Red Hat battle, what does it mean?

So what do you all think of the Red Hat issues going on? How will this affect other distros? I know that we have Alma and Rocky people in the community. Just wondering how they will be affected and what is their opinion.

Also @geerlingguy has spoken about this on Twitter and just posted a video about it.

BTW if you haven’t read the long series on “enshitification”, here is the Wired article and the On the Media podcast about it. And yes you are correct, eBay, Uber, Facebook, TikTok, etc have gotten worse since you first used it. (Let’s be honest, twitter was never good :slight_smile: )


I think that most of people overreact.


I’m reminded of XKCD’s 2347 on Dependency…



I also think there is some overreaction, although I can understand it. I think this is the 8th generation of “Red Hat turns on their community” that I can remember, after Red Hat Linux → RHEL (pre Fedora), the launch of Fedora, the trademark dispute over CentOS, modifying how RHEL kernel sources are packaged, the “acquisition” of the CentOS project, limiting virtualization functionality in the RHEL kernel, the move to CentOS Streams, and now this one.

I actually think CentOS Streams is a pretty good distribution! Is it a rebuild of RHEL? No. But is it a stable distribution that you can run mission-critical workloads on? I think probably yes.


Personally I think IBM Red Hat made another bad move, that in the long-term will reduce their market share. From experience the folks that use a Red Hat clone are not the folks that will pay for Red Hat. But the same folks use Red Hat at work, and recommend it when you need support. These folks will move, and stop recommending Red Hat.

Centos is no-longer a stable distro, at least after Red Hat killed it after 8.3. At least for business production workloads that need a stable OS for 10 years.

Centos might be OK for a lab, but you will always be playing whack-a-mole as new versions of components get added and break things. Already seeing that with Redis.

I admit I was pretty hot and bothered when I first heard the news (and the video was mostly my raw reaction, bottled up into a few reasoned arguments).

I had planned on only posting a blog post about it (I still consider Red Hat’s move to be dumb, throwing the baby out with the bathwater), but then the reactions I saw from RH employees (especially over on LinkedIn, spreading marketing BS meant to placate all of the CentOS community) convinced me to make a video about it.

But in the end, Red Hat is legally in the clear (as far as I can tell). It’s just, as @dneary said, another community-killing transition for them.

If their company weren’t marketed as ‘the open source’ one, and they didn’t say they’re all about community, it wouldn’t sting so much when they make decisions that harm the open source / community side, even if it’s within their right and will protect their profits and jobs.

I am stunned about the community part. What you are legally allowed to do and what you should do are two different things. When you build your brand on community and open source, you really need to honor that and if you don’t, then well you get the mess that is happening now. Will someone who advocated RHEL to their company be supportive? Or will they feel cheated by RH and try something else?

In the past, it seemed that people would use CentOS or really any Linux distro as a test bed, but their company would need some type of support. Someone you can call when something goes wrong, so the engineer would recommend RH. Well supported, large community, widely used, and I (the engineer) get to use Linux.

Is that going to happen now? People don’t want to change, so their current install base is probably pretty safe. But will they get new clients? People who write the checks (VPs) usually don’t force something on their engineers, especially when they really don’t care what their engineers are using, as long as it meets basic needs (secure, support, etc.) So if their engineers are mad at RH, will they recommend it? Push for it?

This is just going to be another example of how not to treat your community. Instead be honest to your community, treat them well, and support them. And always remember, it is their community!

Good lesson to learn from as a Dev Rel/community manager :slight_smile:

I’d say, as I said elsewhere, that it’s important to consider which communities are important to Red Hat in this case. Certainly the communities they participate in. The communities that they enable directly, like Ceph, Fedora, oVirt, CentOS Streams, and others - also important. Do they see value in the AlmaLinux or Rocky Linux communities? No.

I am a bit late to this discussion but it was a bit of a surprise when I saw this announcement. I agree with the sentiment here, RH always held a special place in my heart because my very first Linux distro and experience with Linux was RH 4.2. This familiarity also lead me to voting for RHEL to be used in an Enterprise setting to replace AIX Unix at least once.

Nowadays there seems to be a wider familiarity with Ubuntu especially with newer Linux users and this move will result in less advocacy and could definitely turn into a negative feedback loop in the long term.

For many startups bootstrapping this would also be a deal breaker. Perhaps the plan is to make RHEL something for the Enterprise software market only like making it the new AIX Unix.

So true! Mind if I reuse the graphic?