[CentOS] CentOS for commercial use

Sun Apr 3 21:29:37 UTC 2005
Johnny Hughes <mailing-lists at hughesjr.com>

On Sun, 2005-04-03 at 15:36 -0400, Shawn M. Jones wrote:
> Craig White wrote:
> <SNIP>
> >I think asking this means that you have a lot to learn about GPL and
> >various other F/OSS licenses and what distributions are.
> >
> >Red Hat contributes much to open source development but they have also
> >come to being and fruition by their own exploitation (not meaning in a
> >derogative way) of the open source software.
> >
> >Because it is open source, they are merely packaging that which is
> >already available to them free of charge - restricted by the licenses of
> >the software that they package.
> >
> >They are required to make the source code for their RHEL packages
> >available in a manner that is prescribed by the various licensing
> >restrictions of these packages and ultimately, they aren't really
> >selling the software itself, but rather the support, maintenance,
> >certification etc. for the software. 
> >
> >Thus if you wish to accept characterizations of others regarding the
> >usage of RHEL packaging that is your choice but it would seem that you
> >are getting what you paid for with something like CentOS - you don't get
> >support or certification...only the open source software which is
> >available for free in so many other packaged distributions.
> >
> >Just what 'major work' is it that Red Hat actually does?
> >  
> >
> Red Hat does the integration work of many different software packages.  
> Ever done Linux From Scratch?  Some things just don't work without 
> choosing versions and patching.
> Red Hat selects versions and performs patching to ensure that everything 
> works together.  From there they begin backporting security and bugfixes 
> as well as supplying their own.  And, based on the changelogs for the 
> kernel and other packages, many of the patches that Red Hat creates are 
> passed upstream for all to benefit from.
> Even though they may not write the initial F/OSS software that their 
> distribution is based on, they do perform the testing and patching that 
> is necessary for their distribution to function.  They also fund the 
> security certifications and try to ensure some projects, like SELinux, 
> get supported and implemented (I know of no other distro that has 
> SELinux policies, however limited, already in place for general use).
> So, I would say that Red Hat does perform 'major work'.  Is it as 
> 'major' as the work of the initial software developers?  That's 
> debateable and quite immaterial.  Red Hat builds their work on the work 
> of others.  CentOS builds its work on the work of Red Hat.  That's the 
> open source way.  We all produce something more (sometimes even greater) 
> with each addition and revision.

I agree that RedHat does perform a major work ... in generating the
SRPMS to build the source.  That can be very time consuming, and they do
a great job.  However, they are building source from other people with
those SRPMS and they have to release them ... that is the way the GPL
works.  They didn't write the software, and they have to release it.

I do take exception to someone saying that it is "easy" to build the
distro from RedHat's source RPMS ... because it is far from easy.

Several of the SRPMS must be modified to remove trademarks, others must
be modified to make the distro feel like CentOS and not RHEL.

Then, several of the SRPMS don't build correctly in the standard
environment, and require special switches or environment variables to
build correctly.

When building multi-lib arches, there are special setups required ...
and other such things.

If this was easy, everyone would do it ... we are currently trying to
build the ppc arch (ppc64 and ppc32).  It is not easy :)
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