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AlmaLinux Figuring Out Path Forward Following RHEL Source Code Policy Change

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  • AlmaLinux Figuring Out Path Forward Following RHEL Source Code Policy Change

    Phoronix: AlmaLinux Figuring Out Path Forward Following RHEL Source Code Policy Change

    AlmaLinux, the popular community-oriented distribution that was established following Red Hat's decision to discontinue development on CentOS (non-Stream) and is backed by AMD and other organizations, is trying to chart its path forward following Red Hat's latest curve ball...

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  • #2
    Seems to me, that now the real bastard comes out 😈

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    • #3
      Honestly sucks that these changes affect Alma Linux, but imo overall I can see why RedHat did this. Leeches like Oracle, Rocky, etc have been profiting off RedHat's labor without even giving credit for far too long. They contribute nothing back while reaping the profits themselves without encountering the bulk of the cost. While CentOS Stream now is tailored so that the people who use it also contribute back into RHEL, unlike the leeches.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Nuc!eoN View Post
        Seems to me, that now the real bastard comes out 😈
        Why exactly? As the name suggests, it's an enterprise-focused distribution, so making at least the sources paid doesn't seem like a big deal for me.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Barley9432 View Post
          Honestly sucks that these changes affect Alma Linux, but imo overall I can see why RedHat did this. Leeches like Oracle, Rocky, etc have been profiting off RedHat's labor without even giving credit for far too long. They contribute nothing back while reaping the profits themselves without encountering the bulk of the cost. While CentOS Stream now is tailored so that the people who use it also contribute back into RHEL, unlike the leeches.
          RH does profit indirectly. More people are able to learn RH. the bugs and how to solve problems.
          in the long term this means they have a bigger potential userbase.

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          • #6
            Restricting use of GPLed source code obtained through the customer portal or any other means would obviously be a violation of the GPL. However, I see no such restriction in there terms of service, the first paragraph states:

            1. Red Hat and Third Party Content

            When using the Site, you may be able to access or download certain Content provided by Red Hat ("Red Hat Content"), or Content provided by third parties ("Third Party Content"). Content is governed by the license that accompanies it. By using or downloading any Content, you agree to the applicable license.

            So it clearly states that the accompanying license is what counts. Where do they get the idea from that they can't republish the source code?

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            • #7
              Who is the real bastard in this case?

              The company that spents time, effort and costs in trying to provide as stable a Linux environment for it's partners and customers? Or the project that tries to free-load on that effort?

              I get that it is open source, but they can still get those programs and versions. The thing they don't get is the effort Redhat puts in to making it's distribution of that software.

              In all cases you might need to scratch behind you ears how sensible it is to track a commercial party's work instead one of the community distributions. As the reason someone would want something derived from those offerings is exactly what the business model is of the part providing it in the first place.

              I expect, or at least hope, that more companies that provide Linux based offerings to support other distributions. With the old CentOS and current Alma offerings targeting RHEL was providing them (indirectly) with a large target audience. But the current CentOS hardly resembles RHEL and I suspect most potential customers aren't running or even considering RHEL.

              Personally I would recommend offering CentOS stream (and indirectly support RHEL installs) and Debian (and indirectly support Ubuntu based flavours) based offerings for native packages. For the rest just provide a container based offering and be done with it (customer can use any distribution with support fort those through Docker/Podman/Kubernetes/Systemd/LXC/..).

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              • #8
                Originally posted by iq-0 View Post
                Who is the real bastard in this case?

                The company that spents time, effort and costs in trying to provide as stable a Linux environment for it's partners and customers? Or the project that tries to free-load on that effort?
                It's not so simple. Sure, there are companies that want a free rebuild of RHEL for commercial software, and pay those companies 10-100x as much for the software than a RHEL entitlement. But still, this is a huge mistake by IBM.

                True, Red Hat doesn't have to make the SRPMs public, or even available at all in an 'easy to rebuild' form, to be GPL compliant. They only have to provide the source. But what made Red Hat different was that they already made SRPMs. SuSE didn't until after Novell acquired them, but that was too late ... Red Hat had the downstream rebuilds. So ... I don't like this move by Red Hat at all.
                SIDE NOTE: I was also critical of Red Hat ending CentOS [non-Stream] 8 as well. They either should have never released CentOS 8, and only Stream 8, or supported it to term. They released both CentOS 8 and Stream 8 (again, see the aforementioned LinkedIn post)​.**

                I see this backfiring on Red Hat. I'm already seeing Fedora/EPEL maintainers orphaning packages. So if Fedora is affected, RHEL is long-term. Probably not 8, it's almost Phase 3/Maintenance-only. But definitely 9 and now 10 as it's heading towards (what used to be called) Alpha in 2024.


                **DISCLAIMER: I'm often considered a Red Hat apologist. I'm also a former red Fedora employee myself (and had a 4-digit employee number, hired directly, not acquired via acquisitions like most). I'm also a big Stream advocate (even before it was public - related post on LinkedIn), especially in the case of containers (UBI has been a total disasater for us). But what IBM pulled here, is still wrong, especially done overnight, much like the CentOS 8 shutdown.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by iq-0 View Post

                  I get that it is open source, but they can still get those programs and versions. The thing they don't get is the effort Redhat puts in to making it's distribution of that software.
                  Why not? That's one of the points of open source, being able to rebuild and redistribute it, no? It has always been argued that while of course you can sell open source software for whatever amount you want, nobody can stop someone else in just redistributing it for free. I really just see Redhat being greedy here. They can continue all the expensive subscriptions and whatever they want, but I don't see them having any right to limit others from redistributing all the free components, in identical form or otherwise.

                  While they certainly have invested a lot of money in open source, it still doesn't belong to them.

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                  • #10
                    Red Hat got bought by IBM. I was expecting this and there will be worse stuff.

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