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Old 06-06-2011, 03:59 AM
JD
 
Default Real benefits of RHEL over Fedora?

On 06/05/11 20:45, James McKenzie wrote:
> On 6/5/11 8:11 PM, Ian Pilcher wrote:
>> On 06/05/2011 07:42 PM, Alex wrote:
>>> I recall reading that CentOS is having trouble keeping up with the
>>> latest RHEL. Is this currently a problem? Any input on whether future
>>> updates will be delayed as well?
>> CentOS 5.6 was released several months after RHEL 5.6, and CentOS 6
>> still hasn't been released. (RHEL 6.1 was just recently released.)
>>
>> As they say in the investment business, "past performance is no
>> guarantee of future results." I don't think anyone can really say
>> with confidence what the future holds for any of the distributions
>> that are derived from RHEL sources.
>>
>> (For the sake of full disclosure, I do work for Red Hat. Hopefully,
>> everything I've written above is relatively uncontroversial.)
>>
> The problem with CentOS updating to RHEL 6.x releases is the amount of
> imbedded RH information that they have to remove, by law. Once that is
> complete, there should be a CentOS 6.x release. I will not blame RedHat
> for this, the codebase is different and more files means more stuff to
> remove/replace.
>
> BTW, I do work with RHEL 5.5/5.6 at my workplace and we are looking to
> move to 6.x as soon as it is approved.
>
> James McKenzie
>
I thought that the license of OpenSource distributio
does not allow it to be bundled with closes proprietary
software. So, does RHEL contain such proprietary SW?

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Old 06-06-2011, 10:14 AM
Mike Chambers
 
Default Real benefits of RHEL over Fedora?

On Sun, 2011-06-05 at 20:42 -0400, Alex wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'm in the process of building a mail server and considering CentOS,
> fedora, or RHEL. If I chose the RHEL option, I would probably choose
> the minimal support level.
>
> This server will be performing basic mail functions, including
> postfix, dovecot, spamassassin, and webmail/squirrelmail. It will be a
> moderately active server, delivering as many as 80k emails per day.

I do this already and use Fedora, to include now Fedora 15. And I just
upgrade using yum (although it was probably 12 or 13 that I did a fresh
install lately and upgraded from there) and it just works for most part.
I run sendmail instead of postfix and don't use spamassassin (I use
bogofilter on client side), but do use squirrelmail.

So unless doing anything crazy out of that, Fedora should just work.

--
Mike Chambers
Madisonville, KY

"The best town on Earth!"

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Old 06-06-2011, 11:10 AM
Andrew Haley
 
Default Real benefits of RHEL over Fedora?

On 06/06/11 04:59, JD wrote:

> I thought that the license of OpenSource distributio
> does not allow it to be bundled with closes proprietary
> software.

Yes, it does: the key phrase is "mere aggregation". The key difference
is putting programs side-by-side on a CD and combining modules into
a program.

Andrew.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:52 AM
Tim
 
Default Real benefits of RHEL over Fedora?

On Sun, 2011-06-05 at 20:42 -0400, Alex wrote:
> will there be a great performance benefit to using RHEL over fedora?

I don't know if you don't care about the following, or don't know about
it:

When it comes to servers, it's a major pain to have to update the
operating system, and software, on a regular basis. And Fedora has a
very short lifespan. Leaving you with having to keep on backing up and
re-installing your data after doing a system upgrade, every half year or
so. Or, if you can't handle backing up and restoring your data, staying
with an out-of-date system, which gets more and more security issues.

On the other hand, RHEL, CentOS, or various other RHEL-based systems,
have much longer life spans. You'll have to update the system software
far less often. And program updates, within the same system release,
tend to be more compatible with the prior configuration and data.

--
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Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored. I
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:22 PM
Alex
 
Default Real benefits of RHEL over Fedora?

Hi,

> I don't know if you don't care about the following, or don't know about
> it:
>
> When it comes to servers, it's a major pain to have to update the
> operating system, and software, on a regular basis. *And Fedora has a
> very short lifespan. *Leaving you with having to keep on backing up and
...

Yes, thanks, I should have mentioned that I was already aware of the
short lifespan and the constant need for updates with fedora.

None of the servers I will be building will have Xorg installed, so
this should make upgrading significantly easier, should I choose the
fedora path. This is a pretty critical server in the role that it will
be implemented, so stability is a concern, but it's really only
performing basic email and web functions which are pretty well tested
in fedora.

A few other general notes/observations:

- Are there improvements made to RHEL beyond what is available in the
most stable version of fedora? Does RHEL effectively use the same
kernel as some version of fedora? In other words, once the kernel has
been time-tested on fedora, doesn't it become the basis for the RHEL
kernel? Are there kernel, filesystem, or memory tuning improvements
that don't ever appear in fedora?

- I think if it was just a matter of stripping out the trademark
stuff, CentOS would be released much more closely to the RHEL release
than it is, so I suspect there is more to it than that.

- It appears RH does not add new features through the seven year
lifespan of RHEL, only security and bug fixes, so I would most likely
have to upgrade more frequently anyway. In other words, the hardware I
install RHEL on initially won't be the hardware I'm using seven years
later.

- I believe the fedora lifespan for security updates is at least a
couple of years, correct?

- Much of the focus for RHEL seems to be on virtual machines, not
installing on the bare metal. Is that correct? What is a "socket" as
referred to in the RHEL subscription information? Does this just mean
an available processor on the server for that virtual machine?

Thanks,
Alex
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:07 PM
Tim
 
Default Real benefits of RHEL over Fedora?

On Mon, 2011-06-06 at 09:22 -0400, Alex wrote:
> None of the servers I will be building will have Xorg installed, so
> this should make upgrading significantly easier, should I choose the
> fedora path.

I think it's things more like, the hassles of dealing with making sure
no stored mail is lost (if you use IMAP), or uncollected mail (if
clients use POP) when you update. More so than things like X. The
presence, or lack, of X doesn't really make much difference to that
problem.

> This is a pretty critical server in the role that it will
> be implemented, so stability is a concern

"Critical" and "stability" would be two keywords that suggest *don't*
use Fedora for your server.

It's anything but stable. In that it keeps on changing, not that it
crashes all the time, like Windows.

> but it's really only performing basic email and web functions which
> are pretty well tested in fedora.

My internal mail and web server is using Fedora. It's still on Fedora
Core 4, because any time I've considered having to (a) update in place
and not lose anything (ignoring the ability to claw things back from a
backup), or (b) get everything working again on a new release (which
would entail many MB of mail being moved over, checking webserver
scripts still work, sorting out another local search engine for the
webserver), I just throw my hands up in despair at the thought of the
work I'd have to do. So it keeps on chugging away on an old system.

I find having to update client computers just as annoying, as they
inevitably have custom configurations, forgotten passwords, scads of
local data...

If I do get around to updating/replacing the local mail server, it'll
probably be with CentOS. It has a long lifespan. And it's based on
something similar enough to what I'm already using that I won't be
floundering about to manage it.

> - It appears RH does not add new features through the seven year
> lifespan of RHEL, only security and bug fixes

Well, Fedora seems pretty similar. i.e. You're unlikely to get the next
release of OpenOffice, or Firefox, or Gnome, or whatever, on your
existing Fedora installation. Such major change would be applied to the
next Fedora release.

> - I believe the fedora lifespan for security updates is at least a
> couple of years, correct?

Each Fedora release is about half a year apart. Updates are available
for the current and prior release. A few weeks after a new release, the
one second release ago is totally abandoned. No updates for it, of any
sort, are released.

e.g. Fedora 15 has just come out. Fedora 14 was the current release.
Fedora 13 was the prior release. Shortly Fedora 13's updates will
cease.

--
[tim@localhost ~]$ uname -r
2.6.27.25-78.2.56.fc9.i686

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored. I
read messages from the public lists.



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Old 06-06-2011, 02:10 PM
Ian Pilcher
 
Default Real benefits of RHEL over Fedora?

On 06/05/2011 10:59 PM, JD wrote:
> I thought that the license of OpenSource distributio
> does not allow it to be bundled with closes proprietary
> software. So, does RHEL contain such proprietary SW?

RHEL is 100% open source (based on the OSI definition). Red Hat does
make some non-OSS software available to its customers through Red Hat
Network "child channels", but those packages are not part of the core
distribution.

(Note that this is not necessarily true of every distribution out
there.)

CentOS and other derivative distributions have to remove Red Hat logos,
etc., from their distributions because of Red Hat trademarks, not the
license of the software.

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================================================== ======================
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"If you're going to shift my paradigm ... at least buy me dinner first."
================================================== ======================

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Old 06-06-2011, 03:27 PM
JB
 
Default Real benefits of RHEL over Fedora?

Ian Pilcher <arequipeno <at> gmail.com> writes:

> ...
> RHEL is 100% open source (based on the OSI definition).
> ...

Are you sure about it ?

I believe I have read it on a CentOS list that one of the reasons (perhaps
the main one) they are so late with 6.0 release is that they think RHEL packages
are compiled against software (libraries ?) that are part of their build
process but are not officially released as part of RHEL 6.0 .

JB


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Old 06-06-2011, 06:23 PM
Marko Vojinovic
 
Default Real benefits of RHEL over Fedora?

On Monday 06 June 2011 16:27:19 JB wrote:
> Ian Pilcher <arequipeno <at> gmail.com> writes:
> > ...
> > RHEL is 100% open source (based on the OSI definition).
> > ...
>
> Are you sure about it ?
>
> I believe I have read it on a CentOS list that one of the reasons (perhaps
> the main one) they are so late with 6.0 release is that they think RHEL
> packages are compiled against software (libraries ?) that are part of
> their build process but are not officially released as part of RHEL 6.0 .

Those libraries are also open source, just different versions, with custom
patches, etc. They don't get bundled in the 6.0 release because some other
libraries substitute for them.

The fact that CentOS 6 is late has to do with several factors, one of which is
that the 6.0 build environment has to be reverse-engineered. That is what you
have read on the CentOS list. Red Hat is by no means required to release the
details of their build environment, just the actual source code of the distro.
If you want to compile that source code, you have to figure out (yourself) in
what order and against which versions of which libraries should the packages
be compiled. It's a trial and error process, essentially.

All this has nothing to do with licencing. I give you the source code, but I
don't tell you how to compile it (and there is more than one way to do it,
btw) --- figure it out yourself. Everything is still open source. ;-)

HTH, :-)
Marko

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Old 06-06-2011, 06:51 PM
Marko Vojinovic
 
Default Real benefits of RHEL over Fedora?

On Monday 06 June 2011 14:22:23 Alex wrote:
> None of the servers I will be building will have Xorg installed, so
> this should make upgrading significantly easier, should I choose the
> fedora path. This is a pretty critical server in the role that it will
> be implemented, so stability is a concern, but it's really only
> performing basic email and web functions which are pretty well tested
> in fedora.

You can think of the term "stability" as "the server app I use will not change
its version during the daily process of regular updating". In this sense,
Fedora is *not* stable, since the *features* of the software get updated on a
daily basis. This may occasionally break your existing mission-critical app,
and require an afternoon of downtime and work to reconfigure/customize/deal
with. This doesn't happen often, of course, but there is no guarantee that it
cannot happen.

OTOH, RHEL/CentOS is stable in precisely this sense --- you set up your server
once, and you can be quite sure that the regular updates will not break any
existing functionality for the lifetime of the release (aka 7 years).

> - Are there improvements made to RHEL beyond what is available in the
> most stable version of fedora? Does RHEL effectively use the same
> kernel as some version of fedora? In other words, once the kernel has
> been time-tested on fedora, doesn't it become the basis for the RHEL
> kernel? Are there kernel, filesystem, or memory tuning improvements
> that don't ever appear in fedora?

The kernel version used by RHEL is the kernel version used by Fedora at the
time of the creation of RHEL release. After that it doesn't change in RHEL,
and it does in Fedora. That's the story with "stability" --- if you build some
custom drivers/modules against the RHEL kernel, they will continue to work for
a looong time. If you do the same in Fedora, they will need to be rebuilt on
every kernel bump, several of which may happen during a single Fedora release.

The RHEL kernel gets bugfixes and security fixes backported when necessary, so
that it stays the same version. In Fedora a newer version of the kernel is
preferable than backporting to the old version. This can break existing
software modules (typical examples are nVidia graphics drivers and VMware
kernel drivers).

AFAIK, there is no additional tuning and improvements that are being done in
the RHEL world as opposed to Fedora. Such kind of tuning is more likely to
happen in Fedora first.

> - I think if it was just a matter of stripping out the trademark
> stuff, CentOS would be released much more closely to the RHEL release
> than it is, so I suspect there is more to it than that.

Oh yes, it's about reverse-engineering the build environment. Compiling a
distro from source code is nowhere near as trivial as it might seem.

> - It appears RH does not add new features through the seven year
> lifespan of RHEL, only security and bug fixes, so I would most likely
> have to upgrade more frequently anyway. In other words, the hardware I
> install RHEL on initially won't be the hardware I'm using seven years
> later.

Why? If all you are going to run is a web&mail server, why not keep the old
hardware for all 7 years, if it does its job well? I mean, it's not like you
are going to need a fancy new graphics card for it, or drivers for your brand
new USB sound card, or such. The whole point of a long lifespan is that it
keeps working 24/7 for several years, with minimum downtime, on a given
hardware. Provided, of course, that the hardware doesn't fail in that period.

> - I believe the fedora lifespan for security updates is at least a
> couple of years, correct?

It should be 13 months, give or take a few days. So just over a year.

> - Much of the focus for RHEL seems to be on virtual machines, not
> installing on the bare metal. Is that correct?

That's a matter of taste, really. RHEL does implement and support virtual
environments, since many businesses require or benefit from them. But it
doesn't mean that bare metal installs are not "in the focus" or whatever. RHEL
will work equally well in both physical and virtual environment. The point of
the virtualization hype is that you can use RHEL to *deploy* virtual guests,
without using third party software (such as VMware or VirtualBox). If you need
virtualization, it's there for you to use it. If you don't need it, RHEL will
work just as well on bare metal.

> What is a "socket" as
> referred to in the RHEL subscription information? Does this just mean
> an available processor on the server for that virtual machine?

I have no idea on this one. ;-)

As a final note, I would suggest using RHEL/CentOS for a web&mail server over
Fedora anytime. A server really doesn't need the latest&greatest software
features, just security and bugfixes. If you choose to go with Fedora, be
prepared for occasional afternoon of downtime now and then --- either because
you'll be installing a new Fedora version every year, or because some new
fancy system update might break your custom scripts and configuration --- not
too often, but I've seen it happen more often than on RHEL.

HTH, :-)
Marko

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