I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

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I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

Postby Sayhar on Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:35 pm

Hi all. I'm a happy Mint user since the 3.1 days. I've fiddled with other distros every time I had to re-install (or upgrade) Mint, but I always come back in a day or two due to Mint being awesome.

I just noticed that my University purchased an unlimited license for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Network entitlements, whatever that means.

What does this mean? Is it worth switching to RHEL? (since it's generously being paid for already?) What are Red Hat Network entitlements, can I hook them up with Mint?

Thanks.
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Re: I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

Postby DrHu on Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:52 pm

Sayhar wrote:What does this mean? Is it worth switching to RHEL? (since it's generously being paid for already?) What are Red Hat Network entitlements, can I hook them up with Mint?

It means license key; and its licensed control would be maintained by that school, whether or not they give you a copy and allow updates from Red Hat servers..(or their own (..the school))
--Red Hat is a commercial distribution, their free version is fedora
http://fedoraproject.org/
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Overview

Does it hurt to know more
--Red Hat is the main distribution for business users in the USA.

can I hook them up with Mint?
Of course, if by that you mean connect to
It's still a Linux system, although it uses *.rpm instead of *.deb as package management
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Re: I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

Postby nitehawk on Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:09 pm

--Red Hat is a commercial distribution, their free version is fedora


....and theres "CentOS" (the Red Hat clone. Stable & free,..just re-branded.
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Re: I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

Postby altair4 on Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:35 pm

It all depends on what your plans are for the future. Are you planning a career in the computer and / or software industry. If so then it may be worth your while to try it. If not then I would stick with something more usable like Mint.

As a side note: As far as most of the managers in the corporate world are concerned ( at least in the United States ) , there is only one linux - Red Hat. They would never consider Novell , have never heard of Ubuntu, and Mint is something you put in a julep ( based solely on my own experiences - not that I hang out with these folks ). :wink:
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Re: I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

Postby FedoraRefugee on Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:00 pm

Fedora is not the free version of RHEL. It is an upstream distro geared for the desktop. It is very cutting edge and because of this often quite buggy. RHEL by comparison is quite staid, even being as boring as debian stable. It is bug free, runs an older kernel, is fully supported and designed for mission critical enterprise use. The only thing that Fedora has to do with Red Hat is that many of the RHEL developers also moonlight on the Fedora project. It is also true that fedora is used as a test bed to develop future components of RHEL. But to compare Fedora to RHEL does not work, the only similarity is they are both RPM. CentOS is the unbranded equivalent of RHEL. Scientific Linux is also based off of RHEL as is a handful of other specialty distros that can be found through distrowatch.

Should you use it? It would be vanilla Linux at its best. You would not have the latest and greatest packages and it probably lacks many of the fun/eyecandy things in its repos, but being Linux you can always just build this stuff from source keeping in mind your kernel version. I dont know...I think I would grow bored with it within hours. :lol: Depends on what you want I guess. Sounds to me like you would prefer Mint.
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Re: I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

Postby linuxviolin on Sun Aug 09, 2009 7:32 pm

Hey FedoraRefugee, you are ahead of me, I was going to say about the same thing on Fedora, CentOS and Scientific... :D
Yes Fedora is NOT a free Red Hat but as you said rather "Fedora is used as a test bed to develop future components of RHEL".

CentOS is really Red Hat less branding, logo etc... Scientific is very near of Red Hat too but maybe less exactly and it has some softwares (e.g. scientific softwares, of course, like its name) not in RHEL, and about the NTFS volumes (they are popular for external drives), SL (self-)mount them like a charm...

Also, SL (Scientific Linux) excels in the LiveCDs. There is an interesting aspect about SL Live DVD: you can connect you as root or as (sl)user, and you can choose your password (without being worried by its size, passwords as I like them on unconnected "net"books can work….) every time you boot. This might give good habits to people unacustommed to them…

About the desktop, yes you can use a RHEL clone for your desktop, I do that, but no real multimedia "things" in the official repos (no mp3 support or several other multimedia formats - codecs, for example gstreamer plugins - and multimedia players like xine or mplayer) Of course there are some other repos where you'll find them, the only problem is you must have a great attention about compatibility between the repos, if not you'll go in the famous rpm hell.

About older apps:

CentOS is an Enterprise-class operating system and as such is more about stability and long-term support than cutting edge. Major package versions are retained throughout the life cycle of the product. This is generally what Enterprise wants and affords developers a stable base on which to develop without fear that bespoke applications will break every time something gets upgraded to the latest and greatest, but ultimately buggy version or the API changes breaking backwards compatibility.

So no, you will generally NOT find the very latest versions of various packages included in an Enterprise-class operating system such as CentOS. It's a feature not a deficiency.

Security patches and bug fixes are backported into the shipped version.

You'll have probably apps a little older (maybe often but not obligatory all the time) than on Ubuntu or Debian Testing for example (but if you use Fedora then no problem with this) but the stability will be excellent, and have you REALLY NEED of the "new" features in the newer version of apps?

The kernel, even if it is older by its version number (currently 2.6.18-128.4.1.el5), is very patched for support to more recent hardware (Red Hat is a big and recognized enterprise in the Linux world with many developpers, they make many hard work...) I have a Quad core with a Flash cards reader, DVD and BlueRay etc and there is no problem at all! And, like in some other distros (e.g Parsix, Debian), you can have something which does not exist in Ubuntu or Mint, I guess: a 32-bit kernel specially done for supporting more than 4 GB of RAM ("a version of the Linux kernel with support for up to 64GB of high memory. It requires a CPU with Physical Address Extensions (PAE). The non-PAE kernel can only address up to 4GB of memory. Install the kernel-PAE package if your machine has more than 4GB of memory.") Like that, and I use one, you can have the best of the two world: the large 32 bit library of softwares, codecs... (all are not in 64-bit) plus the use of all your RAM (usually in 32 bit the kernel supports 3,3 GB of RAM max, I guess) Great! And there is even a 3rd-party repo which "focuses on kmod driver packages to enhance hardware support (including filesystem, network, sound, webcam drivers)." :D

And like it's an Enterprise distro the support of every version is much longer than 6 months like in Ubuntu. Also they support the old versions. "Each CentOS version is supported for 7 years (by means of security updates). A new CentOS version is released every 2 years and each CentOS version is regularly updated (every 6 months) to support newer hardware. This results in a secure, low-maintenance, reliable, predictable and reproducible environment." For example:

CentOS 2 (2002-05-17/2004-05-14): CentOS-2 updates until May 31 2009

CentOS 3 (2003-10-23/2004-03-19): CentOS-3 updates until Oct 31, 2010

CentOS 4 (2005-02-14/2005-03-09): CentOS-4 updates until Feb 29, 2012

CentOS 5 (2007-03-14/2007-04-12): CentOS-5 updates until Mar 31, 2014

(the first date is for the release of RHEL, the second for the release of CentOS)

Of course it's the same thing for Scientific Linux.

In conclusion, RHEL5 and so its clones can be used like a desktop OS but you must accept some compromises... But we’re living in a world of compromises.
We can maybe consider them like the new XP, if you understand what I want to say... (for some explications, you can want to see here, for the "new XP" idea, about the other views/opinions expressed in this blog post, it's not the topic/problem here)

Now, with all this information, it's up to you! :lol:

Maybe the best could be to test in multi-boot, right?
Last edited by linuxviolin on Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:47 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

Postby DrHu on Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:33 pm

altair4 wrote:As a side note: As far as most of the managers in the corporate world are concerned ( at least in the United States ) , there is only one linux - Red Hat. They would never consider Novell , have never heard of Ubuntu, and Mint is something you put in a julep ( based solely on my own experiences - not that I hang out with these folks )

They would never consider Novell
Sorry they all/most feel that way.
--perhaps they have been corrupted already.

We do know that ethics doesn't come into the brand (branding) issue.
--I had always thought they would be on the lookout for the best deal (price wise): as in lets go offshore because it will be cheaper for us.
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Re: I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

Postby DrHu on Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:39 pm

FedoraRefugee wrote:Fedora is not the free version of RHEL. It is an upstream distro geared for the desktop. It is very cutting edge and because of this often quite buggy. RHEL by comparison is quite staid, even being as boring as debian stable. It is bug free, runs an older kernel, is fully supported and designed for mission critical enterprise use. The only thing that Fedora has to do with Red Hat is that many of the RHEL developers also moonlight on the Fedora project.
Fedora is not the free version of RHEL
...
But to compare Fedora to RHEL does not work, the only similarity is they are both RPM

Fedora is not the free version of RHEL..
I was using colloquial speech

Here is their magazine, they do not disassociate themselves from the Fedora brand/name; despite any technical dissimilarities
http://magazine.redhat.com/
    John “J5″ Palmieri explains how the Fedora community–codename MyFedora–is bringing Fedora users together by integrating self-contained applications into a single framework application. This interface enables Fedora users to see and keep track of what applications other community members are working with.
But to compare Fedora to RHEL does not work..
As a matter of fact I think that would work, I think one could study Fedora, and be pretty much up to date with Red Hat
--apart from some enterprise feature(s), which you can read about or even try for yourself..

Certainly the packaging method, the kernel updates and the general administration of the system would either be the same or almost the same (similar enough to be useful)..
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Re: I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

Postby FedoraRefugee on Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:42 am

er...right. As I said, the packaging method is RPM. You can even use SOME RHEL packages in Fedora, as long as the kernel version didnt step on you. But...You can also use SOME SuSE and Mandriva packages in Fedora too, so...

Listen, I apologize for stepping on your toes. I didnt mean to start a pissing contest here. Many people think Fedora=RHEL. It does not. The differences are glaring, you can just look at the kernel each uses. RHEL is over a year behind where Fedora is today. RH does not even own the Fedora brand. There IS a tie between the two, Fedora is the continuation of the old RH desktop Linux. Many of the RH developers still work on the project. Many of the cutting edge developments of Fedora do eventually end up in RHEL, as the do every other distro including debian and by extension Mint.

As a matter of fact I think that would work, I think one could study Fedora, and be pretty much up to date with Red Hat
--apart from some enterprise feature(s), which you can read about or even try for yourself..


Only to the extent that you could study Mint and be up to date with Red Hat! Linux is Linux! Sure, Fedora and RHEL both use RPM. As does SuSE and Mandriva and a few others. But this is not even like saying debian, Mint and Ubuntu all use .deb. .deb packages are cross compatible for the most part, rpm packages are NOT even cross compatible for the most part. Fedora and RHEL even have different package managers. So no, the only real similarities between the two are they are both Linux.
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Re: I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

Postby linuxviolin on Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:27 am

DrHu, FedoraRefugee has explained quite well, again :lol:. Fedora is much more bleeding, or cutting (I'm sorry, some little problems with my English here, little problem of vocabulary :oops: ), edge, like other modern distros, and like we said "Fedora is used as a test bed to develop future components of RHEL", but RHEL is not just Fedora with "some enterprise feature(s)" in more... e.g. if you use RHEL or one of its clones, it is better to avoid using packages for Fedora if you want to avoid the problems... :roll:

For the end: the REAL free version of RHEL is its clones: CentOS (a real copy less branding, logo...) or Scientific Linux (maybe a little less exact, with some additions - NTFS support, scientific apps...- ...) but definitely NOT Fedora!

P.S.= Just, FedoraRefugee, you said: ".deb packages are cross compatible for the most part"?! Hmm, maybe but it's not really advisable to use an Ubuntu package in Debian,
Ubuntu has sailed far enough of Debian now... :roll:
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Re: I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

Postby DrHu on Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:44 am

FedoraRefugee wrote:Only to the extent that you could study Mint and be up to date with Red Hat! Linux is Linux!

Sorry, that doesn't make any sense at all; Debian is not a Red Hat based distribution, they use different system locations, and each distribution, enterprise or not has their own idiosyncratic style..
http://www.rpm.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPM_Package_Manager

It won't be a pissing contest, but nevertheless let me correct the factual errors
    I think one could study Fedora, and be pretty much up to date with Red Hat
    --apart from some enterprise feature(s), which you can read about or even try for yourself..
I stand by that statement, I do think one can study Fedora and be up to date with Red Hat, one only has to understand the differences, almost everything else is similar enough to be useful; of course studying the real product is always preferable, in which case centOS would be more appropriate

I was speaking colloquially
Only to the extent that you could study Mint and be up to date with Red Hat! Linux is Linux
I never said or implied that; you completely misconstrued my statements

What I was comparing is rpm vs rpm as in Fedora vs Red Hat; and as you noted already, what appears in Fedora could find its way into Red Hat later..
--people might use package managers (guis) more often, but if they don't know the underlying package format and the command line tools that can use those formats; such as rpm for (.rpm) files or apt/aptitude (or dpkg) for Debian (.deb); then they don't know the OS

I am also aware of CentOS and did know that it is an unbranded version of Red Hat
I have used both Red Hat and Fedora, but I prefer Debian, mainly I guess because of apt/aptitude as a package manager for the .deb files
--and I have been annoyed about rpm development at various times; but didn't find Suse all that bad or Mandriva either (urpmi)
http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Tools/urpmi
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Re: I get RHEL for free. Worth using?

Postby linuxviolin on Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:11 pm

Ok DrHu, sorry if we misunderstood you and say that on a very general and familiar ("I was speaking colloquially") plan it is perhaps possible to agree with you ;-) but in all cases this discussion and this information in this thread will be probably/maybe useful for less "advanced" linuxians who want learn more about other distributions... :D
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