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Today I fucking learnt that RHEL is no longer an open source operating system in the full meaning of the terms starting from 8 onward as it shifts toward being a binary only distribution.

What does this mean? Historically in RHEL you could install packages that would allow you to compile software that would use the system libraries.

Now you can't. These packages are being taken away and no longer provided.

If you wanted an operating system you could develop on or build software on well you need something other than RHEL.

The OS is now crippled. There's a bunch of things you used to be able to do where as now you have to pay for a support contract.

Comments
  • 7
    I mean, it hasn't been free since like 2005, when the branding changed from Red Hat Linux to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The direction they've always pushed people since then, who have wanted a free experience, has been upstream(Fedora) and downstream(CentOS).
  • 4
    @bahua This also effects downstream.

    The issue isn't just being free but also retreating from open source. It's often not realised that being buildable is a key requirement in open source.

    The situation is as extreme as windows 7 to 8/10.

    In some ways worse. The OS is now a lemon if you want to compile anything. If you hit just one of the missing DEPENDENCIES that they have removed then you end up having to rebuild half the entire fucking operating system.
  • 3
    So I'm sticking with CentOS7 until I find a reliable alternative 🙁
  • 1
    I am baffled however that downstream when rebuilding didn't just include the build dependencies in the process.

    It has been released for general availability but its not ready without those packages. It's incomplete.
  • 4
    Oh no, how would we have ever seen this coming with the acquisition by IBM...
  • 1
    @kescherRant

    Yeah, but what does IBM gain from this? What product would they be in a position to sell from this sudden hobbling?
  • 8
    @bahua IBM doesn't have a clue what the market wants anymore. They thing that limiting things may generate revenue from the desperate enterprises actually relying on their distro, but that sounds like it's going to backfire massively.
  • 1
    @kescherRant
    Rabble rabble! 👍
  • 4
    @bahua
    IBM doesn't have a clear vision for Redhat at all. What they do know is they want to own it in the cloud, and have an artificial advantage in terms of being able to deliver compatible software. They can't compete on a level playing field, so they use money and patent/copyright trolling to be hold the competition back.

    Oracle v. Google will like be very relevant to this in the future in regards to fedora and centos, unfortunately.
  • 5
    This trend was obvious many years ago, which is why I switched from Fedora to Ubuntu (and much later, Debian). I've been continually surprised that people keep using RedHat and all of its inbred relatives.
  • 2
    I always wondered, why do people even choose RHEL instead of Debian-based alternative? 🤔
  • 4
    @myss

    15 years ago, it was exceedingly easy to manage, from a system admin standpoint. Everything was extremely straightforward.
  • 2
    @bahua It was great then, but the trend was ever worse and more corporate.
  • 1
    @Root It's definitely corporate greed. It's a decision based purely on marketing. A classic case of artificial scarcity they've taken away an "advanced" feature.

    That is, the ability for people to write software for their operating system at least without a ridiculous amount, an unacceptable amount of additional work.

    There are lots of great repos out there doing things for RHEL. I'd recommend any supporting 8 stop immediately and come together to choose some other RPM based OS that's still proper open source. SLES perhaps.

    There's a very good reason not to jump to deb based which is because building deb packages is absolutely awful and deb base systems tend to also be more over complicated with more moving parts as well as including lower quality packages.

    I find it disturbing that downstream hasn't fixed the problem which suggests to me they see it as potentially causing trouble with upstream.

    Either way, RHEL is now crippleware.
  • 2
    @myss I started out using debian for servers when doing it as a hobby as a kid and used it for nearly a thousand POS machines (well, they were already debian). My first job the servers had centos and I quickly found it to be better for servers.

    Deb based can be great for people starting out sometimes but for people more seriously into it or even people starting out it can be worse.

    Deb base has some differences in philosophies that can have a large impact on reliability, maintenance, etc.

    For example, deb can always add things and deviate from defaults or upstream sources, like applying downstream feature patches, completely rearrange everything in the source it builds to binary, try to add tools to make things more user friendly during install / configure, etc.

    All this added complexity actually ends up making things worse, even for a newbie, in more serious production scenarios. RHEL conversely has been well suited to minimalism.
  • 1
    @myss Also, because of a lot of people starting out with ubuntu, because it's more strongly desktop focused and people tend to use it with the intention of learning linux there's a strong bias toward then wanting to use it everywhere else but it doesn't really work like that.

    Linux has different distros which cover different use cases better than others. It's one of the great things about Linux. When I first started I tried debian and gentoo.

    It's not good with Linux to be entirely stuck with one distro for all use cases nor too many.
  • 0
    You should give Slackware a go. RH is a corporation building enterprise grade solutions based on open source stuff. They have been limiting what you may do to the system from the start of rhel as they need to support it. And you pay subscription for that support and any advanced features. It is a good business and they give a lot back to community. For do-it-yourself solutions, rhel just is not the right distro.
  • 0
    @AtuM I think ironically that's a key to their success. Sort of being lazy, not doing too much but also focusing on the core key things keeping a small footprint.

    That might not suit everyone's use case but it nails down some very well.

    I think anyone using rhel or centos will have noticed it often doesn't have packages deb does, deb tends to increasingly try to package everything.

    That's one of many added extra's in deb based that actually makes things more complex and some people don't want that.

    It's ironic because for enterprise their business model has survived on not being bloated and not doing too much. Though the amount they do do is just enough and perfect for a hell of a lot of people. It's popular for a reason.

    There's keeping a small footprint though and cutting off some toes which is what has happened here.

    There are other rival distros out their like slack though in terms of level of popularity and support you're potentially a bit stuck with rhel versus ubuntu.
  • 0
    @RANTSMCPANTS I only mentioned slack because it is such a great dive into dependency hell when you go build software from source. You get to apprechiate all the work any community does building their own distro.
  • 1
    I just realized that it may be easier to compile software for Windows instead of RHEL now.
  • 3
    I've talked to red hat and it has been confirmed.

    The official statement is that these packages are now only available if you pay.

    Time to start looking for a new distro. RIP
  • 2
    If love to see someone in the RHEL user community release a workaround that automates the install of a build/dev environment. It would install make, gcc, g++, binutils, etc, and leave you with a working environment, without having to pay IBM. I think a good name for it would be, "crutch," or, "wheelchair."
  • 4
    @bahua
    I have no idea how any trusts IBM in the first place, especially with tooling. They've already started botching openshift. Had a client "upgrade" to openshift, on IBM cloud. They're really fucking proud of their installer because it the only "single package to deploy all the tools."

    It also requires root permissions to run, obliterates any existing k8s, minikube, podman etc configuration on the box and establishes itself as the default on whatever system. When I asked their cloud guru why I needed root to install a usermode cli, he just shrugged. I knew the answer, bit I wanted them to own their bad behavior.
  • 0
    @bahua
    Also, "limp-mode", referencing what happens when you push a transmission beyond its operating threshold and it limits itself to a high gear low translation mode to allow the car to be moved safely moved of traffic.
  • 0
    What about fedora and CentOS? Will they continue to be developed? Because, if yes, only RedHat loses...
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