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    Minor nitpick about the title: Kurtzer started “CAOS Linux”, on which CentOS was based. Notably, he’s not the guy who started CentOS and then vanished, almost taking the centos.org domain name and PayPal account with him (I’d be a little bit wary if it was the same guy).

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      An interesting take on this was brought up in the latetst Linux Unplugged podcast episode.

      RedHat apparently has a program in the offing that will make RHEL itself free for a LOT more use cases, but apparently they botched the timing as that announcement was supposed to come before this one but didn’t.

      IMO the RedHat ecosystem’s loss is Debian/Ubuntu’s gain. Sure, people would need to retool, but there’s going to be some work involved for current CentOS shops anyway.

      Gonna be interesting to watch.

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        All the people bikeshedding the name in the issue tracker made me roll my eyes so hard I fell over. yikes.

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          I like where the name “Rocky” actually came from. It’s a tribute to one of the other original cofounders of CentOS, now deceased.

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          is there more than a README? Sounds like vaporware to me.

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            This is a consequence of IBM/RedHat killing CentOS, breaking the promise of LTS through 2029. This incident has thrown many operations teams into chaos, as CentOS is really popular in the business world due precisely to the LTS promise.

            Humor take: https://centos.rip/

            It really puts into question the ethics of some corporations. I’ll personally remember this and avoid any dealings with IBM in the future.

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              It really puts into question the ethics of some corporations.

              I am not defending RedHat or IBM, but this deserves a comment: If someone gives you something for free and then he stops giving, it can not be classified as unethical or hostile.

              Those companies and teams who enjoyed the „LTS support“ of CentOS for free, cut their costs thanks to someone else paying the bills. This is perfectly OK as long as all parties involved agree. If the party who pays quits or this magical free resource just disappears, you can not claim anything.

              If you want a reliable support, you have to pay. Different question is whether you would pay IBM/RedHat or someone else. But it is very rare to get the support for free (that is possible temporarily or as a side effect of something else).

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                I appreciate the sentiment but:

                1. RedHat didn’t just give something for free – they gave it with a promise that this agreement will hold for a particular period of time. This is unethical in the same way that it’s unethical to volunteer for something and not show up. The fact that you didn’t ask for money for the thing that you promised to do in the first place doesn’t make it okay when you don’t do it.

                2. Most of what RedHat gives out for free isn’t specifically theirs to give, it’s based on work from volunteers all over the world, which they package and sell support for. Yes, some of it is developed by Red Hat, but certainly not all of it – and even the parts that are developed by Red Hat are specifically open-licensed. If “available to everyone” is a problem for Red Hat, making people jump through more hoops to get them is not just inefficient, it’s completely unnecessary. They can always move to proprietary licensing and not give anything out for free to those pesky leechers. Let’s see how well that goes.

                3. Last, but not least: CentOS isn’t just Red Hat’s charity. There are plenty of companies out there that can afford RHEL but don’t need what Red Hat is selling for the price of subscription. Red Hat still reaps benefits from them though – from exposure to testing and from bug reports to the userbase that keeps them relevant. It’s not a one-way street.

                This is way more complex than “company gave out their product for free, now isn’t giving it for free anymore” – they didn’t just give it in the charitable way, it’s not just their product, most of the software is freely-licensed are just some of the nuances behind this.

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                  1. The promise is a iittle troubling. If I was still running CentOS I would definitely be asking tough questions of the CentOS team about what their plans were for the rest of CentOS8. They have all the infrastructure for rebuilding the updated Redhat packages into CentOS, and it would seem to be a waste to throw that away and not use it anymore. Having said that, if they do not want to support CentOS anymore and you were relying on CentOS support in the future, what remedies can you ask of them? You got it for free, with clauses in the license that specifically state there was no warranty implied. If the CentOS developers do not or cannot maintain CentOS, there’s not much else they can do Are you going to somehow force them to keep doing a job that they don’t want to do? How would you achieve that?

                  2. All of what Redhat gives out for free is specifically their’s to give. They have received a license from each developer to modify and distribute the source code, and that is exactly what they do. Even the GPL and the AGPL do not require you to redistribute binaries. The source code is available to everyone, without jumping through any hoops. The added value from CentOS, which they were giving away for free, was the fact that the binaries were, as close to identical (even down to weird bugs) as the RHEL binaries as they could possibly get. This took months of unpaid work to achieve, and gave away the result of all that labor. They have decided to stop doing that.

                  3. If your theory is true, people will very quickly move into fill that niche. Possibly giving the result away for free, or possibly charging for the binaries under different terms. Site-wide licensing, or cheaper pricing, or some other way of supporting themselves to continue doing their work. CentOS was never a redhat charity, they were never more than a group of people that did work for free. This, after nearly 20 years of doing that work, finally became unsustainable. If they had decided to charge for CentOS binaries in the same way as RHEL, would you be less mad?

                  You’re absolutely right that this is way more complex than “company gave out their product for free, now isn’t giving it for free anymore” , but you’re not right in the fact that it was in any way “not their product to give” CentOS was their product, and many people found value in exactly that product, but they never asked for anything in return.

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                I see a lot of cursing about IBM in relation to this story, but IBM-in-the-large, outside of Red Hat had nothing to do with it. Source: https://twitter.com/rbowen/status/1336701110162231296

                Disclaimer: I am a redhat employee, although not in this area, and I knew and know nothing else about this story than what’s public.

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                  Every action Red Hat takes is within parameters set by IBM, and often done by people appointed by IBM. Whether IBM had foreknowledge of this announcement at this particular time, they had plenty to do with it.

                  That said, I don’t see the point in attacking IBM as if there is some competitor that would act better.

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                    Every action Red Hat takes is within parameters set by IBM, and often done by people appointed by IBM.

                    that really needs some citation to back it up. Who have IBM appointed into redhat?

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                      IBM owns Red Hat so it shouldn’t be surprising. The current CEO of Red Hat was appointed after the acquisition, so that’s one example.

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                        Bad example: The current redhat CEO was the former President of products and technologies. It was an internal appointment. Meanwhile, the former CEO of redhat is now president of IBM.

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                          I thought the parent company decided the CEO of the subsidiary

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                            Hmm. That may be the case. I don’t know. Did they do it before Jim became president (ie red Hat started colonising IBM) or after?

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                              Not sure; either way the leadership of IBM and Red Hat is appointed by the IBM board of directors. If they pick someone from within Red Hat, it is still IBM making the decision. It’s not like Red Hat is employee owned with managers elected by the employees.

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                                This is lobsters and I think you deserve a more full response than I can manage on my phone. I’m putting this here as a placeholder so I can come back and respond properly and thoughtfully with a keyboard on Monday.

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                  by far the worst thing IBM has ever done.

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                  I wish them good luck but having seen the hassles and grief the CentOS project went through before they were swallowed up by RedHat, I wouldn’t want to attempt anything like that.

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                    What kind of hassles?

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                      the hassles are kind of two-fold:

                      1. Reverse engineering the environment that Redhat used to build the packages. RPMs don’t contain that information, and Redhat make no effort to make the packages bit for bit reproducible, so the compiler toolchain and the kernel version and all of the build tools have to be guessed at. All of that is hard to do and requires a lot of trial and error, and for CentOS 6 or 7 it took them like 6 months to get something that was close to what Redhat released

                      2. The entitlement of their users, which is on full display right now. For a long time they all had day jobs and were doing this for free, and for this they endured a daily torrent of abuse on IRC for giving something away that was obviously of tremendous value to the users, and asked for nothing in return.

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                        Ah so they had to go through the reverse engineering process for each different release? Was there a similar struggle with CentOS 8?

                        This also makes me wonder how CentOS came under the control of Red Hat in the first place. Presumably they were independent when they were making CentOS 6 and 7 with no help from Red Hat?

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                          Yep, even point releases, some of those took months too. CentOS 7 was released around the time that they merged with Redhat, but I don’t think the process became that much easier, even after the Redhat time hired the CentOS developers. They were different units, and probably RHEL didn’t want to spend a bunch of time describing their build infrastructure. They were entirely independent before 6 and 7. The wikipedia article gives a good brief overview and a ton of references.

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                    Yet another reason why letting companies have any influence over your FOSS work is a really bad idea.