it's not like that at all. CentOS Stream is much closer to the RHEL release than the Debian comparison implies. It isn't the upcoming major release itself; it _is_ the major release.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sid/testingstable

        So just like debian testing then. Right, got it. Thanks for clarifying.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like Debuntu just got a boost

    Good job, IBM.

  15. x 7

    Not the first time...

    They've done this before.

    Anyone else remember when the original free Red Hat Linux was dumped, leaving a choice of paid-for RHEL or the experimental Fedora?

    Pissed a lot of people off at the time and led to a lot of people ditching Red Hat

    Looks like they forgot their own history

    1. Bill Bickle

      Re: Not the first time...

      I would say that Red Hat shifting from RH Linux, which updated about every 6 months, to RHEL, which created a stable version for ISV's and large scale users to confidently deploy on, is one of the most successful things in commercial open source history. If this had not happened, and Red Hat never became profitable, it would have gone the way of TurboLinux, Caldera, and other Linux vendors from back in that day that went out of business. Whatever people Red Hat lost in that move, it made up for by gaining adoption of the worlds largest business and technical users.

      If that history lesson is one to learn from I suspect this one will create benefits for Red Hat and all of open source. For people that just want free RHEL, and feel that Red Hat does not deserve money for their offering and the services that come with it, to help pay the 1000's of engineers that advance, they are now out of luck and can take their non-business to another place. If I were Red Hat I would not really care about that profile of user. Just sayin!

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Not the first time...

        For people that just want free RHEL, and feel that Red Hat does not deserve money for their offering and the services that come with it, to help pay the 1000's of engineers that advance, they are now out of luck and can take their non-business to another place.

        Oddly they've never paid me for a single bug report, even after I've escalated it upstream for them and run testing for patches.

        1. Bill Bickle

          Re: Not the first time...

          I would think if you are gaining experience in debugging and testing Linux you could apply for a job at Red Hat or another Linux vendor and be an appealing, experienced candidate, and get paid. Often times one of the big values of open source is for an IT end customer to be able to point out the area of the code where there is a problem to Red Hat or another commercial open source vendor, to help shorten the time to resolution.

          The bottom line that I see is that Red Hat's creation of RHEL has created tons of commerce business for consultants, engineers, software and hardware companies, and cloud providers. While also enabling low cost hardware (over the UNIX days) that can run the most demanding workloads. The companies efforts are driving opportunities for many people. And it seems to me they got sick of people taking their work and not paying. I don't blame them.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not the first time...

            it seems to me they got sick of people taking their work and not paying. I don't blame them

            So you agree agree then that as an experienced tester, ibmalone should be paid for their bug reports and testing, despite all your dancing around making excuses for the poor little huge corporation which is taking the free work of others, repackaging it, and selling it.

            Or are you saying that only large corporates are allowed to take stuff for free and everyone else has to pay? Please clarify.

  16. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Coat

    Well, drat!

    "A supercomputer sitting in my basement was not intended for this programme."

    Dang, I guess that rules me out. No doubt, this will be a wide spread problem most of us have. I'm done, let me grab my coat...

    1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

      Re: Well, drat!

      I know. It definitely excludes me. One of my personal accomplishments was building my own super-computer, which is is still humming along, back in 2011. A lot faster machines out there now, but I like it.

  17. mangeek

    Well that only made it worse

    So before I assumed how bad it was because of the writing on the walls. Now I see how bad it is by what they said.

    You never call, you never write? Of course, because you don't want to hear from me! I use an offshoot of your work to do some basic things and you think I owe you something?

    My community does a mulch site where they mulch wood that they cut during maintenance. The mulch will sit there unless someone takes it so everyone can take it for free. Am I supposed to "owe" then something for this non-relationship?

    "Well we provide patches." Uh yeah you have to do the patch anyway. It costs you nothing to let others use it. I just shake my head at all this rhetoric.

  18. Mick Russom

    Johnny Hughes and Karanbir Singh at centos, and others, precipitated this.

    I remember getting into heated talks with Johnny Hughes and Karan Singh about their opaque dictatorship of CentOS.

    It has resulted in a huge community project which killed off all enterprise-linux rebuild projects such as:

    Scientific Linux

    StartCom Enterprise Linux

    CAOS Linux

    Yellow Dog Linux

    White Box Enterprise Linux

    And many other extant Enterprise Linux rebuild projects now use CentOS as the base. Now they are all screwed.

    And they community and the world was betrayed by the low-life turncoats in the CentOS board.

    Always remember that the price Johnny Hughes and Karanbir Singh sold out for was a pittance. These rats took their Judas 30 pieces of silver and destroyed something good by selling it an oligarch.

    The sad thing is at this point "Oracle Linux" it more liberated than Redhat Enterprise Linux.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Johnny Hughes and Karanbir Singh at centos, and others, precipitated this.

      Yeah - I remember certain CentOS members got presented with their red felt Fedoras and swaggered around wearing them.

      I sincerely hope they choke on them.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Part of the rationale for getting more people onto RHEL is to collect feedback. "It is the business model. It is absolutely not a mailing list for salespeople,"

    Is this guy a total moron?

    It is *literally a mailing list for salespeople* when IBM has the reins. *Aggressive* salespeople*:

    Also it's target list for licence auditing á la Microsoft and Oracle.

    Either this guy blatantly lies *everthing* or he's really, *really* stupid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It is *literally a mailing list for salespeople* when IBM has the reins. *Aggressive* salespeople*:

      Also it's target list for licence auditing á la Microsoft and Oracle.

      Very much this. Redhat occasionally demands to audit our use. The licensing costs are in our budget, but not the audit costs. If we don't produce the audit on schedule, Redhat's response is to raise the stakes and push harder.

      Those threats left a scar. We use RHEL where there's a business case for it (and there often is), but if IT can't audit the server, it cannot use RHEL. Dev and testing are all done on Windows and CentOS. And now we have to migrate off CentOS.

  20. tekHedd

    Things move fast

    I'm afraid this entire article is moot. Would have been interesting three or four days ago, and it's important reporting, I guess. Some people still care about RedHat, the same way some people still care about... what's that other RPM-based distribution that used to be a thing that I can't remember the name of? It doesn't matter, I can't remember the name of it for a reason.

    It's getting so that you have to refresh mirrors every time you install a new package.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Basically RH steals contributor's work from now on

    "We're working right now on getting some demonstration repositories out to show what we're looking at for the contribution workflow."

    And by contributing you, or anyone else, aren't getting *anything* back. What's the point of contributing then? Centos is murdered and that was the motivation earlier.

    RH *sells* your work back to you and takes the honor of 'providing support' while they don't do literally anything but raise profit for IBM.

    IBM MBAs of course do not understand at all *why* they are getting thousands of patches for free. Or care because they can't understand this idea of 'sharing'. At all. They chose not to share, why users shouldn't do the same? By swapping distribution, in this case.

    Greedy ass***les deserve to die.

    Also: It's obvious that RH doesn't have people to do patching and support, even their paid support is basically non-existent unless you are IBM or Microsoft. So they'll dump patching and development to concentrate on profit. In 7 years there aren't anyone using RHEL: By then it will be unreliable POS full of security holes.

    IBM will kill it by sheer stupidity. IBM almost managed to kill itself with it: Something minor like RH isn't even a bump on that road.

    1. mlupo

      Re: Basically RH steals contributor's work from now on

      What were folks actually contributing to CentOS that they can't get now from Stream and that Red Hat is stealing from them?

      CentOS Linux how it died - or got killed - was a project of re-packaging. There was nothing going into CentOS, since its purpose was an exact rebuild.

      Additionally, they are still sharing anything in a much more timely manner.

      So what exactly is Red Hat stealing? The old outdated cookies from 2 months ago? That you can now still get for free, but days in advanced to the regular paying customers?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Basically RH steals contributor's work from now on

        We see a regular pattern on this site. Some big corp makes a misstep that pisses off its users. Its very experienced users. Its very experienced users who really know what they're talking about.

        Then suddenly somebody appears without any previous posting history and starts trying to tell these users that they've got it all wrong. They're utterly unconvincing.

        Does this fit anybody here?

  22. sammystag

    On the bright side

    The bewildering number of choices for my next desktop or production distro just got smaller now that I can ignore CentOS, Fedora and RHEL

  23. Blackjack Silver badge

    Red Hat in three words

    Give me money!

  24. suburbazine

    Doing the math...

    It would be cheaper for me to register many different businesses and then register different domains for them, to run different email accounts, just to abuse the "free developer" RHEL tier, than it would be to pay for RHEL. Not that I would consider even using RHEL at this point, since they backstabbed all their Centos users for what they're amounting the profit to "a dime, or less".

    1. hittitezombie

      Re: Doing the math...

      You are very likely going to get "audited" once you give your details.

    2. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Doing the math...

      Actually, it would be even cheaper to use a different Linux distro that's actually free.

  25. andy 103
    WTF?

    Am I missing the point? Why does anyone care?

    So in our case we had a few servers that ran CentOS. We'd heard about this way before it was reported on The Register and decided to just switch to a different distro. In our case, Ubuntu. Far from it being a royal pain in the arse that we perhaps anticipated, everything worked fine. There were some differences in the software installation processes that we used but nothing insurmountable.

    One of the reasons we never bothered with RHEL is that for our particular use-case Red Hat offer absolutely nothing of value to us. So any other distro would probably have been ok. Given that all Linux distros are based around a particular kernel the only "downside" of using an alternative distro is that some of the processes/procedures (apt-get compared to yum, and so on) may differ. But I can't imagine anyone who's competent having a real struggle with that.

    1. Ohtotasche

      Re: Am I missing the point? Why does anyone care?

      People care because being forced to migrate servers to another distribution is not desirable. This move by Redhat is (at the very least) inconvenient to CentOS users.

      I get your point. Fine, just migrate, move on, and forget about RH. But it doesn't take the sting away from being forced to make the move when you were a happy CentOS user before the announcement.

  26. hittitezombie

    The longest suicide letter I've read for a long time.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's an awful lot of big Red Hat customers here who will be ditching for Ubuntu it seems

    Is it only me who thinks this sounds a bit Jimmy Hill and it's actually salty Centos users across the stack who have barely thrown a few quid Red Hat's way?

    Of course anonymously I can claim to have 500,000 Red Hat licenses (I don't).

  28. Vocational Vagabond

    I think that's the piece that people are just overlooking.

    Well my .org decided the fire is better than the frying pan and went OEL public ... despite the bitter clamour of "Larry" warnings from all quarters. This IBM move has pretty well torpedoed the original use case for a Community ENterprise Operating System, as used by public educators all around the globe .. and merely highlights its prepared to bite a feeding hand.

    I'm only laughing on the inside because the "16" free prod licenses is a too little too late response (On two cores only I might add .. ) and reeks of knee jerk reaction, it will actually have a negative impact for RHEL Tech uptake by students and future professionals, many who cut their teeth on CentOS to polish that knowledge stack because of its availability and community support (R.I.P) a worth that IBM will only likely discover very late on in the decay.

    I suppose now it will be a lower common denominator orange cast Ubuntu land, or a Big Red one.. till Larry is capricious again, biting those who choose not to look back. I went and Looked at their RH developer.site and could barely find the well hidden, and patently pitiful and barely workable offering because of all the w@nky marketing hype you have to wade through, that coupled with the extremely poor community engagement leaving a very bitter taste in many mouths, will see RHEL relegated to Oracle DB/Middleware and IBM Cloud workloads. Roll on Rocky.. best of British..

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