On Mon, 03 May 2004, Conor Wynne wrote:
> Correct. You just cannot use RHN because its the "service".
You cannot legally use the RHEL distro without paying (per seat even?).
This is an example of a Linux which is not free of charge. If it were
possible to use RHEL without paying for the service it'd be on their
website for free download and called RHEL.
> They only provide you with the SRPM's as per the gpl, so you just
> compile it and you have the distro right? Free, as in beer (but homebrew
> and not guinness).
>> Whitebox linux. Its a free version of RHEL without the logos. BUT, you
> dont get the other part of the service you pay for: The redhat support.
However similar, Whitebox Linux is not RHEL, by definition.
So let's take the Suse example. I realise they have now GPL'ed YAST, but
for the sake of argument let's take Suse 8 which was not redistributable.
You couldn't fully redistribute Suse Linux 8, even under another name.
Let's be honest Suse without YAST wasn't terribly nice. So it cost money.
Xandros (AFAIK) is the same. Two more examples of a Linux which are/were
not free of charge.
RHEL could easily (not sure if they actually do it) add non-redistributable
things. These could not be placed in Whitebox Linux and the products would
clearly be different.
> > You PAY FOR LINUX and they include services and support as part of the
> > price. Saying that RHEL is free-of-charge is like saying that Internet
> > Explorer is free-of-charge, or for that matter the cup o' tea on an Aer
> > Lingus flight is free. They are both part of the price.
>> Disagree for the above reasons.
The fact remains that any Linux (distro) is not necessarily free-of-charge.
There is no license requirement which says it must be either. If this were
not so then Redhat's recent change of business model would be meaningless.
This is going to be a hair-splitting discussion. You could argue I guess
that in the above cases you're paying for the service and the
non-distributable stuff. But if you define RHEL as a Linux, it is one
which is not free. Some componenets of it are free-of-charge, but RHEL
Whitebox could not exist until someone paid for RHEL. RedHat wouldn't have
had to distribute the SRPMs until such time as they had sold one copy.
Even the GPL'ed stuff wasn't free-of-charge on that day.
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