[sf-lug] CABAL

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jul 7 21:56:53 PDT 2006

Quoting ron (rondosxx at yahoo.com):

> I am planning to go to this event tomorrow from san
> francisco. Anyone else want to ride along? I'm
> bringing a laptop that I hope to get RH or fedora or
> White Box(?) installed on for the class. If anyone
> wants to ride along, e-me before 10 am. thanks, ron

White Box Linux is an RHEL rebuild with (figuratively) the serial
numbers filed off, i.e., they change the name and substitute different
image file for the trademark-encumbered ones.  It's produced by just one
guy, who works at a public library in Louisiana.  That's the basic
problem with White Box Linux:  It all rests on one guy.  I personally
think that's a problem.

One of the other rebuilds, Tao Linux, just folded because _its_ one guy
who produced it quit.  He made to his users the same recommendation I
would:  Switch to CentOS -- a third RHEL rebuild that has a broad-based
community behind it.  

A list of all RHEL rebuilds that I knew of, when I catalogued them a
year or so ago, is here:

"RHEL Forks" on http://linuxmafia.com/kb/RedHat

The various RHEL rebuilds typically have their own releases of all
current RHEL branches (and comprise exactly the same software and
differ only in the branding and paid-support areas).  At the moment,
RH's versions are RHEL3 Update 7 and RHEL4 Update 3.  The next updates
will be released in the middle of this month (and RHEL3 Update 8 is
probably the end of the line for that branch).

Fedora is a different animal entirely.  It's a fast-moving development
platform with no support, no guaranteed stable app environment, and
really no guarantees at all, that's intended as the "proving grounds"
for future RHEL releases.

Irony:  Although I talk up CentOS and encourage people to consider it if
they're leaning towards RHEL but have no use for the bundled support /
maintenance contract, I'm behind the times on CentOS versions.
According to http://linuxmafia.com/cabal/installfest/#distros, I
somewhere have a 4-CD set of CentOS 4.2 (2005-10-11) for i386, and
nothing for AMD64 aka x86_64.  One parses the "4.2" version string as
meaning this is their version of RHEL4 Update 2 -- so, not the latest,
but certainly not ancient.

Religious disclaimer:  I'm personally not much of a Red Hat guy, being
mostly a Debianista, but you presumably have your own priorities
including possibly the RHCE/RHCT Study Group.

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