What is IBM playing? The iceberg under the changes in CentOS

What is IBM playing?

Yesterday, my partner David Naranjo told them the news that CentOS development was discontinued. David had the intelligence to point out the immediate decision maker, Red Hat. Now, if you will allow me, I will try to remove one more layer from the onion. Sorry I took advantage of a Black Friday metaphor deal and now I have to use them.

You can keep your (red) hat on (*)

I ask you to pay attention to the paragraphs that follow. The first is the CentOS project release.

The future of the CentOS Project is CentOS Stream, and for the next year We will shift the focus from CentOS Linux, rebuilding Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), to CentOS Stream, which sits right ahead of a current version of RHEL.

And lower

If you are using CentOS Linux 8 in a production environment and are concerned that CentOS Stream may not meet your needs, We recommend that you contact Red Hat about the options.

What follows is from Red Hat statement:

In September 2019, we announced CentOS Stream, an upstream development platform designed for members of the CentOS community, Red Hat partners, ecosystem developers, and many other groups to more quickly and easily see what's next on the Web. Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and help shape the product. Since its introduction, we have seen great enthusiasm from partners and collaborators around CentOS Stream and the continuous flow of innovation that the project provides. Thus, We have informed the CentOS Project Board of Directors that we are completely shifting our investment from CentOS Linux to CentOS Stream.

From the CentOS project website

Since March 2004, CentOS Linux is a distribution supported by the community, derived from sources freely provided to the public by Red Hat.

The CentOS Board of Directors is made up of members of the CentOS Project, many of whom have been present since the inception of the Project, as well as new Red Hat members who have been instrumental in creating this new relationship.

In other words, David was technically wrong. Red Hat did not discontinue CentOS Linux, development could have continued as it is a separate community. He simply made an offer that members of the steering committee (including Red Hat employees) could not refuse.

(*) If you did not understand the title reference, this is why.

What is IBM playing?

Let's clarify something. I am not criticizing Red Hat.  It was inevitable that as corporations took on a larger role in Linux development, priorities would change. Especially with the arrival of firms that do not come from the world of open source. It happened when Oracle bought Sun and it continues to happen now that IBM controls the world's biggest Linux player.

It is not the fault of the corporations if the members of the open source project communities believed that the contribution of money and developers was out of love for the cause.

Red Hat is IBM, and IBM announced changes to its core business going forward. Ginni Rometty, CEO and former CEO, said thate cloud computing, enhanced by artificial intelligence, "is now IBM's ultimate platform."

On the other hand, the firm communicated that traditional technology services will be transferred to an independent, publicly traded company. It is about being a smaller but focused company.

Let's go back to the Red Hat statement:

The technological world we face today is not as simple as it was a year ago, much less that of five years ago. From containerized applications and cloud-native services to rapid hardware innovations and the shift from ecosystems to software as a service (SaaS), the operating system can be hard pressed to respond to even one of these needs, especially at scale and in a sensitive way.

Another thing I want to point out to you. In your ad Red Hat talks about the needs of Intel and Facebook. They were never the original recipients of CentOS efforts. CentOS Linux was the distribution that small businesses, independent developers, and web hosting providers used to avoid having to pay for expensive licenses.

From the comments on the CentOS blog, they seem not so happy.

We will see what will happen with other projects where Red Hat has direct or indirect influence such as Fedora, Wayland or GNOME.


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  1.   Oscar said

    The thing is, CloudLinux is the future and it is light years ahead of them.

    I think.

    Columbia.

  2.   Abraham Gomez said

    And Suse-Novell is also paid?

    1.    Diego German Gonzalez said

      Yeah, it just hasn't been Novell for years.

  3.   pabloncho said

    always IBM messing things up. like everything it touches ...
    but well luckily Gregory Kurtzer came out to speak and said that they make the Fork of Centos8 and are going to work on "Rocky Linux" which is going to be what CentOS was until now.