Tagged: Suse

Ubuntu is popular, popular for a Linux distribution anyway. You think commercial and enterprise Linux distributions would look to Ubuntu for inspiration, but most companies are close minded.

I was in a meeting the other day with some salespeople from Novell, and we were discussing how RPM is essential broken, and its been frozen in time since the late 90’s. I suggested looking at the most popular Linux distribution for inspiration on packaging.

The salespeople looked puzzled, What distribution is that? “Ubuntu” I said.. From the looks on their faces, I think a few of them were questioning Ubuntu’s popularity.

Here is the data from Google trends..

ubuntu is popular Google trends.

Basically, if you take every other popular Linux distribution and combine them, it might equal Ubuntu’s share. Now, your typical sales person would say, “well that’s because they give it away for free!” Sadly, the lack of a price tag has nothing to with Ubuntu’s popularity. Fedora has been around a lot longer (for free) and has more money thrown at it, but Ubuntu still leads.

Redhat and Novell should take a hard look at Debian and Ubuntu, they could probably learn a few things about what makes a good Linux distribution.

So you have multiple RHEL4 machines in a secure DMZ location. You need to update these machines from RHEL 4.5 to RHEL 4.6. You need to do this without access to the infamous Redhat network, and without physical access to the servers. What are your options? The only supported method by Redhat is to physically upgrade the system with optical media.

How the hell is this enterprise? Both Redhat and Suse continue to amaze me with their inferiority to community Linux distributions. Their inferior support, and the ever increasing licensing costs. Don’t get me wrong, the Linux model is amazing for the quality of product, but the commercial distributors are not adding any value, certainly not enough to pay $1500/box/year.

So what did I do about my DMZ upgrade issue? I ended using Debian’s APT packaging tool to upgrade $1500/box/year Redhat systems. Its quite sad that a community distribution like Debian has better upgrade and packaging tools than the overpriced market leader in “enterprise” Linux.