It’s been six months since Red Hat announced they were joining forces with CentOS. I think things have settled down enough for me to make a post without controversy. I’ll use my usual question and answer format to answer the most common questions I’ve gotten.
Q: Did you know about the plans for the merger?
Yes. I was in the loop as a “consultant” for about 8 months.
Q: Why CentOS and not Scientific Linux?
There were pro’s and con’s for each distribution. I personally thought that Scientific Linux’s workflow and desire for others to create “spins” would have fit better with Red Hat’s goals. But the complications associated with working with goverment funded labs far outweighed the work that would have been saved by using Scientific Linux.
Q: What is Red Hat’s real agenda? Are they trying to get rid of RHEL clones?
If you read Red Hat’s press releases about why they wanted to do this, then you know what their real agenda is.
They are not trying to get rid of the RHEL clones.
Red Hat needed a way to be able to let people try their products that layer on top of RHEL. But how can you let people try them without giving away RHEL for free.
My best example is from OpenShift, the product I work on. We had OpenShift Origin that worked on Fedora, and we had OpenShift Enterprise, that works on RHEL6. But we had no official way for users who didn’t already have RHEL subscriptions to try OpenShift on an enterprise OS. After the team up with CentOS we are able to have users try OpenShift Origin on CentOS.
Q: Do I think the whole joining of forces thing will work?
Yes. I think there is still going to be some rough patches. But I think as the months turn into years, those rough patches will be worn smooth.
Q: How does this affect Scientific Linux?
I am unable to comment on this question at the present time. Not because anyone is silencing me. But because currently I don’t know. There are multiple paths that Scientific Linux can take, and they are proceeding with caution and due diligence.