Is IBM-Red Hat Linux a scam?

Summary:If your hardware vendor or free Linux application requires that you use a paid Linux distribution, is it still free?Paul Murphy says it's a scam, one IBM is perpetrating.

If your hardware vendor or free Linux application requires that you use a paid Linux distribution, is it still free?

Paul Murphy says it's a scam, one IBM is perpetrating.  

Specifically he points to Red Hat's server support license for enterprises, at $799 per processor.

the impracticalities combine with the licensing requirement to render both the ability to roll your own and the traditional right to install multiple copies from the same CD every bit as fictional as Red Hat's claim that they sell support with a free license instead of a license with free support.

Murphy also brings up another interesting question. Why is it that IBM, the largest factor in the Linux market, doesn't have its own Linux distribution? Almost a year before the SCO suit began, he quotes one IBM executive as saying  We didn't want to do a distribution, because we didn't want a patent infringement being detected."

No, that doesn't sound like market leadership to me, either.

So here are today's questions. Would you like to see an IBM Linux distribution, even with paid support? What would you pay for that support? And do you think a requirement for a paid distribution violates the open source ethos?

Let us know what you think in TalkBack.

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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