Why does this keep surprising People?

Story: TLWIR Special: The Amazing Philosophy of Red HatTotal Replies: 4
Author Content

Aug 03, 2012
12:02 AM EDT
Repeat after me: Red Hat and CentOs do not compete and they never have. RHEL and CentOs complement each other. Say you are a largish company with a lot of Linux expertise. That shop will likely run CentOs or another clone like Scientific Linux like we do. Then say that same company has a satellite operation with less Linux expertise. The way to go there is a RHEL support contract. The only difference in the OS at each location are some trademarks which don't matter. Red Hat figured this out a long time ago. Eventually the media might as well.

Aug 03, 2012
11:49 AM EDT
I'm using Scientific to study for the RHCSA & RHCE exams,... Nice distro. I'm not partial to RPM distros, generally,... but Scientific is relatively painless.

Aug 03, 2012
5:01 PM EDT
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Red Hat must be very flattered, indeed.

Aug 03, 2012
6:53 PM EDT
NOTE: I am a CentOS Developer, so keep that in mind when reading my post :D

There are a segment of users who will choose free (as in $0.00 cost) Linux for their environments. Some of these people want cutting edge Linux, others what a stable Enterprise version. If CentOS did not exist, the majority of those people would be using Ubuntu or Debian for Enterprise level Linux. If that happens it does not ever benefit Red Hat. On the other hand, if they use CentOS, it does several things for Red Hat.

1. It gets those people familiar with the Red Hat code base. If they ever need an SLA supported OS in the future, they will use Red Hat. If those people were using Debian or Ubuntu instead, Red Hat has no method to ever monetize anything they do.

2. It tests Red Hat's code base on machines that are not supported and Red Hat gets feedback on their bugs database. They do not have to fix the issues, but they can if they choose to. CentOS users and CentOS developers provide bugfix code to Red Hat via their bugzilla all the time.

3. Several projects that make Red Hat money now started out being developed on CentOS and then Red Hat monetized them. The latest example is GlusterFS ... which is now owned by Red Hat and is being sold by them. Without CentOS, this does not exist. Another thing that adds value to RHEL is the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository. Without the demand created by CentOS, that repository would not exist. Initially, developers used CentOS for creating those packages.

4. Red Hat has an Extended Support period that lasts for 3 years after the normal 10 year period .. CentOS does not have that and any customers who still need that code base must come to Red Hat for it at that time. See this announcement:


If people need SLA support, CentOS highly recommends Red Hat to anyone who asks. It is in CentOS's best interest for a very vibrant RHEL to exist and we want that very much.

Red Hat gains a lot because CentOS exists, that is for sure.

Some people do not know that CentOS is the 2nd most used Linux distro on the Internet:


Aug 03, 2012
9:40 PM EDT

Red Hat is also involved to some extent with the WILDLY successful Fedora, so it should come as no surprise that RH should be just as flattered with Fedora as it is with its other derivatives/relatives (CentOS, Scientific, ....etc.)


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