[Beowulf] A press release

Prentice Bisbal prentice at ias.edu
Wed Jul 2 08:22:54 PDT 2008

Mark Hahn wrote:
>>>> does it necessarily have to be a redhat clone. can it also be a debian
>>>> based
>>>> clone?
>>> but why?  is there some concrete advantage to using Debian?
>>> I've never understood why Debian users tend to be very True Believer,
>>> or what it is that hooks them.
>> And the Debian users can say the same thing about Red Hat users. Or SUSE
> very nice!  an excellent parody of the True Believer response.
> but I ask again: what are the reasons one might prefer using debian?
> really, I'm not criticizing it - I really would like to know why it
> would matter whether someone (such as ClusterVisionOS (tm)) would use
> debian or another distro.

>From my interactions with others re: Debian, it's usually about true
opensourceness, since Debian claims that every package distributed by
them is GPLed, or some how meets some open source legal criteria. Also,
I don't think there's any plan for Debian to go corporate,  release and
enterprise version, and effectively bite the had that feeds it, like Red
Hat and SUSE did.

Those are not technical issues, but philosophical/legal/political issues.

Me? I use RH and it's derivatives for a couple of reasons. Here they are
in historical order:

1. When I started learning Linux on my own, all the Linux authorities
(websites, LJ, etc) recommended RH b/c RPM made it easy to install
software, and if you bought a boxed version, you got the Metro-X
X-server, which supported much more video hardware than XFree86 did at
the time, and had an easy to use GUI to configure X.

2. Now that I'm a professional system admin who often has to support
commercial apps, I find I have to use a RH-based distro for two reasons:
A. Most commercial software "supports" only Red Hat. Some go so far as
to refuse to install if RH is not detected. The most extreme case of
this is EMC PowerPath, whose kernel modules won't install if it's not a
RH (or SUSE) kernel.

B. Red Hat has done such a good job of spreading FUD about the other
Linux distros, management has a cow if you tell them you're installing
something other than RH. This is why I consider Red Hat the Microsoft of

None of those are technical issues, either. Since the term "Linux"
applies to the kernel only in the strictest sense, there should be no
technical reasons to choose one distro over another. Issues like nice
GUI management tools are human issues not technical issues.


More information about the Beowulf mailing list