The more I read the confuser I get.

David Jericho davidj at
Fri Oct 31 00:47:42 UTC 2003

Ben Russo wrote:

> I don't think RedHat's license is "hostile" in any way.  It is just 
> legaleeze.  Sure it is confusing and complex, but the GPL is too, that 
> doesn't mean it is hostile.
> This excerpt is straight from the RHAS 2.1 license:

Yes, the source that makes up RHEL is GPL. I understand that, I've been 
in the game long enough to know the difference.

What isn't GPL is the preparation and distribution of the GPLed 
software. That is, the build and process of installing a RHEL system. If 
you reread the license, you'll note the mention of "Installed Systems".

Go reread the FSF website and Stallman's comments. They can do that.[1]

> However, unlike the Red Hat Linux products before it, we will not be 
> making ISO images freely available for Advanced server. However, if you 
> are a "1337 haxx0r d00d" with "m4d ski11z" (or even a mildly interested 
> sysadmin with a year or two of Linux experience), and you want to roll 
> your own, go for it. Shadowman recommends that you might consider 
> reviewing our trademark policies 

I have actually built RHEL from the source RPMs. I even prepared a 
bootable install CD for myself using those RPMs. I have the afore 
mentioned m4d skillz. But both the replies I've seen so far are missing 
the point.

Quality Assurance.

To illustrate my point, I'll propose a scenario.

Security hole in Apache, new update to apply. Apply the RPM to the test 
box, works as per spec, so set about deploying it to a web farm.

Apache works fine on all but one machine. It's the same package, GPG 
checksums verify that, as do the md5sums. So what do I look at now? 
Libraries are fine on the system, all the numbers add up, meaning 
something else is suspect. Hardware maybe, or something more malicious?

Without having to go into phallis size wars, anyone who has been in the 
OSS world using the software for quite a number of years knows that GCC 
and the like are not perfect. Obscure quirks can happen. Things can be 
machine specific. It's rare, but random reboots, signal 11 and signal 4 
faults are not something I tolerate.

I really do want to do more with my life than chase an endless stream of 
  machine and software quirks as I have had to do with other 
distributions. My experience has shown that Red Hat and RHEL has this 
advantage over other distributions.

Part of why I feel passionately about this, is because I have to source 
a large number of 64-bit machines in the near future. I can afford the 
licensing schemes and the hardware. But I have an objection to the view 
that you're licensed to use the product, and have to continue to pay to 
use the product, rather than actually owning a copy of the product.

[1] If my understanding is way off mark, please, someone correct me and 
explain why.

David Jericho

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