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What's Fedora Up To? Ask the Project Leader 295

Fedora Project Leader Max Spevack offered himself up for this interview because, he said, "I look at stories like [your] posting Ubuntu to Bring About Red Hat's Demise and many of the comments about Red Hat and Fedora seem very rooted in the world of several years ago, when the RHEL/Fedora split took place." This is a chance to clear the air, and get an up-to-date look at what Fedora is up to these days. So ask away; we'll send 10 of the highest-moderated questions to Max and (hopefully) publish his answers later this week.
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What's Fedora Up To? Ask the Project Leader

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  • Link? (Score:4, Funny)

    by astralbat ( 828541 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:37AM (#15859195)
    Did I miss something?
    • Re:Link? (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by bobintetley ( 643462 )

      Did I miss something?

      Yes. You're supposed to ask a question, which will be submitted to Max and he can answer in a later article.

      Welcome to Slashdot :-)

    • You missed the fact that this is an interview, you are supposed to ask the guy whatever you want to know about the drection of Fedora.
      I am happy with Dapper, myself, so I don't actually care a lot about the future of fedora, but some people might have their questions.
  • by monoqlith ( 610041 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:39AM (#15859207)
    Why is Ubuntu kiling you? oh...sorry....

    let me rephrase in a more congenial way...

    In terms of eventually losing to Ubuntu, why are you? ...still no good?

    Ok: About your opinion regarding Ubuntu, what do you think are the reasons for it causing your eventual demise?
  • Black Hat (Score:2, Funny)

    by HugePedlar ( 900427 )
    Is it true that one of your developers got fired for wearing a Trilby?

    Go on, mod me down. I deserve it.
    • Is it true that one of your developers got fired for wearing a Trilby?
      Why, yes. Yes, I was! But the fact I wore a trilby and nothing else did not violate the "Casual Friday" section of the Employee Handbook. They used section 10 under "Sexual Harrasment" guidelines instead. A mere technicality if you ask me.
  • Why such a divide? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dsginter ( 104154 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:40AM (#15859214)
    It seems to me that 'Linux should be Linux'. Rather, we're seeing articles about one linux distro killing another. We never see "Windows Professional is killing Windows Home". IMHO, Ubuntu's success should be a boon for all Linux distros.

    Unfortunately, package management seems to be the great divide. What are you doing to bring One Package Manager to all Linux?
    • by eipgam ( 945201 )
      What makes you think a single package manager is necessarily a good thing? Shouldn't users get a choice?
      • Yes they should and that's exactly what the current system prevents. How many people used to use Debian Unstable merely because the size of the repositories made installing/upgrading software less of a pain in the ass than with other distros. And how many jumped ship when Ubuntu came along?

        Today there is little (if any) innovation in the Linux distribution space. The big desktop distros - Fedora, Ubuntu, SUSE, Gentoo are followed by a bunch of smaller ones like Debian, Slackware etc ..... but they are all

    • We never see "Windows Professional is killing Windows Home".

      That's because Windows Home and Windows Professional are binary compatible. I can take my Windows Home application, and install it on a Windows Professional machine without having to change anything. For all of Linux's strengths, binary compatibility is one thing that could still use a lot of improvements. I don't see how having multiple package managers improves the robustness or security of Linux in any way.

      • by wasabii ( 693236 )
        It's important to remember the mindset you speak this from. You call it "Linux". You need to remember that the realities are: There is a kernel named Linux that anybody can do what they will with, and a huge body of software that can be twisted to anybody's purpose. Linux is a kernel. What makes a complete OS is the entire package. A distro is simply that.

        As long as people are allowed to deviate from the standard stack: THEY WILL

        Get people over this fundamental truth and we can start working for our particu
    • 1. Windows (foo) Professional and Windows (foo) Home are made by the same people awful, irrelevant comparison.
      2. If there's going to be One Package Manager, nobody wants it to be RedHat's.
    • I think it is good that ubuntu is winning, because Debian's apt-get is the one we should go with.
    • Library files have versioning, so multiple instances can coexist just fine in the main directory. Applications are also perfectly capable of setting LD_LIBRARY_PATH for anything local, or could even be statically compiled. Yes, that really is an option.

      Hell, in the days of yore, when the IBCS module was being maintained, you could even run binaries from SCO UnixWare or Sun Solaris within Linux at native performance. How different do you need to get?

      If you want to be really fancy, then any program with a suf

    • Unfortunately, package management seems to be the great divide. What are you doing to bring One Package Manager to all Linux?

      The thing of it is, "package management" and its bifurcations in the Linux world are an in-depth case-study of a much broader issue: software complexity and how to manage it. Granted, there are other platform-specific issues for every system but the crux of the matter is as stated.

      A better question would have been: If the Fedora project and/or RedHat are dedicating not insignificant r

  • Drivers Vs Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:43AM (#15859232) Journal
    A lot of people I talk to say they don't like Linux due to lack of driver support [wieers.com]. Is there anyway you see this problem being eliminated? How do you court vendors to support their hardware on your flavor of Linux?
    • I don't buy shit that ain't compatible with linux, see how simple that makes things. I never
      ever have driver issues just load and go...
      • Thats all fine and dandy but...

        1) Finding out if hardware works with linux is not so simple, many (in the UK) don't have any indication they will work on anything but windows, so you have to search the net to see if its supported, and it might not be officially (Insert Wifi card model here).

        2) Some hardware that is supported is so badly supported it might as well not be. ATI cards are like this, I hear Nvidea are easier to setup but are still suck-tackular.

        3) Not everyone builds there own computer, jo

    • by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak.yahoo@com> on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:02PM (#15860166) Homepage Journal
      ...if it weren't for the fact that there are a VAST number of drivers that are not being included in distros. Madwifi covers a lot of wifi cards, for example. Then, there are drivers for "less common" hardware - WANPIPE is provided by one manufacturer for their T1 cards and there's even patches out there for the LEON architecture, the Texas Instruments OMAP architecture, nanosecond clocks, the VME bus, etc.

      On that basis, I'll ask my question: Users are forever complaining about a lack of drivers, but the drivers they are often presented with are a very small subset of the Open Source drivers that exist. Is this a problem Fedora will be addressing, or will it be largely left to such drivers being absorbed into the mainstream kernel?

      • Users are forever complaining about a lack of drivers, but the drivers they are often presented with are a very small subset of the Open Source drivers that exist. Is this a problem Fedora will be addressing, or will it be largely left to such drivers being absorbed into the mainstream kernel?

        On that note, are you considering employing/persuading developers to develop clean-room reimplementations of closed source drivers, ala OpenBSD? If not, why not?
  • What's changed? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KDan ( 90353 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:44AM (#15859248) Homepage
    You mention that opinions are rooted in the world of 5 years ago. What do you think has changed in the linux world since then, and how does it affect Fedora development?

    • by jd ( 1658 )
      Five years ago, the popular view was that Linux was unstable and needed hacking to make it work, but I had no stability issues and never needed to hack except for the pleasure of getting the computer to do something freaky.

      Today, the popular view is that Linux is highly stable and can be run out of the box by a WalMart customer, but I just had to reformat after Fedora Core 6 pre barfed after a yum update fried X totally and irretrievably. (And before someone says anything, yes I'm fully aware that running a

  • MP3 Licensing (Score:2, Redundant)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) *
    I noticed in my latest installation of Fedora, I had to actively seek the MP3 codec. I know this isn't your fault but was this something brought about by a potential lawsuit or did you decide to remove it from the distribution preemptively to avoid possible lawsuits?
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:48AM (#15859269) Journal
    On the Fedora Project website, there are plenty of reasons listed for Fedora to be your operating system of choice. In your eyes, what is the most lacking aspect of Fedora as it exists today?
    • How can we get MP-3 and MPEG support included with Fedora on download?
      • First you write your representative, asking them to make software unpatentable. When you get the form letter saying back telling you to get lost in five hundred words but which leaves you with a cloying sweet sensation, then you get to work, make a few dozen millions, buy a lobbying firm and spend several decades lobbying against software patents. By that time, the patents covering the technologies in question should have expired, and you can get mp3 support with Fedora.

        Well, you could, except possessing a
  • by tomknight ( 190939 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:48AM (#15859275) Homepage Journal
    What are you doing this evening? My date stood me up and I'd be a shame to waste a table for two with reservations for this place being the way they are...
  • Vista a Problem? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:50AM (#15859288) Journal
    Do you view Vista as a threat to your user base? Do you or people on your team ever change your mind about things or let looming Vista influence your decisions?

    I'm hoping that Linux distros are not pressured into adding unneeded bells and whistles in a desperate attempt to compete with Vista. Are you invulnerable from this mentality?
  • Linux presence (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OldeTimeGeek ( 725417 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:51AM (#15859292)
    Linux adoption has been growing, but very slowly. Why do you think that this is the case? What are, in your point of view, the roadblocks to Linux becoming a serious contender for the desktop at home and in the corporate enviroment and how do you plan to address them?
  • by tabdelgawad ( 590061 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:56AM (#15859320)
    Do you see Fedora Core as targeted at a particular type of Linux user (developers, server admins, desktop users, multimedia, etc) or are you trying to be all things to all people? Stated another way, what do you see as FC's main (current and future) strengths and weakneses compared to other distros?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:57AM (#15859325)
    Have you tried Ubuntu yourself? Is there, in your opinion, something Ubuntu does better than Fedora?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 07, 2006 @11:58AM (#15859337)
    If Fedora is actually not controlled by Red Hat anymore, and Fedora is user-oriented, why are both the only general-purpose GNU/Linux distributions that disable the NTFS driver from the Linux kernel?

    Users do need this option (unlike RedHat's customers, which are organizations as far as I know), and for evidence, Linux-NTFS is one of the projects with the most downloads on sourceforge.

    I would like to add that NTFS is part of the mainline kernel. Compiling it as a module will cause it to not take any memory resources other than the few kilobytes on disk that any un-used hardware module is taking, unless of course the user has a mounted NTFS partition.

    RedHat's reason for disabling NTFS support was that RedHat is a US-based organization and that they fear patenting problems from MS. No law action was ever taken, and no actual patent was referenced. As far as I know, NTFS is not even patented or patentable. Fedora is not RedHat as you say, so this old reasoning is not exactly valid for Fedora. The IBM/SCO saga also cleared the issue about patents in the mainline kernel.

    Unless Fedora will change this simple flag in the kernel config file, I assume it is still controlled (and not only sponsered as some would say) by RedHat.
    • I just did a search of the USPTO database and all I came up with are patents with references to NTFS, but none directly covering NTFS. IANAPL, but searching all the way back to 1976 with the earliest patents containing the letters "NTFS" merely referring to the "technology" implies there's no patent directly on NTFS. I can't find anyone directly referencing any patents using google either.

      However, there may be something in the driver which performs some patented task. But I see no patent on reading and w
  • Distro Improvement (Score:2, Interesting)

    by utopianfiat ( 774016 )
    It seems to me that the general consensus among users when FC was released wavered around "It's redhat minus the money behind it", what improvements in package management, distro consistency (path standardization), and configuration systems do you forsee preventing FC from becoming what some have called "The most craptacular peice of shit since Caldera OpenLinux"?
  • I use Planet CCRMA [stanford.edu] components with Fedora Core 5 and this seems to bring me very close to rivalling what I could do with a Mac running Pro Tools, etc. Any plans to integrate these ideas into the main Fedora package, such as the ability to choose "music" or "recording" on initial install the same way you can choose "home", "office", etc?

    Or, really, any plans for any other speciallising options?
  • Most of what us "stuck in the past" folks hear about on Linux is development of new server applications or ways that IT can save money by deploying Linux, while simultaneously there are complaints about no "new" development on the platform... merely copying of existing Windows or Solaris or BSD functionality and applications.

    My question, therefore, is do you believe this is an accurate representation of Linux development today? Do you believe that the standard user applications are an area that Linux shoul
  • Fedora (Score:5, Interesting)

    by modernbob ( 558981 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:01PM (#15859359) Homepage
    I have been using Fedora since version 2 (or) since support ran out on RH9. It's been getting better with each version and the number of applications there are packages for have increased dramatically. I am using version FC5 now and using it in a production environment on several servers. I continue to read that RH/Fedora doesn't support the idea of using FC for a production environment. Is this true and if so what exactly is FC's charter? I mean what exactly is the purpose of the FC project? What do you envision your users are going to do with FC? Are you thinking about end user at all? Where do you see FC in 5 years? Thanks Robert W. Oldfield
    • Re:Fedora (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chabotc ( 22496 )
      An incredibly good question, many people seem to feel like another poster who wrote (note: i don't really agree with it but it does sum up the sentiment really well):

      "Fedora is unstable testbed material for RedHat to use folk as guinea pigs, certainly not suitable for corporate use. Fine for personal web server use or perhaps coloc OS for small business that have geeks with time on their hands, if the occasional kinks and hiccups aren't too annoying. "

      If one does not want to spend money on RHEL, and is told
  • Directory Server (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IMightB ( 533307 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:02PM (#15859365) Journal
    Hi, I've been using Fedora Directory Server for quite a while, and it is a fantastic product. I read some rumours that it would be Integrated with FC5, but sadly it was not. When can we expect this to be a standard feature/integrated with authentication and other areas in Fedora? Thanks, Brian
  • The report of my death was an exageration -- Mark Twain

    I know that the the Ubuntu numbers that are usually reported are silly, because they are based on Distrowatch [distrowatch.com], which as 10 year Linux user, was a site I had never been to before questioning the Ubuntu installation numbers, and being refered there.

    I also know that you have no interest in getting into a "measuring" contest -- because fedora is not about that. BUT if it were about that -- what do you think is a good way to measure "popularity" of a dist

  • .rpms and the LSB (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:09PM (#15859405)
    While the Linux Standard Base advocates the use of .rpm packages, what steps are you using to help other distributions use .rpm packages? What are your thoughts about setting up "universal" repositories that are accessible from different distribution architectures? (A single repo that can be used by suse, redhat, and debian systems). What are you doing to go towards that goal?
  • filesystem support (Score:2, Interesting)

    by QuesarVII ( 904243 )
    Why is ext3 still the only filesystem available during installation? Practically every other distro is using reiserfs by default, and allowing whichever one you choose. Why does Fedora only permit ext3?
  • Dependency hell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tet ( 2721 ) <slashdot@astradyn[ ]o.uk ['e.c' in gap]> on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:12PM (#15859434) Homepage Journal
    The introduction of yum has vastly improved the user experience when installing software, or updating existing packages. However, it's brought with it a new kind of dependency hell. For example, if I want to install a PostScript previewer:

    % yum install evince
    evince x86_64 0.5.1-3 core 773 k
    Installing for dependencies:
    nautilus x86_64 2.14.1-1.fc5.1 updates-released 3.9 M
    nautilus-cd-burner x86_64 2.14.2-1 updates-released 414 k

    That's clearly wrong. I only want to install a PostScript previewer. Doing so should not require a filemanager (which I don't need or want), and certainly not a CD burner. But these are added as dependencies due to the clumsy packaging that seems to be increasingly prevalent in Fedora. Perhaps (and I remain unconvinced) there's some aspect of evince that can make use of nautilus being present. But if so, I haven't seen it. I could well believe that nautilus could make use of evince, but not really the other way around. But assume for the sake of argument that it can use nautilus. That still isn't a reason to have it depend on it. Dependencies should be packages that are required in order for another to run, not packages that will merely enable additional functionality. In this case -- the prime function of evince is to view documents, which isn't significantly enhanced by having a file browser present.

    Fedora is still my distribution of choice, but it's becoming increasingly hard to use for those of us that prefer to run with a minimal system due to the way that the dependencies have been getting out of hand. Are there any plans to fix this, or is any work already underway to do so? I understand that some consideration has been given to providing "soft dependencies" within RPM (like dpkg's suggested dependencies), which would help. Is there a timeframe for this? Is anything else being done?

    I quite understand the focus on getting the system to be usable for the average unskilled user. But the impression I'm getting is that it's being done at the expense of letting those of us that know what we're doing do what we want. Does Fedora have a position on the type of users it's aiming for, or is it still trying to be a general purpose OS?

    • You've hit a key issue: the niggling little dependencies on things like nautilus by many other core packages, or the X libraries to use emacs, helps create a dependency problem. Similarly, the dependencies on MySQL and PostgreSQL and SQLite by software like bugzilla that can use any of the 3 databases force installation of all of them. Nautilus is one of the worst, since there's no graceful way to disable it entirely and prevent a software update from restoring its use, and it tends to be a real CPU sink. R
    • Re:Dependency hell (Score:2, Informative)

      by bamb8s ( 766268 )

      Perhaps (and I remain unconvinced) there's some aspect of evince that can make use of nautilus being present. But if so, I haven't seen it. I could well believe that nautilus could make use of evince, but not really the other way around. But assume for the sake of argument that it can use nautilus. That still isn't a reason to have it depend on it.

      I can see why evince depends on nautilus:

      $ rpm -ql evince |grep nautilus
      /usr/lib/nautilus/extensions-1.0/libevin ce-properties-page.so

      This is a case where

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The problem isn't with their packaging system in any way. The problem is with evince; due to its bloated nature and attempt to be a viewer for every type of image file imaginable, it does in fact depend on Nautilus and other packages that would appear to be unrelated. Basically, Red Hat has no choice but to offer such dependencies, as that is what the software demands.

      If you want only a PDF or PS viewer, then try something like Ghostscript/GSView, or xpdf. Even the display program of ImageMagick might be su
  • WIFI (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nitsew ( 991812 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:12PM (#15859435)
    After all these years, the huge improvements to Linux in general, why is it still so hard to get an off the shelf PCI wireless card going? Are you guys making any improvements there?
    • It's very frustraiting, however it's the fault of the card manufacturers. If they would release specs, there would be excellent drivers available for those cards. As it is now, though, as Linux users we just have to be extremely careful when buying WiFi cards.
  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:13PM (#15859443)
    What differentiates Fedora from all the other Linux distros? Who's your target demographic?

  • What brand of air freshener do you use? Do you like incense? Have you ever experienced Febreze scentstories?
  • I mostly work with installer and kernel issues. FC5 was pretty buggy. I already had one customer ask me why FC5 hangs during install. I told him that if he was using the text mode install that sometimes hangs so he should use the graphical install. Otherwise he should just use FC4 or Centos.

    It's like every 6 months a new installer is released and you hope all the bugs from the last one are fixed. Sometimes they are but now a whole new lot of bugs are introduced and you have to wait 6 months only to be
  • by crush ( 19364 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:18PM (#15859480)
    A lot of people seem to believe that FC is just an unstable testing ground for RH Enterprise Linux. This ignores the existence of the truly unstable, baby-eating "Rawhide" development series and the fact that there is support for any FC(n) up to the release of FC(n+2). Do you think there's any truth to it though?
  • mass end user appeal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 0xABADC0DA ( 867955 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:26PM (#15859542)
    I have a suggestion instead. Red Hat should want Fedora to be a runaway hit like Firefox, not just another linux disto. Firefox is a hit because in addition to having features users want, it is easy to install, simple, and cool. My suggestion is for Red Hat to create a distribution that runs easily on Windows. As in click the button and it runs. Here's how you can do it:

    1) A pre-built image file on C:\ that will be the linux hard drive.
    2) A .exe program that loads a windows driver that syncs the disks and replaces the NT kernel with Linux kernel.
    3) When run, this kernel boots off the image on NTFS.

    I know this can be done with existing technology (or at least the hard parts are already working). The NTFS driver can write to an existing file if the size does not change. Linux kernel can init on an already powered up machine and reset the hardware. I know Red Hat does a lot of kernel work and other developement, so I know you guys capable of doing this very quickly.

    This gives the vast majority of users a way to download linux like any other program, run it without rebooting into some scary 'repartition' software, and still get the full benefit and experience of linux. In fact, immediately after downloading they just click the program and say "Yes" to "Shutdown Windows and start Linux?" and 20 seconds later they are in a Fedora core system. If they like it, they can install a normal Fedora directly onto the system. If they don't like it, just delete the image file.

    My question is, will you at least consider doing this? Something like this would be huge for linux adoption and therefore Red Hat mindshare.
    • A bootable OS image for VMWare to use from Windows would be vastly, vastly simpler, and eliminate about 5 yeasrs of design work that will be broken by the next Windows operating system anyway.

      But a base OS image or tarball, instead of the adventures of negotiating the RPM installers at base installation time, would simplify and speed the process a lot. Having just enough there to allow RPM to function and talk to local or remote repositories would ease installation and update: this approach has been used by
      • What is this 5 years of design work you mention? The pieces are all there. If they really wanted to Red Hat could put an initial (pre-alpha) version together in a week.

        With VMware you get a pretty bad linux experience, and especially with Fedora Core where vmware actually has to interpret a lot of the code because of the virtual memory space FC uses. I've actually been able to watch the terminal redraw individual lines. You get poor disk performance, not much hardware acceleration for graphics, etc.
        • You're talking about physically replacing the *LIVE* NT Kernel with a Linux kernel, or at least that looks like what you wrote. I challenge you to produce a single instance of anyone actually managing this: Wine and VMWare and Crossover office use a fundamentally different approach, where the existing NT kernel runs an emulator inside with a Linux kernel and file system are accessed and providing a layer to reach from that kernel back out into the NT graphics, input devices, and hard drive links.
          • from xconfig:

            kexec system call

            kexec is a system call the implements the ability to shutdown your current kernel, and to start another kernel. It is like a reboot but it is independent of the system firmware. And like a reboot you can start any kernel with it, not just Linux.

            Geez, how hard can this be? Disable interrupts, write a new page table, jump to new kernel. It's 28k of Linux code, and that is more complicated that need be since for Windows you only care about x86 versus linux that works on many a

  • Goals (Score:5, Insightful)

    by redkazuo ( 977330 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:30PM (#15859562)
    While Ubuntu has a clear, selfless mission, it seems to me the Fedora project misses this. I'm sure while Fedora was still within Red Hat, its mission was simply commercial. "It must be good so we can make money." That mission no longer applies, and http://fedora.redhat.com/About/ [redhat.com] almost sounds like Fedora is just a rejected part of Red Hat, left Free so that they could attempt to profit from community contributions.

    Is there an objective in the Fedora Project? One that is clear and may motivate developers to join? Or is it here really just to reduce costs for the Red Hat team?
  • by ettlz ( 639203 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:31PM (#15859566) Journal
    Fedora has a very strong sense of purity in keeping its distro Free, and I like this (no, I don't mind having to visit Livna for MP3, etc.). Further to the goal of a completely Free system, can we expect to see the Fedora project becoming more vocal about Free drivers, and standing besides our neighbours in the OpenBSD community (amongst others) in pressuring hardware providers for open specifications?
  • by stonewolf ( 234392 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:33PM (#15859585) Homepage
    I will admit that I have a chip on my shoulder. I was a happy user of Redhat. I loved it. It was reasonably priced, it gave me a reliable way to maintain my OS and it just worked. I chose RedHat after testing several other commercial versions of Linux. I had a whole shelf full of boxed Linux distros before I finally settled on RedHat. I was a real fan and a strong supporter. I bought your boxed products and paid a subscription fee for support. I was the kind of customer I would love to have.

    Shortly after I had paid the one year subscription fee for your support network your company sent me an email that basically said, we don't want your business, and oh bye the way, we are keeping your money and cutting off the service you just paid for. Your idea of compensation was to offer me a discount on the same product at a much higher price. In other words, you robbed me and then tried to extort even more money from me. You are nothing but thieves. Even Microsoft has never actually taken my money and given me nothing in return.

    After that experience I was forced to waste time seeking a new distribution and converting all my computers. The time cost to do that was much greater than the dollar value of the service fees you stole from me. If you count my lost time and revenue I am out several thousand dollars because of you. So, you might say I am a little bit biased against your company. I wouldn't actually spit on you if I were to meet you face to face, but I would like to.

    OTOH, I found Debian and found that I had been paying RedHat for something I can get for free from Debian. Recently I converted my desktops and laptops to Ubuntu, an even better solution than Debian, and again for free.

    So, considering that there are better versions of Linux available from honest organizations, organizations who have never robbed their customers, I have to ask WHY DO YOU MATTER. Aside from suckering stupid big companies into over paying for your software, what service do you provide that is even worth the time to read about?

    • psst: fedora is free, and it isn't Redhat.

      I have a question for you though, just how many trucks does it take to carry all that emotional baggage around?
      • Fedora is unstable testbed material for RedHat to use folk as guinea pigs, certainly not suitable for corporate use. Fine for personal web server use or perhaps coloc OS for small business that have geeks with time on their hands, if the occasional kinks and hiccups aren't too annoying.

        RedHat did cheat people out of their money as GP poster has said. Why do business with a company that cheats people? Why call a legitimate complaint about such a thing "emotional baggage"?
        • Because this discussion isn't about Redhat, it's about Fedora. This isn't the time or place to rant about how much you hate Redhat. Anyone willing to type all that on this forum under these circumstances has emotional baggage, plain and simple.
    • Aside from suckering stupid big companies into over paying for your software,

      You are right that RedHat gave the little guy the shaft a while back. However, for big biz you answered your own question, RedHat does provide responsive support and datacenter-level management tools (however good or bad) to big business that pays RedHat the big bucks. Ubuntu does not. So most Big biz won't touch Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Slackware, etc.etc.; they won't matter to big biz
    • Aside from suckering stupid big companies into over paying for your software

      If the chips on your shoulder weren't already obvious, this comment lets us all relax.

      I work as a cosultant for several stupid big companies who are installing Linux to replace [NAME YOUR OS HERE].

      Not one of them considers their decisions stupid.
      Not one of them considers themselves ripped off.

      The service provided by Red Hat is excellent. Good enough that HP and IBM (among others) resell the products and try to do their own support.
    • Since other people have chimed in calling you a whiner I figure I might as well chime in stating that I share your experience.

      I'm another small user who was using Red Hat and paying for Red Hat when they decided to leave us out in the cold. I didn't want to switch from stable RH to unstable Fedora so I switched distributions which required some effort.

      That's it: just the facts. People can call it whining if they want but once a company burns you it's very difficult to ever consider a product by that c

  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <jmorris@NOSPAM.beau.org> on Monday August 07, 2006 @12:49PM (#15859705)
    I suspect the major reason the word "Ubuntu" is on everyone's lips these days is they are the last piece in a complete stack. Debian has always had the hearts and minds of a lot of serious developers but had a justified reputation as 'not for mortals.' Ubuntu completed the sequence. Unstable is where the developers live, Testing is where it settles down, Stable is for servers and now Ubuntu gives access to end users and desktop deployments. Especially with the LTS series the Debian world now offers a total end to end solution.

    Compare to RedHat's stack. Rawhide maps to unstable, only less stable. More accurate would be the Fedora Test releases compare to Unstable. Fedora roughly maps to Testing and RHEL to Stable except it is only available bundled with a service contract. It is probably safe to say few developers develop on rawhide, from what I see on the mailing lists at least, most appear to use Fedora and add some packages from Rawhide/Dag/livna/etc. For the corporate world RHEL is worth every penny, as the RedHat financial statements attest. But you guys don't have anything to offer in the vast space between the deveopers and the major site installs.

    When you dropped RHL I grabbed the RHEL source and started White Box, since joined by at least three more rebuild projects. However a new user understands none of that, only seeing Red Hat's offerings, which has nothing for them. They see Fedora Core, which has an expiration date not much longer than milk. Installing a new OS is traumatic enough, the thought of being forced to do it twice a year is right out, especially if they actually do it once and fight the war to get a working system. (drivers, media support, etc) And if they do invest the time to learn linux the Fedora way, unless they work at a site that is a candidate for RHEL there isn't any place to use that knowledge in the real world. Hint: Most of the Linux machines in production use aren't candidates for RHEL. Try selling management on a RHEL support contract that costs more ANNUALLY than an NT license for a file/print server. Critical web server, yes. Oracle server, no problem. But most places start smaller.

    Compare to Ubuntu. Most users DO know Ubuntu is Debian based. But unlike Debian, Ubuntu compromised Free Software principles enough to make it fairly easy to get a working machine. So a new user can get going fairly easy and they aren't told they MUST upgrade annually, semi-annually preferred. And once they learn, Ubuntu LTS can be used for real work and it is only a small hop to Debian for a server or Sid to participate in development.
  • I noticed that you have broken out the Server and Desktop into CentOS and Fedora.

    What are your plans for the future? Where does Fedora plan to live and how can people go from Fedora into CentOS or RHEL like you will be able to with Ubuntu?

    Also are there any Fedora initiatives for Mobile Devices? Any kind of WinCE alternative planned? You would be the best to do it as you are also involved in the OLPC project.

  • What is being done about the many needless cross-dependencies between packages?

    To use a concrete example:
    I was having problems with an update (from Rawhide) due to a missing Perl module (not yet updated) causing Spamassassin to fail to update. Now, I don't *need* SA installed on my workstation - I do the filtering at the mail server, so I tried to remove SA - only to find that Evolution *REQUIRES* SA.

    In my humble opinion, Evolution shouldn't require SA - it should *use* SA if SA is installed and otherwise g
  • Many Linux users and developers see Conary [conary.com] as the logical successor to RPM for package management. Will the Fedora Project use Conary? If so, how do you see the change to Conary taking place? If not, what reasons do you have for not wanting to use Conary?


  • One CD installs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by John Whorfin ( 19968 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @01:13PM (#15859858) Homepage
    Why can't I have a 1 CD "minimal" install? I installed FC4 with a single CD and installed what I wanted from there. Can't do that with FC5.

    And why does it install pointless crap like ISDN and Bluetooth in a "minimal" install?

    Bloat is not a feature.
  • Is it possible for you to provide, as default, the installation CD with the following functionality?
    It should ask which all data it needs to store. The user selects the data (directories/files).
    When the installation is done, in the $HOME, we should have the stored data back.

    I know the FS is different, and that we need to reformat the whole HD, but this would help the multitude of people who wants to change from Windows to Linux.
    - a lot -
  • by pulse2600 ( 625694 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @01:20PM (#15859890)
    Many people say that Linux in general will never make it to "the next level" (whatever that may mean) because the community wishes to keep Linux fully open. It is difficult to make something on the hardware level fully Linux compatiable without re-using GPLed code. This means hardware/software vendors would need to open their code on their associated drivers/software to legally make their product fully Linux compatiable. Closed source vendors see opening their code as a major threat to their business, as the openness could reveal intellectual property that their competitors could exploit to take away market share. Do you see any way that a happy medium could be reached with vendors that require their source to be closed?
  • by zogger ( 617870 )
    Could we please have a *single* CD base install? Then folks can add on whatever they wish after that point. That was the whole point of "extras", wasn't it? Downloading 5 CD Isos or a DVD makes it rather difficult for those on slower connections or who live where they get charged per minute fees for telco connections, etc. Not everyone has a multi megabyte speed/ no caps limit for their net connection. And it is more than possible to have a robust decent full install on one CD, many other distros have prove
  • Driver issues (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @02:08PM (#15860204)
    Fedora Core 4 shipped with a broken pwc driver. OK fine, there was a lot of controversy about the open source driver at the time. Fedora 5 again shipped with a broken pwc driver even though currently shipping kernels come with the new one. When I say "broken" I don't mean that it's lacking the part that used to be proprietary, I mean it just doens't work. FC5 also shipped with a broken kernel because someone applied a late patch that IMHO really didn't belong in there. The kernel didn't work with nVidia drivers (and others) and some blamed the drivers when in fact it was a Fedora specific patch that caused the breakage. It took several releases of kernel before everyone seemed happy (other stuff broke with each release). The policy on other packages is that all work should be done upstream, yet Fedora seems to be letting a few guys fiddle around with the kernel and drivers at will. Having to update a fresh install to make it work right is unacceptable.

    So the questions: What is Fedora doing to improve the quality of the kernels and drivers? What is the purpose of all the tweaking? Some folks use stock kernels with Fedora, why all the messing around?

  • RHEL vs RH9 vs FC3-5 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stry_cat ( 558859 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:01PM (#15860592) Journal
    What kind of danger do you see in RHEL clones to FC's market? I use RHEL at work and it is by far the best OS I've ever seen. At home I use FC and in spite of your claims it just doesn't measure up. I've started looking into whitebox and CentOS for home use. What are the reasons why I should stay with FC and not switch to a RHEL clone? Also what is being done to make FC more stable, robust, and feature-rich like RHEL?

  • Vendor Support (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jarrettwold2002 ( 601633 ) on Monday August 07, 2006 @03:06PM (#15860626)
    What Linux needs most is hardware vendor support. When are we going to start more weight thrown behind that?

    Ultimately, who has the pull to get it done?

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.