back to article SUSE announces 'tech and support' product Liberty Linux

SUSE appears to have released a support product to help IT admins run "a mixed Linux environment" in the form of Liberty Linux. The service package includes consolidated maintenance patches, security updates, and "white glove" services support. SUSE chief technology officer Thomas Di Giacomo said Liberty would include " …

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  1. Korev Silver badge

    The idea is that, now that the End-of-Life for CentOS Linux 8 has passed, users have a new path forward, rather than switching distros

    Surely most organisations that cared about being on an updated OS would have already moved to something else and the ones still on CentOS 8 don't care. This would have been timed much better if it had happened before CentOS8 EOL. Other than that it's a good idea

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      For Centos 8 yes, for all those in the 'don't care as long as it's supported' mindset sitting on Centos 7 (EOL june 2024) this is a viable option.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Meanwhile at $JOB

        $ cat /etc/system-release

        CentOS release 6.10 (Final)

        1. Jim Mitchell

          Possibly more $SOB than $JOB, it sounds like.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yeah, sitting on enough 6.10 and 7.9 here. In fact rebuilding 6.10 to 7.9. Doesn't give much time before have to rebuild to 8...

    2. Binraider Silver badge

      It's not quite that simple. Certification and audit trails linked to whole-system design is often easier to maintain for "stable" systems. An "enterprise" distro with formal support contracts has advantages for many commercial customers which SUSE are jumping on.

      Can you see a "hobbyist" obscure distro fulfilling that same role? The contracted service provision from a largely reputable outfit is definitely an advantage in the right installation. And I for one am very happy to have an alternative to IBM RHEL available.

      Some device driver modules for obscure hardware are tailored around specific releases of RHEL. For all of their server linked applications, things like LTO libraries and drives are difficult to deploy on Linux. Quantum do offer up the source for LTFS (if you ask) and a few pre-built modules; but I've not had much success using them on anything other than RHEL and Centos 7. A more capable linux nerd might be able to get it going. The AUR package in Arch wasn't working for me at last attempt. But LTO drives aren't exactly the sort of thing "everyone" buys or needs so not many people to test.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        LTO - Linear Tape-Open Standard, for those wondering.

    3. ferricoxide

      A number of organizations are constrained by compliance-requirements to a small list of acceptable distros. Government systems are particularly so-constrained, since they only allow distros that have published security-benchmarks and certifications like FIPS. These are both a non-trivial time- and money-suck for a distribution-owner to get.

      Many such entities prefer to use a "close enough" (but free) version of one of their allowed distros to help cut down on (or, better, eliminate - at least for OSes) development-environments' licensing costs. That there's an opportunity for SuSE to follow Oracle on the EL8-alternatives path is a testament to those constraints.

  2. Saint
    Linux

    Amazon Linux

    AWS Is probably the main winner in all this

    1. ferricoxide

      Re: Amazon Linux

      If/when AWS decides to produce a distro that's supported on other than their own cloud. Many of the same orgs that are/were "we have to use ELx" are also pursuing multi-cloud strategies (or, at least, making noises like they want to).

      Yeah, Azure, GCP, etc. are smol-fish compared to AWS, but they can't be wholly ignored.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Amazon Linux

        you can install Amazon Linux 2 locally in a VM or on WSL

  3. TrevorH

    A rebuild isn't really a rebuild if it doesn't include the same kernel as the original. Are they also doing what OEL do and providing the original RHEL distro kernel as an optinon as well?

  4. SXP

    It's not reasonable to say that "RHEL device drivers and kernel modules almost certainly won't work" and yet claim it's a "RHEL-compatible enterprise distro".

    If it's not shipping a precise analog of the RHEL kernel, it's not RHEL compatible.

    1. ferricoxide

      Yes and no. The distro would presumably attempt to be backwards-compatible regardless of whether they offer a RHEL kernel (like OL8 does) such that stuff that works with the RHEL kernel-version also works with the newer kernel. It's just that if you developed an OL8 or Liberty Linux-specific driver, you'd not lose portability.

  5. chasil

    BtrFS

    Implementing BtrFS in CentOS can be accomplished with either the Oracle UEK, or the El Repo Mainline.

    I am assuming that SuSE will not disable this functionality, so now there may be a third "drop in" option.

    https://www.linuxjournal.com/content/btrfs-centos-living-loopback

  6. ferricoxide

    Do we *KNOW* that it's "x86-64 only"

    Since RHEL 8 isn't x86_64-only, do we know that Liberty Linux will really be:

    > The new distro is also x86-64 only, with no support for POWER or Arm boxes.

    I mean, if you do a quick search of the official RHEL8 AMIs, you'll see that there's nearly two dozen RHEL8 AMIs for ARM in AWS. Would seem silly for SuSE to not provide ARM capability, as it would preclude its use with Graviton-based EC2s (or other CSPs' ARM-based instance-types).

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  8. thrashdude

    Not a new distro - just a support offering.

    I don't believe the article is correct. This is not a new distro, but just a support service from Suse. Suse will give you a single support contract to support ALL of your enterprise Linux installations - rather it is Suse, RedHat, CentOS, or Ubuntu.

  9. TM™

    They almost lost me at only providing 8.5 (I have software that requires specific versions, but sometimes it works on other versions).

    Then they totally lost me at a different kernel - although RHEL user land compatible with an up to date kernel is attractive for hobby stuff.

    If it's not the same - it's not the same.

    Nice try though.

  10. Bill Bickle

    Aside from some confusing marketing...

    ...where it is sometimes positioned as a management tool for multiple Linux variants, and in other places it is said to be a fully compatible replacement for RHEL -

    I doubt many paying Linux customers would trust Suse to do this for supporting applications running on RHEL.

    Also, Suse, if they clarify that they are making a RHEL clone, would have to try and get ISV and IHV ecosystem of vendors to support their Liberty version, in addition to their paid Suse version. Most of these hardware and software companies have a limited support matrix they are willing to do, even if Suse says "it is the same as RHEL".

    It feels to me like Suse was pushed by Google and MS Azure to do something like this to battle AWS Linux and replace CentOS. But if the financial people do the math on selling a fully free software product - 1 million units X $0 is still $0.

    Grab some popcorn and watch the show.

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