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Ubuntu to Bring About Red Hat's Demise? 435

Tony Mobily has written a thought-provoking editorial for Free Software Magazine that makes the bold prediction of Red Hat's eventual demise at the hands of Mark Shuttleworth and Ubuntu. Calling on memories of Red Hat alienating their desktop user base to focus on their corporate customers and making money, Mobily states that many of those alienated desktop users are also system administrators who now feel more comfortable with Ubuntu and will make the choice to use Ubuntu Server over Red Hat now and in the future.
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Ubuntu to Bring About Red Hat's Demise?

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  • Bologna! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mkswap-notwar ( 764715 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:27AM (#15830650)
    I really don't see this happening. Red Hat has a good presence in the server market, where as Ubuntu doesn't have that yet. I know Ubuntu is the "in" thing right now, but I don't see it toppling other vendors with established business models.
    • Re:Bologna! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by seb249 ( 603325 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:33AM (#15830672)
      It may not happen in the short term, but .. I do know that i used to use Red Hat for various purposes and when they changed to a corporate focus felt more than a little "ditched" as a customer. I did use to purchase Boxed sets and have been on a few of their training courses in the past.

      Subsequently i have changed most the servers i take care of to Debian, and on the desktop I use Ubuntu.

      That being said I have no reason to look from Debian to ubuntu in the server space but newer Linux admins may find it appropriate.

      • Re:Bologna! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Peter La Casse ( 3992 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:17AM (#15830862)
        That being said I have no reason to look from Debian to ubuntu in the server space but newer Linux admins may find it appropriate.

        I'm in a similar situation as you, typically using Debian on servers and Ubuntu on the desktop, and a reason for switching to Ubuntu on the server did recently occur to me: if Debian continues this breakneck release pace (less than two years between releases? Egad!) then Ubuntu LTS might actually force less frequent upgrades.

        • I use Debian stable on servers and Debian testing on my desktop. Why would I switch to Ubuntu on either? (I really would like to know why, I'm not trying to say that there isn't a reason.)
          • Re:Bologna! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Peter La Casse ( 3992 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:04AM (#15831097)

            YMMV, but for me, it just so happened that the default set of packages on Ubuntu closely matched what I probably would have installed anyway, if I had known about them. When I began my transition from Windows, I used Debian testing with XFCE on the desktop, and I didn't have the expertise to add the kinds of "polish" that came with Ubuntu by default (like automount/autoplay functionality). It helped too that at the time, Ubuntu's AMD64 version was easier to use than Debian's, and it had more recent packages.

            I still don't know what all of those "polish" programs and settings are, and as long as they work I don't care; for me, Ubuntu strikes a perfect balance between the power of Debian and the ease of use of a sandwich.

          • Re:Bologna! (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Per Wigren ( 5315 )
            If your desktop is configured and working as you want to there is no real reason to switch. For me, the reason to switch to Ubuntu on the desktop is that just about everything (except media codecs and flash on x86_64) works out of the box and is nicely configured. If I put my iPod in it will ask if I want to open Rhythmbox, just mount it or ignore it. If I connect an external USB drive it will mount and open in Nautilus. I get a great (perfectly and working!) interface to install patches and updates, very s
      • Re:Bologna! (Score:2, Insightful)

        by nath_de ( 535933 )
        Weird, when Redhat changed its desktop oriented distribution to Fedora, I wasn't alienated. Fedora is now better for a desktop user than Redhat ever was. I think it was a good choice that helped the users.

        Some people seem to have a problem that there are no more packaged distributions, but why? I can get the same system faster and much cheaper by downloading it.
      • Re:Bologna! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Deusy ( 455433 ) < minus cat> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:48AM (#15831007) Homepage
        "It may not happen in the short term, but .."

        It won't happen in the long term either. Yes, Ubuntu is becoming ever more popular, but this is an expanding market. There are new users arriving on the 'Linux' scene every second. Red Hat may not grow at the same pace as Ubuntu in the short, medium, or long term, but it will grow.

        All Ubuntu has done has made the competition for new desktop customers more intense. Red Hat will continue to specialise in the server market where it will continue to grow due to providing valued sevice.

        Market trends determine the prospects of a company as much as (if not more than) the competition.
        • Re:Bologna! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by walt-sjc ( 145127 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:50AM (#15831473)
          There is another major reason too. Third party support. Companies like IBM, HP, EMC (both the SAN part and VMWare), Veritas (Symantec), etc. feel MUCH more comfortable releasing driver / application packages for a distro that has a real company behind it that is "enterprise" oriented. This basically means that they support RedHat and Suse. Lucky for me, CentOs works as a RedHat replacement in all cases.

          It also has to do with enterprise deployment. When Debian / Ubunto gets to similar levels as RedHat in the enterprise, we will start to see support for it.
      • Re:Bologna! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hexix ( 9514 )

        I agree. I used RedHat in the early days and enjoyed it. I later moved on to Debian. Although it was more difficult (very little automagic configuration at the time), I found it more enjoyable to administer. This is almost entirely due to the existence of apt.

        I still like to try out new distributions and new versions of old ones. However, the whole Fedora thing really turned me off. I did try it a few times, but it very much feels like an eternal beta. Every time I've tried Fedora there were insa

      • Re:Bologna! (Score:3, Informative)

        That being said I have no reason to look from Debian to ubuntu in the server space but newer Linux admins may find it appropriate.

        Yeah. In the server space, there really isn't much difference between Ubuntu and Debian. They use the same base packages, for the most part. Ubuntu's differentiation is on the desktop, and Ubuntu is a very polished desktop distro. That being said, check out the new Ubuntu Server that was released with Dapper. It's got automatic LAMP installation, which is nice and saves th

      • Re:Bologna! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bogado ( 25959 ) <bogado AT bogado DOT net> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:37AM (#15831348) Homepage Journal
        well the article assumes that everyone that uses Ubuntu for the desktop will fall in love with it and never look fedora to fedora again. But my experience is not like that. When I first came to linux I studied witch version I would use, I quickly saw two option, debian and redhat. Without a good connection, I ordered both from "cheap bytes". Tryed both, but with debian I almost didn't pass the installation pass, it was spartan. Redhat in the other hand was quite easy and I got confortable with the OS very quickly.

        So I was a redhat user. I didn't like when the fedora was launched, but keep with. FC1 was launched and then FC2 and FC3, by the time FC4 was out I was hearing all those background noises, "ubuntu is cool", "ubunto this", "ubuntu that", so I gave it a try. I downloaded the instalation and gave it a try.

        I spended most of the FC4 time using ubuntu, I enjoyed it, but it wasn't that much better. It did came with some drivers that redhat refuses to bundle, but on the other hand it did not have "mp3" and other MM in the same way that redhat din't. But the worst part was to develop with Ubuntu...

        First I had to install the compilers that did not installed in the first round, ok compilers are a specific need and should not be installed in the generic desktop instalation, fedora also do not install those by default. But ubuntu did not gave me a choice to install them. The second head ache was with compiling gnome stuff, I had to install every gnome library 'dev' package by hand, a never ending task since there is aways another one that you forgot...

        But I had it when I installed the motif, first I had the same problem that I had with the gnome devel. But until now I was patient and thought "sure this is a one time thing". But then I discovered that the package that had the Xt* development had not bundled the man pages, so I didn't have the man pages a 100% necessary tool. So I go to ubuntu's bug site and search the DB, I find a bug filled with this problem and the solution is "fixed for the next version". So a packeger did a mistake, ok fine everyone does them. But not updating the packaging until the next version, is an abuse. This fix would not step on anyother package toe, it should have been updated as soon as it was found. So I had to live without those man pages, the package didn't even showed up in the backports.

        So what happened? I am now using FC5. I was not pleased with ubuntu, it was a nice desktop and all and I see why many people love it and may even try it again in the future, but for now I will keep going with my fedora experience.
      • Re:Bologna! (Score:3, Informative)

        by avdp ( 22065 ) *
        I don't know about Ubuntu specifically, but there is no doubt in my mind that RH made a very bad move, and that all the other Linux vendors will collectively benefit from it. I used to be a big RedHat fan. I have installed every version since 5.1, I owned stock at some point, I was RHCE certified (company paid for it), I paid for RHN licenses for my personal boxes at home (partly for convenience, partly to support a worthy company), and even got the company to buy a few support contracts for servers a
    • Couldn't have said it better myself. This year it's Ubuntu. The year before that it was Gentoo. The year before that it was Libranet. I don't see any of these flavor-of-the-mo^H^Hyear distributions unseating Red Hat in the server/enterprise support markets.
      • Libranet and Gentoo NEVER had the widespread and essentially unanimous support of the community that Ubuntu has now. there was never a time that so many admins agreed that a single desktop distro was the leader, which is what sets Ubuntu apart from those that you mentioned.
    • Re:Bologna! (Score:2, Informative)

      by StonePiano ( 871363 )
      I really don't see this happening.
      Well it pretty much happened to me.

      I was using Redhat 6, 7, and 8 on my desktop and therefore any servers I installed. A couple of years ago I tried Ubuntu and stuck with it. (Admittedly, I'm a little embarrassed that it has now become so fashionable. But that's not a substantial reason to turn away from something that works and is getting much better by the release.)

      Now, my kids run Edubuntu, I run Ubuntu, and any mid-size server I install (which is all I do) is U
    • Also,

      RedHat owns and funds several key technologies, like JBoss Application server, that are crucial for the enterprise. They got a lead on these technologies, and can offer better support and integration with their OS. Also, RedHat still has Oracle at their side.

      Ubuntu may be a good choice for a small-to-medium business, and for desktops... but Governaments and big companies will go with RedHat.
    • There is a disconnect between the home user and the corporate user, regardless of what TFA asserts. Simply because someone happens to be a sysadmin who uses Ubuntu at home does not mean that he will make the transition to using it at work. There are very different needs in the two enviroments and sysadmins are the first people to recognize this.
  • Distro de jour (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:31AM (#15830662)
    Feh. Lots of us abandoned Red Hat after the crappy RH9 and following carpet snatch. Red Hat didn't die then, and it isn't going to die now. Ubuntu's not going to change that any more than Gentoo did.
  • Uh huh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:31AM (#15830664)
    This coming from the same general crowd that claims that Linux on the desktop is going to take over Windows in "just a few years." This goes firmly in the "wishful thinking" category.

    One reason that Ubuntu will never be accepted: they don't offer the things that make beancounters sleep well at night. They don't have an "enterprise edition." They give it away for free - it can't be any good, right?

    Ultimately, Red Hat targets corporate clients. Ubuntu doesn't. And it's not like that's bad!

    • Re:Uh huh (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 )
      They give it away for free - it can't be any good, right?

      Agreed... a lot of businesses won't use free stuff because, if it breaks, who can they blame and order to fix it? At least with paid support you get a solution, with free software however, you're most likely to get "fix it yourself or wait for it to be fixed"

      I'm all for Open Source, but I can see why some won't embrace it.
      • Re:Uh huh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cortana ( 588495 ) <sam&robots,org,uk> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:44AM (#15830718) Homepage
        Nothing is stopping you from paying for support if you want to. The flexibility of Free/Open Source Software is that if you don't want to pay for support, you don't have to.
        • Of course should you want to pay for service and support, there is nothing stopping Redhat from providing support for Ubuntu. IBM after supports a range of Linux distributions and achieves a large market share by doing so.
        • Re:Uh huh (Score:3, Insightful)

          Nothing is stopping you from paying for support if you want to. The flexibility of Free/Open Source Software is that if you don't want to pay for support, you don't have to.

          Yes, I know the mantra. But we're talking about the real-world here. Most companies want to buy their support contracts from the software vendor, and they want to buy them from companies that smell like "real" companies to them. Someone established, who's been around a while. Red Hat passes that test. I'm not aware of any company s

      • Re:Uh huh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:52AM (#15830746) Journal
        I remembered the CEO of the company I worked for sometime ago (they are making an Expedia like web portal for Mexico tourism).

        He called me to his office (I was the "Open Source evangelist") and asked me what was the good thing in Open Source (specifically Linux at that time). After I tried to explain him, trying to supress my "enthusiastic bachellors" spirit, about the benefit of using an open source solution to do what they were doing (a "service based" buisness, instead of a "software" based company), he told me (something I will always remember) that free things are not good for companies, because it is the total oposite of an economy and, for there to be an economy there assets/services must be traded for money. In the absense of this (e.g. with "free lunch") a company can not be inside the "economic circle". [sorry, rough english translation of what I remember].

        If I were to tell him now, something like 5 years later, I would tell him that, in reality Open Source (at least GPL/Linux) is not a "payless" or "gratis" asset. Because, when any company uses the software they have to (a) contribute to the community (pay, in terms of intellectual property) and (b) pay for support/integration, because the advantage of the closed source solutions is the cohesion they achieve in their software (something really nice about Microsoft products is that they work happy togheter, although for some people this is something bad because they "tie" the client), unlike open source software for which there exist thousands of possible combinations which, if the company is lucky, would be able find a half assed script to make two make 2 programs poorly interact with each other.

        • "free things are not good for companies, because it is the total oposite of an economy and, for there to be an economy there assets/services must be traded for money"

          Typical brainwashed nincompoop who has no idea what an economy is. ('Course, there are a lot of respected "economists" who have no idea what an economy is...)

        • he told me (something I will always remember) that free things are not good for companies, because it is the total oposite of an economy and, for there to be an economy there assets/services must be traded for money. In the absense of this (e.g. with "free lunch") a company can not be inside the "economic circle".

          Your ex-CEO was a jackass. Does he also insist that the company pay for the air they consume, or directly compensate the government for roads they use (beyond paying the usual taxes)? If not, w

          • Does he also insist that the company pay for the air they consume, or directly compensate the government for roads they use (beyond paying the usual taxes)? If not, why? I don't understand the logic by which some free (and Free) infrastructure is good, but in other places it's not only not good, but actively bad.

            Mmmm, I do not totally disagree with you (although, my ex-ceo was a nice person, but he just did not understand what open source is about), but your analogies are totally flawed. First, the roads we
        • Sounds like your CEO wasn't very business-minded. Open source is simply a good way to reduce costs while increasing reliability. It hits his bottom line and his dividends directly and if he doesn't understand that, then he probably shouldn't be in business. The fact is, he does not and should not care about any other shenanigans to do with "moral right and wrong" and all that crap. As head of a business, it's all about the bottom line! And bottom line = revenues - costs.

        • Re:Uh huh (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Znork ( 31774 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:44AM (#15830991)
          "he told me (something I will always remember) that free things are not good for companies"

          Gee, where can I find him, I've got a whole lot of air he can buy or cease using if he feels it doesnt cost enough.

          "because it is the total oposite of an economy"

          He should probably go back and read a few books on economy again. The ultimate goal of free market capitalism is to encourage the most effective production of 'wealth' possible, with the endgame being the end of scarcity, when more or less everything the average person needs or wants costs close to nothing.

          Of course, that is the total opposite of protectionism, where the legal system protects inefficient production from competition.

          The economies of opensource are the economies of the free market. As components are perfected and reused and shared, they decrease redundant work and leads to far lower costs for the companies involved; mass-used and distributed code approaches lack of scarcity. At the same time, the costs are shifted into areas that actually do cost; support and other currently labour intensive and not easily automated tasks. The incentive becomes to provide faster better more cost effective support and customization, thus driving along the economic cycle.
        • The way Ive always seen it is businesses wont go the 'support' route because it entails producing two 'products' - the product to give away, and the support product. Of course you have the potential of people competing with you for those support contracts on your own product, so why not make some money on that end as well?
        • Other posters have already pointed out the flaws in his argument.

          I would also say that he sounds like his views are based on ideology rather than economics.
      • Re:Uh huh (Score:5, Informative)

        by Scarblac ( 122480 ) <> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:53AM (#15830751) Homepage

        But there is a company behind Ubuntu - Canonical []. They offer professional support for those who want it. Of course, Red Hat is much larger, more entrenched and more experienced, but I think that outside of the US the situation isn't as clear cut.

      • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdot@keirstead. o r g> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:03AM (#15830791) Homepage
        ... is they live in a dream world.

        I wonder when the last time was that any company got Microsoft to fix *any* bug they found in a released version of software?

        It seems like even giants of industry can't get them to fix holes any faster than peons.

        • I wonder when the last time was that any company got Microsoft to fix *any* bug they found in a released version of software?

          Last week in fact. We discovered (completely by accident) that Outlook Mobile Access had a certificate generation bug. Within a couple of days a M$ rep had called up us, and made available a patch for the issue.

          It's amazing what a bit of corporate ear bending can do.

          If only they did that for the 000's of other more critical bugs out there.

      • by cloudmaster ( 10662 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:09AM (#15830825) Homepage Journal
        Why do so many people say that Ubuntu's not acceptable to enterprise because it doesn't have support, there's no one to blame, etc? Has no one ever gone to and seen that big friggin' link at the top of the front page, which says "support"? []

        Alternatively, has anyone ever actually used RedHat support? *I* wasn't impressed...
        • Alternatively, has anyone ever actually used RedHat support? *I* wasn't impressed...

          I've used it a couple of time, for installation issues, and found it to be as good as any phone support I have used (except that I ended up phoning the States). In each case, the first person I talked to seemed to know what a computer is, which is a step up on, say, the AOL people I spoke to yesterday (it was for a friend, honest).

          But that's not why I used Redhat. It's because

          1. It's what our leased servers use
          2. Keeping up
    • Don't be silly.

      Ubuntu and RedHat are going after 2 different markets. Plus, ubuntu isn't there yet for a lot of us. I don't buy the "server admins ar going to switch" angle. Sure, we'll stick it on our users' computers, and for a Windows user, I think ubuntu can work and said so here [], but it doesn't meet MY needs, which is why I'm sticking with SuSE, and why others will stick with RedHat (and I'm going to say the same when I get around to writing up my review of SSuSE 10.1).

      And yes, I'm one of those who

    • Re:Uh huh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Moby Cock ( 771358 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:45AM (#15830721) Homepage
      The beancounters where I am would be oblivious. I tell them I need $x for whatever project, the CIO vets my proposal, the CFO (well, his staff) finds the budget and off we go.

      They would have no idea if the OS cost money or not in my case. I expect there are other places much the same.
    • Look up Canonical. Mark Shuttleworth is trying to avoid exactly the pitfalls of Red Hat, and now Novell/SuSE, i.e. keeping a clear separation between the community developed Ubuntu environment and the paid-for support and corporate development side. In fact, this very clarity should help reassure corporate types.
      • The separation of support and development will probably not reassure 'corporate types.' In general, it is better from their perspective, that these two entities are relatively tightly coupled as when an actual product defect is found that prevents some business function in their enterprise from working, they'd really like to know that the people they have the support contract with have a tight and integrated relationship with the development team such that they can more easily get a production level fix cre
    • It reminds me of this thread on where a mod creator was trying to improve the sounds of the game. Someone suggested using Creative Commons material for the thunder sound, from one of several CC catalogs. The mod creator wasn't interested at all at first, saying something along the lines of "Well, in my experience most of the free stuff is crap."

      So here you have a modder creating a free mod for a game, who thinks his sounds are superior to the ones that came with the $50 game, saying that mo
    • Red Hat is supposed to offer support for the "Enterprise Edition". One thing that also helps is to have a known quantity where purchased software will work for it and has been heavily tested on it. There is even server and workstation hardware which are tested to work with specific distributions. In part, it is an assurance thing, but also, in part, it is to help reduce the number of surprises and headaches. Even Microsoft's HQL system works pretty well in my experience. I think one major reason that I
  • Canonical has in no way contributed to the Linux movement as Red Hat.

    Besides, it will take years for ubuntu to be certified for the enterprise environment.

    Ubuntu is still small time in the "real world"
    • Re:No way in Hell (Score:2, Interesting)

      by zlogic ( 892404 )
      Ubuntu was certified for IBM's db2: []
      However I think Ubuntu will only be used in small companies as desktops. Most people I know use either FreeBSD or Windows 2003 as their server OS.

      My prediction is that Novell will gain significant marketshare in the enterprise OS sector. Especially after all those Netware servers migrate to SuSE.
      Also, Novell seems to support the non-enterprise users more than Redhat (and their Opensuse distro is much more stable than Fedora).
      • > Also, Novell seems to support the non-enterprise users more than
        > Redhat (and their Opensuse distro is much more stable than Fedora).

        Actually right now Novell is in transiction - the efect is that there would not be no SUSE - only OpenSUSE as base for enterprise and the free OS. So SUSE does not have an equivalent of Fedora.
        • What the hell are you talking about?

          Please look at Novell's home page. []

          Other than the central page pulsating flash advertisement printing in LARGE, BOLD PRINT "IT'S HERE! SUSE ENTERPRISE 10", and the 4 announcements talking about SUSE ENTERPRISE WORKSTATION/SERVER, and 20 or product links to "OPEN ENTERPRISE SERVER", and "SUSE ENTERPRISE SERVER", with a primary link of "DATA CENTER", leading to a "SUSE ENTERPRISE DATA CENTER" website, what makes you think that Novell isn't positioned, at least in terms of pr
  • If it does die, it will reincarnate itself as a similar company with a different logo. []
  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:40AM (#15830698)
    Stop the presses! :)

    I was one of those disaffected desktop users, but I still use RHEL (er...actually CentOS) for server machines that do real work. If you don't need bleeding edge desktop gadgets, it's still OK for desktop use as well. Ragging on RedHat because they had the temerity to focus on the part of their business that generated profit for them seems a bit harsh. There's plenty of other distros to choose from, including Ubuntu, if you want to live in the fast lane.

    • Ragging on RedHat because they had the temerity to focus on the part of their business that generated profit for them seems a bit harsh. There's plenty of other distros to choose from, including Ubuntu, if you want to live in the fast lane.

      Yeah, that's kind of the point. Ubunto takes over the smaller roles and play well on the desktop. People get familiar and comfortable with it, so it starts taking on larger roles. Eventually, it is eating Red Hat's lunch -- or so the theory goes.

  • by rf0 ( 159958 )
    What coporates want is support. If something breaks they want someone on the end of the phone that will fix it and stay there as long as needed. They don't want a mailing list where someone might reply. For the home user/semi-serious that is fine but if you have a system that is making a million an hour then you want to have the reassurance there is someone there that can help out if needed
    • At least they want something to *blame*, especially in non-technical companies: You pay for an OS, it doesn't do what you expected and the vendor doesn't listen to you. That's the vendor fault.

      Now, you take a free linux distro on the net, and it doesn't do what you expected. Well that's another matter. You can blame the incorporal "community" for the lack of concern, and ultimatly that means that you will blame your own IT department with argument like "Not competent enough to fix the OS", or they "mislead
  • Ummm ... noooo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phoxix ( 161744 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:46AM (#15830726)
    Why cannot one visit any website today and simply not read overly zealous pro-Ubuntu jargon written by someone who has never taken "Business 101" ?

    The article itself is a joke, and does not actually detail any valid reasons about why Ubuntu will displace Redhat in the market. The 5th and 6th paragraphs are nothing more than "I want to brown-nose Mark Shuttleworth" crap that also does not feed the main argument of the commentary^H^H^H^H rant. THe last two paragraphs which barely have any meat on them are nothing more than rants not backed by any citations, evidence, deep analytical thought, etc. The crux of the article revolves around Redhat alienating their desktop "not paying a penny freeloaders", which is retarded because a) redhat's revenue shotup when they mandated fees and b) umm, whats Fedora again ?

    While I commend Ubuntu and everyone else for their efforts on the desktop front I think it is very important to note that beating Redhat is going to require quite the effort, skill and resources. Redhat still commands other distros in the areas of Income, Innovations, and the holy-grail-of-almost-everything: Marketing. SUSE has been trying to beat Redhat for how hard and how long ?

    (Maybe this company is trying for the "Dvorak-angle", which is to write something dumb and generate lots of attention to a whole lot of nothin')

    • "Business 101"

      A.K.A. "I'm too stupid to tie my own shoes (a technical problem I shouldn't have to deal with), and want someone to blame when I eventually trip, or someone to call for 24X7X4 gold customer shoelace support."

      Or is that the business 101 where they discuss the 'business model' of the Internet?

  • I think that he is wrong about the corporate market. There is too much momentum there. The corporate market needs experts when they ask questions like, "I'm running a 400 server farm, fiber switched, ..." As long as Redhat provides that expertise to corporate users, they will keep selling. Where Ubuntu will gain share is in the small office and growing organization markets, where choices have not yet been made, are made by newer system admins, or are strapped for cash.
  • A company...making money and concentrating on things that make money??? My word, what is this world coming to? What happens when Ubuntu wants to make some serious money?
  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:02AM (#15830786)
    Ubuntu is very nice. But it's server edition doesn't have the sanction of the interest of the rest of the world. Indeed for better or worse, RH has the attention of many entities, ranging from Oracle to IBM.

    And to say that Ubuntu's server must be excellent because its desktop-focused distros are is like saying that Ford's trucks must be great because their cars are cool. Outwardly, it would appear that could be the case, but in reality market forces are completely different in cars and truck markets, just like they are in server and desktop distribution.

    Ubuntu has done a rational job (and still incomplete) of making a viable desktop-focused OS. Yes, admins use it. Yes, they tend to use in one place (desktop) what they know for another application-- the server. Yet Ubuntu isn't that far away from RH. And the number of admins using strictly Linux is still very small, although growing a bit each day.

    Summary: the lines don't join together in the logic. Yes, Ubuntu is cool, but it in no way spells the end of RH and it's juvenile to think so.
    • At the Ubuntu Birds-of-a-Feather meeting at the recent OSCON, I was surprised to hear how many people were running Ubuntu as a server, and how positive their feedback was. Like many people I had always assumed that Ubuntu was a serious distro on the desktop only.

      And more telling is that at the meeting it was obvious that Jeff Waugh was keenly interested on hearing about peoples' experience with Ubuntu server. I will not be surprised if Ubuntu starts a big push to establish itself as a server distro in the
  • if you love open source, I don't think you wish goodbye for Red Hat!

    I'm using Ubuntu for desktop, Red Hat for server and Novell for workstation (collaboration), that the way they fits, Ubuntu being good for Desktop means only its good for desktop

    plus! no boss will risk running a system no one certified to administrate
  • Eh, personally I pretty exclusively use CentOS for my Linux server needs, but Ubuntu would certainly be me desktop of choice these days (if I didn't have powerbook). Either way, yes, Redhat screwed up in my book and it does look like they will suffer for it.

    Of course if Redhat goes down, CentOS goes with it. No big deal, OpenSolaris is looking quite nice these days and there is always Debian/Ubuntu

  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:23AM (#15830884)
    One advantage Fedora has over Ubuntu is that Fedora releases a multi-disk set of packages. I work with computers that can't connect to the Internet, and I've found that the Fedora CDs almost always have all the packages I need. That's a huge benefit for those computers.

    I guess I could be saved by utility that analysis the entire set of packages I'd need in order to install a given package on my computer. If I had a utility like that, I could walk over to an Internet-connected computer, download those packages onto a CD-R, and then install them on the computer that can't connect to the Internet. Or.... Ubuntu could start putting together CD/DVD sets that contained a larger fraction of popular packages than they can fit on one CD. Either development would let me kick Fedora out of the picture.
  • Wrong Target (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FishandChips ( 695645 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:27AM (#15830897) Journal
    Interesting idea, but the wrong target. Red Hat have spent years and much skill building up their strong position in the enterprise and no other Linux outfit is likely to be dislodging them any time soon.

    Much more vulnerable are Novell/SuSE and their rather hamfisted "me too" strategies and lesser distros like Mandriva. Those are the ones Ubuntu is likely to take market share from. SuSE could be especially vulnerable since their OpenSuSE "community" distro is arguably just a corporate sham with very little of a true community about it.
    • Re:Wrong Target (Score:4, Informative)

      by molarmass192 ( 608071 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:51AM (#15831029) Homepage Journal
      Are you on fucking crack? Have you EVER sold Linux to an executive oversight committee? That's rhetorical question because you haven't. There are only 2 names that non-tech senior execs recognize, RedHat and Novell. You put Ubuntu on a powerpoint slide and your sales pitch is in the drink. The fact is, what you use at home has very little to do with what is used in the enterprise. I brefly tried to sell SuSE to the same types of people before the Novell acquisition and it was always a "we know what RedHat is, we'll sign off on that" situation. With the Novell aquisition, SuSE finally managed to get traction. Ubuntu will never get there unless they find a way to sell their brand to non-geeks, the ones who sign the POs.
  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:29AM (#15830906) Journal
    and I might agree. For the past 3 years, RedHat's activities have aroused quite a lot of suspicion and consternation. When they had the Desktop market ready for the taking (specially after Lindows aka Linspire bailed out, again suspiciously), RedHat went in for some shady dealings with SCO and generally fizzled out from the Desktop and Home user segment.

    Ubuntu has taken these segments by storm, they have drivers for most Big Brand PCs that come with the Built For Windows crap sticker. The laptop segment, which has grown faster than desktops, is again well-served by Ubuntu, and RedHat just doesn't have any mindshare / marketshare on laptops.

    Microsoft... well, they seem totally confused with laptops since 2000. The Tablet PC was botched... so many broken standards and half-assed attempts later, nobody seems to know or care what MS intends to do with these things, come Vista. How many laptops are gonna have 128MB VRAM or 2GB RAM on the motherboard? My guess is less than 10% of the market.

    While RedHat has carved out it's own space in the server segment and has cut off Microsoft's top-end, Ubuntu has encroached on the lower end Desktops and the Laptops segments. With Vista's hardware specs (let alone drivers) still unknown, with about 6 months left... lack of clarity on certified Vista drivers etc., I think Microsoft has more reasons for worry than RedHat.

    My $0.02, of course!
    • I run Ubuntu at home too, but stop living in fantasy land...

      RedHat's activities have aroused quite a lot of suspicion and consternation

      Amonst who? You?

      RedHat went in for some shady dealings with SCO

      BS. Evidence?

      fizzled out from the Desktop and Home user segment

      The withdrew from that segment because there is very little money there for Linux. There is a big difference between withdrew and "fizzled".

      RedHat just doesn't have any mindshare / marketshare on laptops

      Who cares? How much money

  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:30AM (#15830909)
    Did anyone actually find a defense of his central argument in that "editorial?" All I saw was a bunch of Mark Shuttleworth cheerleading. Now, here's why he is wrong:

    1) RedHat is a large Linux vendor and gives business people someone to deal with reliably.
    2) RedHat has an entrenched userbase.
    3) RedHat Enterprise Linux is a good distribution in its own right.
    4) RedHat has great support from "enterprise vendors" such as Oracle.

    RedHat is threatened, but it's manageable. It's the sort of competition that will make them better, not threaten their ability to survive and thrive.
  • by Outland Traveller ( 12138 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:33AM (#15830929)
    I've used Ubuntu and think it's easy to use and all-around great. That said, I use Redhat and Fedora distributions extensively. I like the amount of big-picture experimentation, cutting-edge tools/libraries, and directly funded improvements (everything from the kernel to eclipse) that make it into the Fedora releases, and I like the known quantity, high-end hardware support, and commitment to long-term maintenance of the Redhat releases.

    Friendly rivalries should stay friendly, especially when core foundations of the free software development model are under attack from government mandated and enforced DRM in hardware, extortion threats to the north american internet infrastructure, and increasing attempts to tie popular hardware APIs to closed platforms.
  • Low end always wins (Score:4, Interesting)

    by countach ( 534280 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:41AM (#15830969)
    The low end always wins (eventually)

    PCs (nearly) killed mainframes. Windows nearly killed unix, until free unix came along. Linux is eating into windows server. Ubuntu is eating into Red Hat.

    Eventually the mass market product overruns the corporate product, but it takes a lot of time.

  • Who says... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by camcorder ( 759720 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:41AM (#15830972)
    Ubuntu is better than Fedora in Desktop Market? People keep saying, ubuntu is cool, but I really don't see why it is? To me it is torture. Worse than Fedora on default fonts selection, official repositories do not have recent versions of software. Fedora do not have meaningless patches for should be default and consistent interfaces (like nautilus, add panel dialog etc.) It's way easier to find rpm of a release than .deb version. Also what's the point of having something installed and waiting hours for internet download time, instead of downloading a DVD while you were sleeping, and get everything at once.

    For me ubuntu is no more than a buzz word, which uses Debian as a source of fame.
  • by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:42AM (#15830976)
    1) Create Linux Distribution
    2) Gather Community
    3) Create Server Version
    4) Slashvertise with 'Other Distros Will Die' Prophecy
    5) ...
    6) Profit!

    Writers call it a self-fulfilling prophecy. For those unaware of the term, it means that if the prophecy had not been spoken, it wouldn't have happened. But the very act of speaking the prophecy sets into motion a chain of events that will eventually cause the prophecy to come true.

    I was planning to switch my (messed up) Slackware server to Ubuntu server a while back, but I got lazy. This made me remember that, and got me a little hyped on it again. Until I realized that it was simply a slashvertisement. (Yes, for a free product. Slashdot has sunk low this time.) My fever has abated, but I will still probably work on that tonight.

    I noticed wasn't coming up... I'm guessing their own server didn't survive.
  • Coming at this from a SysAdmin-who's-never-quite-made-the-switch point of view, there are a lot of us that haven't taken the Linux plunge yet. We fiddle with it and have installed Linux a few times to see what the hype is all about, but at the end of the day we work in a MS World and so we haven't "crossed over" yet. But we know we have to and so we're going to find the easiest, most powerful, and troublefree distro we can find. I recently downloaded Ubuntu 6.06 at the behest of a friend just to see what
  • Considering that I used to load red hat on everything and now dapper since I have gotten so accustomed to it I would say this is absolutely correct. Still have to run red hat on our oracle systems and such but the article is dead on the money. It is not going to happen over night but
    it is happening already.
  • "to focus on their corporate customers and making money"

    No! You don't say! Someone trying to make money??? How dare they!

    Next you're going to tell me how they're trying to find food for their families. The fiends!
  • by lowlands ( 463021 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:16AM (#15831165) Homepage Journal
    For one I doubt that a project that has the financial backing of a one man band will knock RH from its throne. Even if the man made $500M (minus the considerable cost of his little trip into space). RH has ten digit assets, a ton of A list partners and it actually has solutions besides the OS. The Enterprise needs solutions. A new kid on the block with a DVD will not cut it with the Global 2000. You need the building blocks that help these players to achieve their objectives. That means professional services, training, 24/7 support, certified hardware and, again, partners that they need to integrate these pretty complex solutions.

    Several of Tony's arguments seem to be creative at best and lack substance. Did the packaged version of RH flop? Looking at RH today I tend to disagree as their packaged offering was the precursor of the succesfull business model they now have. It's called Evolution. You try something, shave and mold and hopefully get to a point where it works better. And it seems RH got it right given the fact that they are the leading vendor in this space. Were they too expensive? Well, if something like $100 for a packaged version is too much for a company I think that company should reevaluate their existence. According to Tony the Fedora split was "underfunded and the "community involvement" was patchy and disorganised". Besides the fact that any new project will always have growing pains, in the end it's the result that counts. Maybe Tony should install FC5, subscribe to the mailing lists and browse the ton of helpful websites focused on FC. I did and I see a vibrant community that is delivering a distro that gets better all the time. So in what way did RH "abandoned its desktop audience, to focus on the more lucrative corporate market"? What do you call the free Fedora Core distribution? What do you call the commercial desktop solution that RH offers? Seems they have been successful in sponsoring and creating solutions that will cater to more instead of less.

    Tony continues to be creative with his statement that Shuttleworth "divert tons, and tons, and tons of GNU/Linux users away from Red Hat Linux, and towards Ubuntu Linux". Looking at RH's latest quarterly results I don't see them loosing "tons and tons of GNU/Linux users" to Ubuntu. Googling around I found no supporting information about the mass defection of RH customers to Ubuntu like Tony suggests.

    All in all Tony has not presented a single fact to support his statements. He only makes bold claims which border on unsubstantiated RH/FC trashing. His feable attempt at writing an "editorial" should be taken with a rock of salt of similar size used for Maureen O'Gara's poo.
  • count me in (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Yonder Way ( 603108 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:30AM (#15831277)
    I'm one of those alienated system administrators. I've been working with Red Hat as my primary $WORK distribution since 1997. This year I started putting Ubuntu on servers and find it to be so much less hassle. Each Ubuntu server saves my employer probably thousands of dollars a year not just in licensing costs but TCO as a whole. And the sysadmin team here actually enjoys working with it rather than griping like "WTF did RHAT do it that way?!?"

    Red Hat will still be king in some markets but Ubuntu is going to eat its lunch in the mainstream in the next few years if they don't make some major changes to their business model soon.
  • by tweek ( 18111 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:43AM (#15831412) Homepage Journal
    on Ubuntu, I won't be installing anything but CentOS and RedHat 4 on my servers. I installed Ubuntu on my brand new laptop and I run it on my desktop mind you.

    Yes, IBM DB2, is certified to run on Ubuntu and IBM will support it. Same thing for MySQL but until something like Tivoli Storage Manager or WebSphere Application Server or BEA or any other host of products are certified and are listed as "supported configurations" by vendors, Ubuntu will only be for non-commerical applications in the corporate world.

    Our model is RedHat for stuff that requires a support contract (WebSphere, TSM) and CentOS for development boxes or things like our Apache servers, CUPS servers and what not. It provides the same interface and knowledge as the RHEL stuff so there's no need to document something different.

    I honestly think what's going to eat RHAT's lunch in the smaller markets is CentOS.
  • Not gonna happen (Score:5, Informative)

    by Schmots ( 859630 ) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:49AM (#15831464)
    I am a linux SA for a fortune 250 company. We use RedHat on 500 servers, not cause I like that distrobution the most, but because its certified with our applications, jboss, oracle, webjet, etc. We can't do billion dollar database transactions and be SOX compliant with out being able to show certifications of applications. Thats just how it is folks

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?