back to article OpenELA flips Red Hat the bird with public release of Enterprise Linux source

The OpenELA team this week trumpeted public release of the Enterprise Linux source code and formation of a technical steering committee. The Open Enterprise Linux Association (OpenELA) was formed in August as a direct response to Red Hat's decision to change access to the source code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). A trade …

  1. TVU Silver badge

    "The Register contacted Red Hat and AlmaLinux for their takes on the latest development and will update should either respond"

    I think it is probably safe to say that Red Hat will perhaps be a little unhappy about this most recent news.

    1. containerizer

      I don't think they will, any more than the Americans were unhappy when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. If this group are serious, it means they're going to burn a lot of cash building a stable enterprise OS that they will then give away to people who completely opposed to having to pay for it. They can't do that forever any more than Red Hat could.

      If I were Red Hat, I'd be quite pleased. Go ahead, knock yourselves out burning cash and giving stuff to people who won't pay.

      1. unlocked

        They can afford it because it's being funded by companies who have separate products that will benefit from the open version of enterprise Linux.

        There's a reason Microsoft hasn't killed .NET or TypeScript despite both being open source and having no direct revenue, and that reason isn't altruism.

      2. redwine

        Oracle support licensing is much cheaper than redhat's.

    2. Simon 66

      Also safe to say there won't be much sympathy for them. (except perhaps from the usual Redhat employees who do so love to bang the drum on forums)

      Redhat reap what they sow - that's as true now that they're attacking the community as it was when they grew from it.

      "What do you get when IBM merge with your company? More IBM"

  2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Does not compute!

    I'm struggling to cope with the concept that "the community has responded" means the same thing as Oracle have ridden to the rescue.

    Have Oracle done something good? Something helpful? Perhaps even something nice? I think I need a lie down! Colour me suspicious.

    1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

      Re: Does not compute!

      Oracle already had their own repackaged version of RedHat Enterprise Linux, so it's not altruism that's driving their support for this. With as many other interested parties on board as possible, they stand to benefit from not having to try and rebuild RHEL solely themselves.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Does not compute!

        Oracle and SUSE want customers who are willing to pay for support. The $$$$$$$ focus is behind this move. AlmaLinux as stated is a Non-profit and has different goals.

        Disclaimer. I have 4 servers running AlmaLinux. One is production, one is backup, one is test and the last is dev. So far it is working fine. I migrated it all from CentOS. It wasn't that difficult as long as I can keep a million miles away from anything that only comes in a SNAP package. F*k Canonical. Having to run a server daemon for SNAP is beyond the pale. Do Canonical now employ the creator of SystemD?

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Does not compute!

          >Do Canonical now employ the creator of SystemD?

          No, but they apparently summon h̵̪̻̺̟̙͔̪̘̖͒̽̍̏̂̓̽́̈̅̓̃͜͝i̴̢̢̹̞̖̫̥̮͆̅m̵̨̝̻̼̉̀̀͆̌̅̌ periodically via a dark ritual involving a pentagram, several blood candles, and the vital bits of a goat.

          1. keithpeter Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: Does not compute!

            Enochian magic suffices. John Dee had the right idea with this stuff.

            Now anyone heard anything from Springdale or from CERN/Fermilab?

            Icon: too many swings of the pendulum

          2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

            Re: Does not compute!

            «

            … the utensils that were heaped around the octogram had a definite, no-nonsense occult look about them. Rams horns, skulls, baroque metalwork and heavy candles were much in evidence, despite the discovery by younger wizards that the Rite of AshkEnte could perfectly well be performed with three small bits of wood and four CCs of mouse blood.

            »

            (Terry Pratchett, _the Light Fantastic_)

            Some further research later...

            «

            'And that,' said Ridcully, 'is the Rite of AshkEnte. Quite easily done. You have to use a fresh egg, though.'

            »

            (Terry Pratchett, _Soul Music_)

          3. heyrick Silver badge

            Re: Does not compute!

            Upvote for the rather interesting embedded... runes?

        2. containerizer

          Re: Does not compute!

          > Oracle and SUSE want customers who are willing to pay for support. The $$$$$$$ focus is behind this move.

          The problem that Red Hat had, and which this new group will have, is the cost of building the and maintaining the thing used by all the people who are not willing to pay for support.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Does not compute!

            I don't think Redhat should be allowed to use opensource software that people have built and maintained without paying them for support

        3. Simon 66

          Re: Does not compute!

          It's true that Alma's setup is quite different to most, but Rocky is also entirely free.

          CIQ (who founded Rocky) /do/ charge for certain services, but there's no pressure to use them if you don't need commercial support.

          Oracle and Suse's builds are also free to use - it's only RHEL in this ecosphere that requires subscription.

        4. Grogan Silver badge

          Re: Does not compute!

          "Do Canonical now employ the creator of SystemD?"

          No, he went to work at Microsoft. He'd fit in well there.

          (I fucking detest his approach to programming. It's a similar mentality)

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. David 132 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Does not compute!

      Yeah. I was about to say that I'm instinctively deeply suspicious of anything involving Oracle that has "Open" in the name.

      Still, perhaps the leopard can change his spots?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Does not compute!

        Oracle being Evil vs. Oracle trying to screw IBM

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Does not compute!

          “The Enemy Of My Enemy Is Still A Complete And Utter Bastard”?

      2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Does not compute!

        > Still, perhaps the leopard can change his spots?

        Yeah, no.

        «

        Do not fall into the trap of anthropomorphising Larry Ellison. You need to think of Larry Ellison the way you think of a lawnmower. You don't anthropomorphize your lawnmower; the lawnmower just mows the lawn. You stick your hand in there and it'll chop it off, the end. You don't think "oh, the lawnmower hates me!" Lawnmower doesn't give a shit about you. Lawnmower _can't_ hate you. Don't anthropomorphize the lawnmower. Don't fall into that trap about Oracle.

        »

        — Brian Cantrill (https://youtu.be/-zRN7XLCRhc?t=33m1s)

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Does not compute!

          My lawnmower has a name. It'll still bite, though. And start if and when it feels like it. I think it is inhabited by the spirit of a cat...

  3. johnandmegh

    SUSE's marketing capitulation

    For Oracle and Rocky, it's a given that they don't really have an original code base to compete with - they were already playing "get RHEL without paying Red Hat".

    What sort of vote of confidence is it from SUSE in their own flagship SLE product (and/or in the future ALP-based products) that they are willing going along with this branding exercise of "Enterprise Linux" = RHEL? After all, I assume that SUSE's actual own products don't "follow the Enterprise Linux standard" as this OpenELA entity is now phrasing it?

    1. keithpeter Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: SUSE's marketing capitulation

      My (limited) understanding is that SUSE provide support for Enterprise Linux shops under the Liberty Linux brand.

      Runs in parallel with their own SLES and similar products.

      Happy to be corrected.

    2. Simon 66

      Re: SUSE's marketing capitulation

      I think Suse are playing a very clever game here.

      They've just pitched extended support for Centos 7, which goes EOL in June. If your company isn't ready to move off it, you can keep using it with security updates courtesy of Suse.

      As for their EL build, Liberty - where is it written that a company cannot support two distros equally well? If they can make a quid or two off both, it sounds like there might be a solid business case.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mean while Alma

    Have Betas for 9.3 and 8.9 out this week, so they still seem to be busily working away.

    1. Bebu Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Mean while Alma

      AL 9.2 aarch64 image installs on RPI4/8G and seems to run fine. There isn't (now?) an arm version of RHEL9.

      SUSE were referring to an add-on to OpenSuSE that provided compatibility with RHEL - I guess a bit like the lsb packages in RHEL.

      I imagine OpenELA will ultimately specify what constitutes an "EL" system ie for version N of EL specifying the required linux kernel version and required kmods, glibc version, base software and libraries, services etc.

      Just by reading /etc/openela-release (say) your software (installer) would be able to rapidly determine what EL features are available.

      Turning EL into an open specification might be too rich for Larry. :) RH/IBM probably wouldn't care as I think they see the dollars in selling support and might even encourage an openspec initiative.

      1. containerizer

        Re: Mean while Alma

        > There isn't (now?) an arm version of RHEL9.

        I doubt there ever will be. I think I read that some distributions have announced deprecation of 32-bit x86, never mind ARM.

        1. anoncow

          Re: Mean while Alma

          ARM based servers are pretty much all 64 bit.

  5. HISTSIZE=10000

    Take that IBM...

    Anyone remember that famous Torvaldsian meme to NVIDIA.

  6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    I haven't been following this closely

    How did Redhat get around the GPL2 by not allowing customers to redistribute changes ?

    6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: I haven't been following this closely

      The general consensus seems to be that they have decided not to give anyone who chooses to exercise that right any future updates.

      Whether that is legally sound is a different question, but rather than enriching lawyers it's better to simply let them die.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: I haven't been following this closely

        Letting lawyers die is always a good idea.

      2. anoncow

        Re: I haven't been following this closely

        > they have decided not to give anyone who chooses to exercise that right any future updates.

        That unambiguously violates the spirit of GPL. From where I sit it also appears to be an "additional restriction", forbidden by GPL. If that is correct then Red Hat risks losing the right to redistribute that GPL code itself, ironically the same right they now deny their customers in the monomaniacal pursuit of quarterly numbers.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I haven't been following this closely

          While this is also my understanding, I think IBM/RH are working on the principle that they own more lawyers than you do, so unless some governmental type body (EU?) decide to join in the argument it is going to be hard to fight no matter how much we wish someone would.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. simpfeld

    What is this distro going to be?

    Maybe someone can help me with this...

    What direction/philosophy are they taking with this?

    Is this going to be an effective new distro tree that is developed independently (that the members will derive from)?

    OR

    An effective new distro tree that is using Centos Stream patches (that the members will derive from)?

    OR

    Just a new name for the upstream RHEL sources?

    Personally after using RH and RHEL for decades professionally (and recommending to many people and the companies I've worked for), and using Fedora and Centos/Rocky at home. Contributing bug reports and enterprise experience of their product back. This was only practical at work and home by use of 3rd party repos to make this practical, largely maintained by Alma/Rocky/Centos people. For us all to be called leeches, thanks for that.

    I'm now done with them and have already moved my home stuff to Debian and work will likely follow!

  9. Kurgan

    Nice, but... just use Debian?

    It's really nice, but I have already found a different solution (I found it 25 years ago, actually). Use Debian-based distros instead of RH-based ones.

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