[CentOS-devel] https://blog.centos.org/2020/12/future-is-centos-stream/

Thu Dec 10 18:24:48 UTC 2020
Ljubomir Ljubojevic <centos at plnet.rs>

On 12/10/20 1:19 PM, Josh Boyer wrote:
> It would be disingenuous to say Stream won't have bugs.  All software
> development has bugs.  However, the "development and testing" part
> actually extends to the development and testing of the software *you*
> are developing.  Stream exists as a base for you to do your own
> development and testing.

What is with you Red Hat people and "developers"? Do you really live in
a fairy-tale world where every Linux user is a "developer"?

All my ranting I am to commit will be explained at the end of the rant.

I started as simple Windows admin and Delphi programmer that in 2004
became small WISP and needed Firewall/router/Web&Mail server. So I
installed ClarkConnect 4 and had to learn iptables to overcome CC's web
config. In 2007 I started experimenting with standalone Linux system and
in 2008 installed C5 web/mail/NFS/Samba server and Desktop systems and
was forced to learn how to use them and configure them.

Then I learned how to harden Postfix, how to install and maintain Joomla
and webshop, then I started learning programming in BASH with ncurses
and multidimensional arrays to create TUI script to manage my Wireless
routers (ping, trace, backup, login,...).

Then I needed another server but because I did not have enough money I
ended up creating KVM host/guest, but because my only server was 32-bit
and RHEL dropped support for 32-bit KVM hosts, I studied and learned
from internet how to build KVM kmod module for 32-bit CPU/kernel (some
Hungarian? guy in CentOS community explained it in detail). Everything I
learned was when I NEEDED it, and I did it all by my self.

After building KVM module and learning how to compile/package rpm's, I
decided to rebuild some packages from Fedora to have more tools for my
Desktop CentOS 5. I ended up producing around 70 packages including
packaging Skype with static libraries into rpm. I was only person in the
world to do it, and since almost no one used CentOS 5 as Desktop/laptop,
only few people used it. I ended up creating "DentOS" repository with
those Desktop packages which mostly only I installed to friends and
clients. And my clients were not rich (I am from Serbia and legal
software in companies is even today only 30-40%) so even getting them to
but a PC for RAID file server needed persuading.
I was one of rare ones to create RAID out of partitions and not disks.
Why? Because I needed

Then I needed to learn some PHP and Python, so I did. I was one of very
rare ISP's in my country to provide sending mail via port 587 (with SSL)
because largest ISP's allowed sending e-mail for accounts on their mail
servers only from inside their own networks and only on port 25. I was
shocked to learn of that, but I was pushing the envelope just like I was
only one in Serbian Linux community to use CentOS for Desktop/laptop.

So even though I was actively preaching about bigger CentOS use to
everyone who wanted to listen, and I created largest resources and
howto's collection (I became admin of the official CentOS Facebook group
in 2011 and ever since published there resources and articles) and I
daily solved problems for newbies, beside using it my self as desktop, I
rarely built Linux systems and only involvement was "yum update" and
some "spring cleaning" on few servers I managed.

So in last 10 years I installed only some 4-5 CentOS servers (Samba +
KVM host with legal Windows guest), if I do not count several CentOS
systems for my own use, mostly Laptops for me. And THAT IS IT, no grand
scheme, no dozens or hundreds of servers, no big development projects,
no University diploma, just a guy fixing Windows PC's in small IT shop
for small number of clients and installing WISP clients.
At the moment I am System Admin in a 60-employee company with 50 Windows
PC's and 3 FreeNAS/TrueNAS file servers, and the only Linux is my laptop
running CentOS 8 with MATE.

Now the punchline: MOST CentOS users are like that. Not "developers" but
small server owners or hosting renters.

I am admin for CentOS Facebook group for 9 years. I grew it from 300
members to 26.800 members. BUT what you do not realize is that vast
majority of those Facebook users when they joined our group or "Linux"
FB group, where I was one of the admins in ~2010-2015 and advocated
CentOS like a biggest zealot, only heard that Linux exist and wanted to
learn something. They rented some hosting or Linux VM and needed to
learn basics. Only maybe 20-30 members (out of 26.800 + all those that
over 9 years left the group or closed the FB account) were established
Linux users.

When we explain them that there are no audio/video codecs due to legal
restrictions, that kernel is backported and adding some module is not
possible if they compile vanila kernel because it brakes the kABI, that
they need to install centosplus kernel because driver they needed RHEL
does not want to support, that CentOS tools for development are too old
because of version freeze, that they need to install several 3rd party
repositories to make their server work, they then asks us "but why would
we use CentOS instead of Debian, Ubuntu, SUSE...?"
And every single time the response was "Because Red Hat is great company
that created great and very stable product and CentOS is almost total
clone of RHEL, and when they learn how to manage CentOS they can go for
RH Linux certification. And that is it, for them CentOS does not have
any other competitive edge over other Linuxes beside "99% clone of
RHEL". SELinux was more of the repelling point, vast majority would just
turn it off when they read first Howto on the internet, and great
efforts went to lpleading with them to try to learn SELinux.

So the fact that there are 1.000 guys that do developing on CentOS does
not mean that majority of CentOS users are "developers", on the
contrary, vast majority of servers running CentOS, especially rented
VM's are run/controlled by guys like me whose main job is not to manged
Linux servers, that is only a side job and many only barely understand
what they are doing. They installed the system, configured it via some
tutorial, and left it running.

"First step in solving a problem is realizing there IS a problem.".
Your first problem is that you do not understand VAST majority of your
users just want Linux server to run their small business they do not
have to pay for. And there is no free RHEL license for us with no money
and need for Linux server.
Your second problem is that main "selling" point for them to use CentOS
was "free clone", and only reason they were "sold" that mantra was
because us zealots worked very hard to convince them to chose CentOS
over other distro's. And we are NOT going to stake OUR credibility to
support your illusions of grandeur that CentOS Stream with packages 3-6
months ahead of current RHEL will be stable enough to not cause THEM any
problems (including paid-for software like CPanel, Virtualmin, and many
others people run on servers).

Third problem you have is that while hosting vendors WILL stop offering
"CentOS Linux 8" to renters, just like you wanted, they will NOT stake
THEIR reputation and pay THEIR support staff for EVERY incident/crash
YOUR Stream will cause to THEIR customers. They will continue to offer
C7 until 2024 and their EL8 offering will be just switched to ANOTHER
clone of RHEL. Since Red Hat is OBLIGATED to publish source code, clones
like Springdale and new ones WILL CONTINUE to be built and offered.

But now, due to greed of your employers, all of us from EL (Enterprise
Linux) community who were loyal to "RHEL clone" known as "CentOS Linux"
are going to LEAVE. As soon as I can I will run a Springdale Linux VM to
check things out, and as soon as I am satisfied with it I will then
change every single CentOS server I have to Springdale.

NEVER again will I install a system with CentOS brand, and since no one
I know has the money to buy the RHEL license, I will never be in
position to offer it to someone, luckily.
And I doubt those in the position to recommend some Linux system with
subscription are going to recommend RHEL to anyone EVER again after your
(Red Hat's) stupid stunt.

So feel free to live in your little "developer" fantasy before it comes
crashing down when mass exodus occurs, and I will focus on some damage
control and try to redirect those leaving CentOS for other distro's to
Springdale, so that EL community is damaged as little as possible.

Ljubomir Ljubojevic
(Love is in the Air)
PL Computers
Serbia, Europe

StarOS, Mikrotik and CentOS/RHEL/Linux consultant