Please justify the morality of CentOS

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Please justify the morality of CentOS

Postby smc7000 » 2006/04/07 22:36:35

I just have to ask. How can you justify taking the value that Red Hat provides and giving that value away for free?

As a moral person I can't justify making the switch to CentOS over Red Hat. The financial decision is an easy one $$$$$ vs $0. I can also live without the support as I don't ever call Red Hat. But this all sounds like biting the hand that feeds you. It also strikes me as a little gutless, to not create a distro that stands on its own two feet like a Slackware, Debian or Red Hat.

Yes, I realize that because of GPL and various other free beer licenses that CentOS is completely in the legal to "clone" RHEL. But I would feel dirty switching my RHEL servers to CentOS.

Please someone convince me otherwise, because I'm adding servers (virtualized) this year and don't really want to bust my budget if I can help it.

Okay, my heat shields are up and have umbrella drink of choice... so bring the heat!! But please, I beg you...At least one rational person please address my main question so I can switch to freebie Linux without having to spend too much time in the confessional booth!

Thanks,

Sean

p.s. I can just envision the ensuing explanation resembling Peter Gibbons' rationale for stealing the rounded interest amounts in Office Space.
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Re: Please justify the morality of CentOS

Postby Lenard » 2006/04/08 00:08:01

smc7000 wrote:
I just have to ask. How can you justify taking the value that Red Hat provides and giving that value away for free?

As a moral person I can't justify making the switch to CentOS over Red Hat.


Sorry, cannot help you here........... This is your choice to make and I will not attempt to change your choice. You are perfectly free to use CentOS or any other "free" version of Linux you choose or not. The only thing a "moral person" might keep in mind is the legal reasons not to use additional installations of RHEL then what you have paid support for at one time or another.
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Re: Please justify the morality of CentOS

Postby grabber » 2006/04/08 12:45:00

At least one rational person please address my main question so I can switch to freebie Linux without having to spend too much time in the confessional booth!


Of all the reasons I have heard as to which Distribution to use a need to confess my sins to the parish preist is a new one but I will try to put my thoughts across.

I may be mistaken but IMO Redhat has used the open source platform to build a multi-million Dollar company from free software by charging for support and professional services justified in doing so because they gave back to the open source community in helping to develop the platform, one caviat of doing this is that they have to release said software under the GPL. Now CentOS is doing to Redhat what Redhat did to linux, except for one thing...they don't charge anything, they provide bug fixes and testing to the upstream provider in the same way that redhat provided to the linux community. Even Redhats Lawyers only complaints have been regarding the use of trademark logo's etc identifying the upstream provider.

I understand that 2 wrongs do not make a right one but there is nothing wrong here or immoral, if there was then Radhat are as guilty as the CentOS team and you should be looking for another Distribution....can I suggest Vatinux perhaps?


:)

Ian
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Re: Please justify the morality of CentOS

Postby smc7000 » 2006/04/08 14:19:58

Thanks, Ian. Very good synopsis of the situation. It all comes back to the GPL what it means to use GPL software, a topic I unfortunately don't have an intimate knowledge of. I'm going over to spend some time with the hippies over at gnu.org and fsf.org and see what they think about my frequent trips to see the priest. I'll report back with my findings for all you catholics using CentOS. :)

I think I'm pretty close to being able to download CentOS.
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Re: Please justify the morality of CentOS

Postby WhatsHisName » 2006/04/09 07:23:33

smc7000: You missed the point about open source.

The business model is and always has been about service, not about selling a product.

It’s a lot like the razor/razor blade business model: Virtually give away the razor and charge for the blades. Without their linux distribution, RedHat couldn’t make nearly as much on linux support.

If anything, CentOS will increase RedHat’s market share and penetration in the long term by influencing a wider audience to try it. I view the RedHat/CentOS synergy as a win-win situation. Think of all the free “advertising” they get out of CentOS and its users. This is viral marketing at its best!
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Re: Please justify the morality of CentOS

Postby sineware » 2006/04/21 03:30:40

Lenard wrote:

The only thing a "moral person" might keep in mind is the legal reasons not to use additional installations of RHEL then what you have paid support for at one time or another.


If Red Hat is charging for support and subscriptions, how is installing the binaries on more than one machine a violation? The license agreement states that you can freely distribute the source and binaries. As long as you don't call and ask for support on issues on the additional machines or somehow use RHN on these machines, where is the violation?

http://www.redhat.com/licenses/rhel_rha_eula.html
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Re: Please justify the morality of CentOS

Postby ryptyde » 2006/04/24 11:35:51

My first foray into the Enterprise Linux world was the purchase of a boxed set
of RHEL 3 for $89 plus tax. I installed and immediately found how little I knew
about "configuring and setting up" a computer.

Had a ton of problems with "up2date" and coupled with my lack of Linux knowledge
it was no pleasure cruise.I tried the FC's and just recently loaded Centos 4.3 and
feel quite comfortable and morally obligated to stick to Open Source for my needs.

Do what you feel comfortable with and if it is "legal" why not.Depending on what
part of the planet you live on "legal/moral" can be many things and it all boils down
to control and money.

Just do it.
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Re: Please justify the morality of CentOS

Postby Vicar » 2006/04/26 11:03:51

How much is RHEL paying Linus Torvalds? One mans Robin Hood is another man's thief. Centos is legal, no one is sealing from any one its all under open source.

SUSE, Mandriva etc have free downloads, you can chose to buy and get support or not your choice.

The centos guys are doing a lot of good work.

RHEL or Centos the choice is yours.
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Re: Please justify the morality of CentOS

Postby riluve » 2006/05/16 16:12:17

Yeah people have hit the nail on the head

1- Red Hat can't sell their OS, they can only sell the physical disks/ shipping costs they incur and any support they choose to offer. This was something they agreed to when they joined the GNU/Linux community.

2- Red Hat really makes their money being a fall guy. You know what they say s*it rolls down hill. Companies buy Red Hat support, so when things go wrong their is someone "official" to blame. Its a cost-of-business / risk management decision.

E.g. if you are a business, you wouldn't want to buy your inventory off the street (or e-bay) - you should use a reputable dealer. Red Hat, like it or not, is the reputable dealer for Linux.

Without their direct support and assitance their product has no value. I actually paid $400+ for RHEL 3, but for just a single year of patchy service, for a single server in a small (miniscule) operation, its not worth it for me to renew. I can manage with other free Linux distributions just fine.

If I get established as a large corp. and I have to have an entire IT department, the $400 would be very cheap when compared to the trouble of making the IT department de-bug free distributions. That is the only linux market Red Hat can ever hope to "exploit".

Anyway - the final real thing is, Red Hat is required to make their software available for free, because they are using other things under the GNU license which requires them to do so, if they use it (e.g. the Linux Kernel, KDE, Gnome, etc etc). You should read what red hat themselves say on the subject:
http://www.redhat.com/about/whyopensource/
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Re: Please justify the morality of CentOS

Postby dragonbite » 2006/05/17 13:32:35

Actually I believe Red Hat CAN sell their Linux... but who would buy something they could also get for free? Instead of even attempting that slippery slope, they focus on support instead.

For Red Hat, though, it is a lot easier to support a Linux that they built rather then try to support a community-driven distro where some decisions are made by the loudest or most popular memebers and who has interests not in line with the Enterprise-oriented focus?

I think you're completely right about corporations not wanting to go with some off-the-street distro ("*psst* he buddy... wanna buy this genuine authentic Linux?") .

It's going to be interesting to see what Oracle has up their sleeves, if they are going to look at building their own linux (possibly from Red Hat SRPMs) or what?
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