Weekly Journal 123 - Journal, Red Hat

Weekly Journal Meta Revisited

My sinus infection turned into an ear infection, so I didn’t have anything interesting to post nor did I feel like writing last week. So I didn’t.

It did give me a chance to think more about this blog and its purpose. I don’t think I have any definitive answers yet, but I’m currently leaning towards the following:

  • I still like the idea of having a weekly review. I also like the idea of posting stuff more often. I may start experimenting with doing both.
  • If I don’t have anything interesting to write about, I’ll likely skip that week.
  • This blog is mostly an exercise in continuous improvement for myself. I don’t really care about how many people read it.

Red Hat (IBM) Nonsense

When IBM/Red Hat suddenly dumped CentOS for CentOS Stream, I thought it was a great idea that was very poorly communicated and executed. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt and chalked it up to IBM’s corporate communications group fumbling the bag in how that announced it. Now it has become clear that it wasn’t an accident and they are intentionally disrupting the community and ecosystem. This week IBM/Red Hat announced they will be restricting access to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux sources to users of the Red Hat Customer Portal. The subscription agreement for the customer portal forbids republishing and redistributing the source code downloaded from the portal. This is clearly an attack on distributions like AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux and an attempt to force users to purchase very expensive Red Hat licenses and subscriptions.

Jeff Geerling sums it up very well with the title, “Dear Red Hat: Are you dumb?”, and has a very measured response in announcing he will be discontinuing support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux for his open source projects. (For those who may not know, Jeff is a prolific supporter of Ansible, a Red Hat project, and has built several open source roles.)

I’ve always considered Red Hat to be the model of open source companies. This has shaken my confidence not just in Red Hat itself, but in several adjacent projects like Ansible and Fedora. I’ve been championing a change from Ubuntu to a Red Hat-derived distribution for our systems at work, but I will be hitting the brakes on that idea. I don’t understand the thinking behind this decision. It’s going to create a lot of bad blood with the community and ultimately I believe it will cost them both in terms of community contributions and eventually revenue.