Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Sun 21st Sep 2008 06:46 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Linux Greg KH, Linux kernel developer delivered a keynote in the Linux plumbing conference about the health of the ecosystem. His message was essentially that distributions that don't contribute to the ecosystem have to rely on the whims of others which is unhealthy for them. Here is an introduction the development model and some interesting statistics about the Linux kernel code. Update by TH: Rebuttals are appearing all over the web, like this one by Canonical's Matt Zimmerman ("He's refuting a claim which has, quite simply, never been made. [...] When this sort of thing happens on mailing lists, it's called trolling."), or this one by another Canonical employee, Dustin Kirkland.
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RE[6]: Comment by Kroc
by KAMiKAZOW on Sun 21st Sep 2008 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Kroc"
KAMiKAZOW
Member since:
2005-07-06

Suse and RedHat have the luxury of having rich parent companies that had infused them with cash.

Red Hat has a parent? Red Hat got successful on its own.
SuSE also was successful before that was bought by Novell.

They both sell their distro commercially while ubuntu has stuck to their guns that their distro would always be free.

Huh? Red Hat gives away Fedora, and Novell gives away openSUSE. Both Red Hat and SuSE were given away on magazine CDs since the 1990s.
Red Hat and Novell moth sell enterprise support contracts, but that's no different than Cannonical.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by Kroc
by irbis on Sun 21st Sep 2008 23:54 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Kroc"
irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

SuSE were given away on magazine CDs since the 1990s

I can't remember ever having seen one but maybe I only missed seeing those magazines?

Anyway, SuSE was long described as partly a non-free distribution by sites like Distrowatch. There were no free SuSE installation ISOs to be downloaded anywhere, but you could install SuSE by using the more difficult and time consuming ftp installation method. OpenSUSE (and its commercial variant SLED) came only after Novell had bought SuSE.

Edited 2008-09-21 23:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Comment by Kroc
by KAMiKAZOW on Mon 22nd Sep 2008 10:15 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by Kroc"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

I can't remember ever having seen one but maybe I only missed seeing those magazines?

Obviously. I moved just a few months ago and threw away lots of old CDs. Magazine CDs with S.u.S.E. Linux were among them.

SuSE was long described as partly a non-free distribution by sites like Distrowatch.

YaST was open source, but not GPLed in the past.

That are things of the past anyway. Today's business model of Cannonical and most other distributors like Red Hat are similar: Sell support contracts to enterprises.
Red Hat knows that to fulfil those contracts, it has to employ many developers. Every Red Hat Enterprise Linux is supported for seven years, after all. Somebody needs to do all that bugfixing, backporting, etc.
Cannonical OTOH wants to sell support contracts as well. But as Ubuntu supporters pointed out: Ubuntu's contribution is to report bugs and not to fix them. See http://osnews.com/thread?330932

So who does the bugfixing? Well, most of the time that are employees of Red Hat, Novell, Nokia, IBM,... who are part of the upstream project.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Kroc
by apoclypse on Mon 22nd Sep 2008 13:05 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Kroc"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

RedHat and Suse did get successful on their own, initially. Just like Ubuntu, they were popular because they were community based projects that made it easy (relatively) for the average user to install linux without having to compile everything from scratch. However both distros, though they contributed, did exactly the same thing that Ubuntu does now, they were integrators, they didn't start really pushing contributions until after they got parent companies with huge amounts of money to back their projects. RedHat being the first to get this financial backing and already having dealings with IBM has contributed the longest. To top it off Suse, RedHat, and Mandrake (now Mandriva, stupid name) though they gave away their distro for free still sold their products through retail. The versions they gave away were usually "community" version which had things missing from it.

One of the main reason's Ubuntu is so popular (at least in my eyes) is that they give you a basic 1 cd install (while the others used to give you a DVD or 5/6 disc) and EVERYTHING else you need is available via the repos, which are already setup for you and ready to go (which wasn't always the case, I'm glad they changed that). I'm glad to see other distros are following suit. I downloaded Fedora the other day and was able to download one live CD instead of a DVD's worth of crap I won't use. The idea isn't new but Ubuntu took the concept polished it up and ran with it.

Which is what Canonical really does. They are integrators, distributors. They are basically a more popular version of that guy who puts Linux Mint together or any other small scale distro out there that focuses on what they want their distro to be like and devote their resources to it. Tell me how many kernel patches do those guys contribute back? I can tell you, not many. Don't let Ubuntu's popularity and enigmatic leader fool you into thinking that Ubuntu is anything more than just some scratch your own itch distro that just happened to scratch a whole bunch of other people's itches.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by Kroc
by Soulbender on Mon 22nd Sep 2008 16:29 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Kroc"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I dont see RedHat giving away RHEL or SuSE giving away their equivalent.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Comment by Kroc
by KAMiKAZOW on Tue 23rd Sep 2008 00:07 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by Kroc"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

I dont see RedHat giving away RHEL or SuSE giving away their equivalent.

Every openSUSE X.1 release corresponds to a SUSE Linux Enterprise X.0 release. Eg. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will be based on openSUSE 11.1. The number of supported packages is smaller, eg. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 won't include KDE 3.5, and a default desktop is selected. Other than that openSUSE 11.1 and SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 will be pretty much identical.
That being said, Cannonical's so called "LTS" releases only offer three years of support for desktop apps. Every openSUSE release offers two years.

Red Hat goes a different path with Fedora. A Fedora release is more like an early beta release of Red Hat Enterprise. Red Hat releases all source code of Red Hat Enterprise, even of BSDLed apps that don't require a source release. While not official, there's CentOS. RHEL/CentOS is fully supported for 7 years, not just lousy 3 years for desktop apps and 5 years for sever apps.

Reply Parent Score: 3