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Old 08-09-2008, 02:55 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Naming Fedora

Back when I started using Linux back in 2000, to most people Linux meant Red Hat Linux. However, after the separation of the community supported and enterprise supported versions of Red Hat Linux and naming the community supported version to Fedora, many people have switched to other distros. Now the name Red Hat Linux is not synonymous with Linux and it is not as much popular any more. Many people have hung on to using Red Hat Linux 9 for this confusion.

I believe Red Hat would have done a better job had they named Fedora as Red Hat Community Linux (I am not sure if there is any restrictions using the Red Hat brand for the community version). What do you people think?
Old 08-09-2008, 08:18 AM   #2
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I think your original supposition is invalid. While RedHat was certainly big in Linux I'd argue that there were just as many folks that thought of Slackware as synonymous with Linux. The first Linux I actually had installed at work was something called Caldera.

Also RedHat specifically wanted to take the name away from the "community" because they wanted to be a commercial organization. Many Linux purists resented this and therefore WANTED to use non-RedHat distros. RedHat helped to create Fedora to try to win back some of the "community". From their standpoint the strategy has worked out as they are definitely the company that has had the most commercial success as a Linux vendor.

In shops where people like me (professional UNIX Admins) work by and large RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is the commercial distro of choice. Given that Fedora is used as a testbed for what eventually ends up in RHEL folks like me tend to install Fedora on sandbox/test systems.

Additionally CentOS is a binary compile of RHEL sources so RedHat has spawned it as a sub-distro. Also one might say it spawned Oracle's so called unbreakable Linux.

In fact markets always diverge. UNIX has various commercial variants and in the past had even more. It also has non-commercial versions such as the various BSD releases. More interestingly Sun has worked hard to rebrand Solaris as an OpenSolaris. Linux started out as a clone of UNIX.

Another example is IBM's control of PC markets. When they saw that slipping they tried to counter that by basically scrapping the old ISA architecture and replacing it with MCA. This had the opposite effect because their royalties were so prohibitive it caused others to come up with EISA so that eventually one had to choose one or the other and systems based on the latter were cheaper. Of course now PCI is the bus of choice. Part of the reason EISA was cheaper was one could continue to use ISA adapaters which one couldn't do with MCA based systems.

The funny thing about IBM's PC faux pas was it indicated IBM didn't learn from its own success. They got their start in big computer systems by making computers that would work with their old tabulating machines at a time when other computer companies were telling people that had large investments in that technology that it had to be discarded.
Old 08-09-2008, 09:07 AM   #3
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I'm missing what problem we're trying to solve here....

In the early days, you would believe different things based on your vantage point:
American public--esp. during the "dot-com" boom: Redhat
Germany: SUSE
Geek insiders: Slackware and Debian

In splitting off Fedora, I suspected RedHat wanted to put some distance between the "community" version and their new thrust into "enterprise" products.

Look at Distrowatch and the Linux timeline chart (don't remember at the moment where to find it.) The Redhat/Fedora branch is a blip compared to the total scope of (Linux) evolution.


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