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Re: Why did you chose Debian over CentOS?

On Thu, 05 Mar 2009 23:33:16 -0800
Stephan <geek@wickedclips.net> wrote:

> Bill Thompson wrote:On Thu, 05 Mar 2009 10:06:56 -0500
>> Joe McDonagh <joseph.e.mcdonagh@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> And to the people who give a schpiel about what if RH shuts down 
>>> tomorrow, not going to happen. Someone will buy RH before they get
>>> shut down. They are the single biggest kernel committers and their
>>> workforce is filled with some of the most talented engineers in
>>> the open source world.
>> It may be true that RH is too big to disappear entirely, but what
>> about the inconsistency of their company focus? Many companies (mine
>> included) have already been burnt because of the way RH redefined
>> their distribution model. First it was free with optional paid
>> support, then they dropped the desktop, then they went with licensed
>> Enterprise support only (which is the only reason CentOS exists in
>> the first place, to provide community support for RHE) and now they
>> are refocusing on virtualization and who knows what support they are
>> going to offer. They may not shut down, but past history has shown
>> that you can not rely on the availability and support the company
>> will offer tomorrow.
> That was exactly my point.  I'm not an open source fanboy mind you;
> without the corporate model, there wouldn't *be* any microcomputers.
> It simply important to remember that corporations rarely give
> products and services away out of charity, and ultimately revenue is
> easier to achieve by making increasing the quality of solutions to
> justify increasing the price tag, ultimately resulting in many
> products being sold on hype alone (coughcoughVista) and not their
> intrinsic value.  So long as CentOS exists under the corporate
> guardianship as a stepchild of Red Hat, it's features and
> functionality will reflect the corporate goals of RH.  That isn't
> necessarily a bad thing; but it is *some* thing to consider when
> making a final decision.
> Stephan

You make a good point about supporting RH and their efforts to develop
Linux. However, using CentOS does not support the company or their
revenues. My understanding is that CentOS is an independent group and
is not managed by RH directly. In fact, I believe that using CentOS in
conjunction with a licensed RHE installation violates the terms of the
RH support agreement. That was the case when I looked into this several
years ago, but RH may have since changed that agreement.

If you truly feel that RH should be given financial support
for their efforts and you can base your IT infrastructure on their
business decisions, you should license RHE directly and not use one of
the unofficial RH derivatives. My company could not make that decision,
so we opted for Debian. Since then I have not needed to review support
contracts and licensees for our Linux installations or worry much about
the future of the distribution.

Bill Thompson

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