Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 6th Oct 2006 14:27 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Canonical is the 65-employee start-up behind a popular version of Linux called Ubuntu. The company is betting that it can win a place in the market using a strategy that dominant Linux seller Red Hat has dropped. Red Hat offers two versions of Linux: Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Fedora Core is free, but relatively untested and unsupported by Red Hat, while RHEL is supported and certified, but must be purchased. With Canonical's Ubuntu, however, the free and supported versions are identical - the approach Red Hat abandoned in 2003.
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How do these prices compare
by jaylaa on Fri 6th Oct 2006 14:47 UTC
jaylaa
Member since:
2006-01-17

$250 per year for PC support during business hours and $2,750 per year for round-the-clock server support.

Anyone know how these compare to Red Hat or Novell?

Reply Score: 1

RE: How do these prices compare
by thabrain on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:21 UTC in reply to "How do these prices compare"
thabrain Member since:
2005-06-29

From Redhat.com:

Client

Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS = $299

Server

Red Hat Enterprise Server AS = $2499

From Novell.com

Client

Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) = $50 (1yr) $125 (3Yr)

Server

Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) = $1499


These numbers are based on priority support as was stated in the article by Canonical.

However, this is just a rough pulldown of information. I cannot verify the comparison is "equal" but somewhat equivalent.

Reply Score: 4

v Cat is out..
by rakamaka on Fri 6th Oct 2006 14:56 UTC
RE: Cat is out..
by twenex on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:12 UTC in reply to "Cat is out.."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Why shouldn't they? Debian allow this. Linus Torvalds doesn't see a cent from any of the sales of the Linux kernel included in any distribution, and there's no indication he's not perfectly happy with that situation.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: Cat is out..
by rakamaka on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Cat is out.."
RE[3]: Cat is out..
by twenex on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cat is out.."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

What about it? It's completely off topic.

Reply Score: 2

Not a big deal
by evilmegaman on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:09 UTC
evilmegaman
Member since:
2005-09-20

Listen. Of course they want to make some sort of profit. They are a company. But that doesn't mean you'll ever have to pay them unless you want to. It's very nice to have official support. There's no point in saying it's a bad idea and they're evil for doing it. It gives some people comfort to able to get official support. It's perfect. It helps keep ubuntu thriving. No problems with that!

Reply Score: 5

Making Money
by segedunum on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:13 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Making money for any open source project or company is important to keep it going, but the problem is support is a very limited market and isn't going to provide you with a truly reliable and sustainable business. Software license fees aren't going to disappear tomorrow, which is why Red Hat's support fees are really just license fees in all but name.

An open source Linux company, or project, is going to have to provide a sensible and alternative means of funding whilst still being able to distribute for free, and one of the ways, and probably the only way, of doing that is through dual licensing - particularly for desktop Linux.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Making Money
by thebluesgnr on Fri 6th Oct 2006 17:56 UTC in reply to "Making Money"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

Software license fees aren't going to disappear tomorrow, which is why Red Hat's support fees are really just license fees in all but name.

I guess you don't really know the kind of support Red Hat provides.

License fees are not the same as support fees. To make it more clear for you, in the case of Microsoft you have to pay for license fees and (if you want) support fees. In the case of Red Hat all you have to pay for, if you want, is the support fees.

To add to what Don T. Brother posted, I know several organizations that run both RHEL and CentOS.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Making Money
by segedunum on Sat 7th Oct 2006 16:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Making Money"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

License fees are not the same as support fees.

In Red Hat's case they have turned them more and more into licensing fees. If you want an individual server supported, with patches available, then you need to pay a support fee. There's a reasonable degree more flexibility in running something free, but in terms of what a large organisation wants, there isn't.

To make it more clear for you, in the case of Microsoft you have to pay for license fees and (if you want) support fees.

You pay the license fees and the patches come 'free' after that.

Reply Score: 1

Mixed Views
by Lengsel on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:39 UTC
Lengsel
Member since:
2006-04-19

Although I personally do not recommend the Ubuntu family for people to try, I have several philosophical objections to the Ubuntu development, I do feel a better "open souce is all about choice" business model is giving away your distro for download, along side a retail version that has some extra software or perks, while selling support options if someone needs tech support from the persons or company that releases a distro. I wish more people would sell software or support for their distros because if everything someone does is always freely given away, because it works on a volunteer practice or whatever, that seems to slow down the process of development, or can't spend as much time on it as would of liked for each new final release. So I do think giving it away and selling extra stuff is a better way to go to consistantly give customers a constant choice of take it or leave it, and let them figure out things on their own if they don't want to pay. But with RHEL, where it's "no pay, no play", it's too much demanding of money up front before they will even talk to anyone. Let people install the majority of your distro so they can first see if they even want to keep it first. Now all this being said, in regards with Canonical, whether they make good money or not, they already been a big help to Debian, and correct me if I'm wrong for saying that, since all the source code changes Ubuntu developers make they are legally obligated to send them all back to the Debian people, I think it's helped to stabilize the software in the Debian pool that much quicker, if that's the best way to put it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Mixed Views
by h3rman on Fri 6th Oct 2006 16:06 UTC in reply to "Mixed Views"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

[I really don't want to be a whiner, but could you layout your writing a little so it's more attractive to read? I know by experience that for a dyslectic the above horror vacui is impossible to read.]

Reply Score: 5

RE: Mixed Views
by fsckit on Fri 6th Oct 2006 21:44 UTC in reply to "Mixed Views"
fsckit Member since:
2006-09-24

Guess it doesn't matter that RedHat, for several years now, has offered a 30 day trial of RHN. All you have to do is sign up and you get to download all the ISOs. Full versions, no crippleware. And you get one month of updates to try it out.

Reply Score: 1

Shuttleworth != Evil conglomerate
by SEJeff on Fri 6th Oct 2006 15:45 UTC
SEJeff
Member since:
2005-11-05

Redhat gave the Ubuntu Foundation (a nonprofit he created) $10 Million to continue the tradition should something happen to him. He also created Canonical in the hope that Ubuntu could turn a profit so he no longer has to fund it. Will he *ever* make a lot of money compared to when he sold Thawte to Verisign? No way.

Mark is in this to spread Linux to the South African government and the world so they can stop using pirated copies of windows where they simply can't afford licenses. Why do people think someone that throws money to Linux (debian) developers is so evil? Mark Shuttleworth himself was an official Debian Developer before he started Ubuntu. I'm not sure if he still is given the Debian projects animosity towards Ubuntu.

Anyone who increases the Open Source Desktop as a platform is ok in my book. So they want to make a bit of money so it can support itsself... Whats the big deal here? Long live sabfdl!

Reply Score: 5

yanik Member since:
2005-07-13

Redhat gave the Ubuntu Foundation (a nonprofit he created) $10 Million to continue the tradition should something happen to him.

I guess you meant Shuttleworth.

Reply Score: 2

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

Mark is in this to spread Linux to the South African government and the world so they can stop using pirated copies of windows where they simply can't afford licenses.

And then Mark, of course, likes to charge them some support fees. :-P

Please try not to be so naive. Debian is a non-profit distro made by volunteers but Ubuntu is not Debian. Mark talks a lot about charity and other nice things but there should be no doubt that he's in this to make money. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with making money, as far as I'm concerned.

Mark Shuttleworth himself was an official Debian Developer before he started Ubuntu. I'm not sure if he still is given the Debian projects animosity towards Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is clearly heading in a direction where most of the Debian developers don't want to follow. But if there's in Debian any animosity towards Ubuntu, that's certainly not the official stand of the Debian project. On the contrary, the current Debian project leader has repeatedly expressed Debian's willingness to collaborate with Ubuntu and other derivative distros.

http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2006/10/msg00002.html

Reply Score: 1

Startling news!
by Noremacam on Fri 6th Oct 2006 16:10 UTC
Noremacam
Member since:
2006-03-08

"Canonical Seeks Profit from Free Ubuntu"

Hmmpf... In other news:

"Bill Gates is a Billionare"

"The Sun Rises in the East"

"The Sky is Blue"

Reply Score: 1

RE: Startling news!
by aGNUstic on Sat 7th Oct 2006 14:20 UTC in reply to "Startling news!"
aGNUstic Member since:
2005-07-28

"The Sky is Blue"

Not really.

It's just bandwidth our feeble eyes see as our atmosphere refracts it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Startling news!
by jongo on Sun 8th Oct 2006 06:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Startling news!"
jongo Member since:
2006-01-27
I will NEVER pay for support
by stephanem on Fri 6th Oct 2006 16:18 UTC
stephanem
Member since:
2006-01-11

Why should I pay some middlemen money when the real money should be going to the actual programmers?. But here's how support works:

1) Fire up google and see if you can get your answer

2) If you still can't, go to the program's website and then see if there are mailing lists and get help there

3) If you still can't get someone to help, go post on Usenet in multiple news groups - someone probably will help you

4) Finally if you still don't know, go back to the program's website and offer money to the program's developer

5) If you still can't get the program to do what you want for the price you want to pay, google some programmers in Bangalore or Belarus and see if they can help you.

6) IF ALL ELSE FAILS, THEN PAY UBUNTU FOR SUPPORT AND IF THEY CAN'T SUPPORT YOU, SUE THE BEJEEEZUS OUT OF MARK SHUTTLEWORTH.

Reply Score: 0

Tom Janowitz Member since:
2005-12-05

You forgot :

7) Tell this (points 1-6) to enterprise class customer and watch him ROTFL


BTW - what's wrong with support for an open source OS from open source friendly company ?

Reply Score: 5

RE: I will NEVER pay for support
by danieldk on Fri 6th Oct 2006 17:03 UTC in reply to "I will NEVER pay for support"
danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

Heh, right.


PHB: What's the status of our database cluster that has been down since yesterday?
You: We are still awaiting answers to my USENET post.


Really. Enterprises want some company they can call up *now* if there are problems, and that they can blame (or sue) if they don't live up to their contracts.

Besides that:

- Vendor support is somewhat pooled. If you run into an error in some software, it is quite likely that some other customer runs into the same problems. While an enterprise vendor may be relatively expensive, this pushes the costs down.
- Enterprise Linux vendors have the quality control that your Bangalore programmer can not provide.
- Enterprise Linux vendors can integrate fixes to your problem in the distribution on a short term.
- Enterprise Linux vendors have the resources to debug your problem (how can your Bangalore programmer fix a bug that appears on a 85-node, multi terabyte GFS filesystem on his/her Celeron 400 machine).

Reply Score: 5

RE: I will NEVER pay for support
by stestagg on Fri 6th Oct 2006 17:49 UTC in reply to "I will NEVER pay for support"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

7) Find yourself out of a job because 6 months later, that crashed server still isn't running and you company is now $1,000,000 in debt for legal fees. n1ce

Reply Score: 2

From day one
by atsureki on Fri 6th Oct 2006 16:26 UTC
atsureki
Member since:
2006-03-12

Ubuntu's site has said for as long as it's existed that it will always be free of charge. Their site has also said in the past, though I'm not finding it now, that they eventually want the distro to be self-supporting, meaning some kind of revenue pays for the associated expenses. They're not turning from charity to profit just like that. They're just trying to reach a healthy equilibrium.

And one reason the distros bearing the Red Hat brand are pay-only is because they've got licensed, proprietary software in them. The Ubuntu team is against that sort of thing.

Reply Score: 1

slight Member since:
2006-09-10

No, Ubuntu's free. Windows isn't.

Reply Score: 5

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Even if Ubuntu and RedHat were the only Linuxes out there, and even if they WERE more expensive, you'd still spend less money on them than Windows because on Linux you don't have to have one server per task, or stop every five minutes to reboot, reinstall, and/or run {virus,spy,ad,cookie,mal,bloat,pr0n,nag,idiot}ware checkers.

Reply Score: 0

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

"It doesn't happen like that on Windows"

Really? Once I got the MSBlast worm immediately after installing Windows 2003.

And what about Microsoft updates? Don't you *have* to reboot?

"Thats the usual OSS lie told to cover up all the time Debian's been cracked."

For how much I love Debian for my desktop, for mission critical servers I'd rather use RHEL or SLES. They have SELinux/AppArmor and professional support.

Reply Score: 1

da_Chicken Member since:
2006-01-01

For how much I love Debian for my desktop, for mission critical servers I'd rather use RHEL or SLES. They have SELinux/AppArmor and professional support.

SELinux support is slowly but steadily improving in Debian. Ubuntu seems to be a bit behind Debian in this area.

http://wiki.debian.org/SELinuxStatus
http://blog.drinsama.de/erich/en/linux/selinux/2006092501-selinux-i...
http://blog.drinsama.de/erich/en/linux/selinux/2006100202-selinux-o...

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

"SELinux support is slowly but steadily improving in Debian."

Well, I am looking forward to the day when SELinux will be fully supported in Debian.

Reply Score: 2

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

because on Linux you don't have to have one server per task, or stop every five minutes to reboot, reinstall, and/or run {virus,spy,ad,cookie,mal,bloat,pr0n,nag,idiot}ware checkers.

It doesn't happen like that on Windows. Thats the usual OSS lie told to cover up all the time Debian's been cracked.


Oh really? Is that why Debian's been cracked ONCE in 5 years whilst I have to run crapware checkers DAILY if I'm unfortunate enough to be running Windows? I know, I'm saddled with doing it right now.

Reply Score: 1

Don T. Bothers
Member since:
2006-03-15

RedHat does seem a bit expensive if you calculate the cost of deploying it everywhere. However, if you delegate RedHat to your 16 CPU Oracle Database Machines and a few other mission critical servers that might need support, and instead push CentOS and Fedora to all your other servers that do not need a high level of support, using RedHat becomes very cheap and effective. Furtheremore, because of the great similarities between CentOS, RHEL, and Fedora, administration costs also remain very low. In fact, pushing such a solution is a lot cheaper than trying to go with a Windows, SuSE, Ubuntu, or Solaris solution.

Regarding Ubuntu, it will have a very difficult job to surplant RedHat in this arena. If you look at the atmospheric rise of the use of CentOS within NetCraft, it is blatantly clear that people will push CentOS wherever it doesn't make sense to push RedHat. In fact, the main thing going for Ubuntu is the fact that it has a very large repository of open source applications. While Fedora is getting better in regards to this, it still cannot touch Ubuntu. However, Debian and FreeBSD have very large repositories and most people already trust Debian and FreeBSD. I don't think Ubuntu will give them any reason to change.

Reply Score: 3

NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

However, if you delegate RedHat to your 16 CPU Oracle Database Machines and a few other mission critical servers that might need support, and instead push CentOS and Fedora to all your other servers that do not need a high level of support, using RedHat becomes very cheap and effective.

You don't get support from RedHat unless you buy RedHat for every server. You also give them the right to audit your company:

"If Customer wishes to increase the number of Installed System, then Customer will purchase from Red Hat additional Services for each additional Installed System. During the term of this Agreement and for one (1) year thereafter, Customer expressly grants to Red Hat the right to audit Customer's facilities and records from time to time in order to verify Customer's compliance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement. Any such audit shall only take place during Customer's normal business hours and upon no less than ten (10) days prior written notice from Red Hat. Red Hat shall conduct no more than one such audit in any twelve-month period except for the express purpose of assuring compliance by Customer where non-compliance has been established in a prior audit. Red Hat shall give Customer written notice of any non-compliance, and if a payment deficiency exists, then Customer shall have fifteen (15) days from the date of such notice to make payment to Red Hat for any payment deficiency. The amount of the payment deficiency will be determined by multiplying the number of underreported Installed Systems or Services by the annual fee for such item. If Customer is found to have underreported the number of Installed Systems or amount of Services by more than five percent (5%), Customer shall, in addition to the annual fee for such item, pay liquidated damages equal to twenty percent (20%) of the underreported fees for loss of income and administration costs suffered by Red Hat as a result."

http://www.redhat.com/licenses/rhel_us_3.html

Reply Score: 0

DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

The term "Software" means the subscription for the family of software products purchased under this Agreement and defined herein, if any. The term "Installed Systems" means the number of Systems on which Customer installs or executes the Software.

'Installed Systems' seems to refer to systems running 'the Software', ie Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

CentOS is not 'the Software', and therefore would not require purchasing new 'Services'. (Red Hat Services & support, naturally)

The clause seems to be trying to prevent an organization from buying a single server license/support contract and installing RHEL on ALL their servers.

Reply Score: 2

Place your bets, I guess
by moleskine on Fri 6th Oct 2006 17:54 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

There is an interesting article on Ubuntu in the Wall Street Journal (see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB116006811998783896.html? if you can get past the flash intro).

The article reminds us that Ubuntu is not just for the well-off in the USA and Western Europe but for all over the world, especially in many rapidly emerging new countries. If Ubuntu takes off in those places, where it offers an affordable alternative to Windows, then sheer force of numbers and ubiquity could make Ubuntu pretty huge. Those who point out that Red Hat Enterprise plus CentOS and Fedora is an affordable combo might consider that Ubuntu Free plus Ubuntu Commercial could provide a similar setup in a few years.

I doubt anyone can now topple Red Hat in the Linux world. But Ubuntu could eventually become a very powerful number two, and number one in many parts of the world where an American company like Red Hat isn't welcome.

This may take quite a few years, but I'd guess it can be done. The folks who could be facing a real shafting from Ubuntu are Novell-SuSE, Mandriva, Xandros and others with commercial ambitions.

Edited 2006-10-06 17:54

Reply Score: 1

There already is a commercial Ubuntu:
by deb2006 on Fri 6th Oct 2006 18:51 UTC
deb2006
Member since:
2006-06-26

http://www.impilinux.co.za/
http://www.impilinux.co.za/node/14

Well, "for Africa" - but that can be changed quickly. Behind Impi Linux is - you guessed it - Canonical. And Impi Linux is - you guessed it - Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 2

Winder's Support
by fretinator on Fri 6th Oct 2006 22:09 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I developed software in the Window's world for many years. Technically, Visual Studio was a "supported" product. In addition, we had support incidents we could use because of MSDN subscriptions. The reality ove all those years is that I don't think we eve used any of them. If something wasn't working, if the compiler has a bug, etc., the answer was always much more available though googling, news groups, etc.

Waiting for a meaningful answer from a support "professional" wasn't worth the effort, and usually wouldn't have given a better answer. We just would have had to wait longer.

I suspect paid support is really mostly about having someone to yell at when things go wrong.

p.s., can you tell my 'r' key doesn't work very well!

Edited 2006-10-06 22:10

Reply Score: 1

Question on support
by Southern.Pride on Sat 7th Oct 2006 07:48 UTC
Southern.Pride
Member since:
2006-09-14

From a support standpoint, if for example is the client had a Ubuntu installation on their site. Would they be able to customize an install base for the client or do they use standards to base support off of?

Reply Score: 1