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1.I am wondering since the kernel is open source, how can RHEL ask for money? Why is it legal to charge since it's based on open source code.
2.If I wrote a prgram based on GPL software or library, can I ask for money and didn't distribute the code?Is there any software on linux that is for commercial purpose?
3.Whyis GNU called GNU?
4.I am using RHEL on my pc, how can I download the driver for my hardware. I can hardly hear the sound from my computer, that bothers me...alot:P

Thanks so much for answering my ignorant questions...^-^

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Last Post by rubberman
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I am responding to question number 1 and only touching on your second question:

You are confusing two separate issues. Open source does not mean that you cannot charge for software. That is called "free software" (as in beer) and is another issue. Open source means that you have to share any changes or modification you make to the software in question with other users. That said, Red Hat charges for turning the kernel into something that can be used to do useful work (run a backend database, for example) and, of course for support which, if you are a company and your business depends on maintaining server availability, is a more important consideration than the price of the software itself. The answer to the first part of your second question then is No, not if you don't share the code.


MD

1.I am wondering since the kernel is open source, how can RHEL ask for money? Why is it legal to charge since it's based on open source code.
2.If I wrote a prgram based on GPL software or library, can I ask for money and didn't distribute the code?Is there any software on linux that is for commercial purpose?
3.Whyis GNU called GNU?
4.I am using RHEL on my pc, how can I download the driver for my hardware. I can hardly hear the sound from my computer, that bothers me...alot:P

Thanks so much for answering my ignorant questions...^-^

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1. Red hat charge for support, which is fine. They also charge for access to their repository, again this is fine so long as they make their modifications open. This is how projects like CentOS exist. At use Red Hat because we can call them and get a fix within an sla, which is not possible in a fully community driven project.

2. My understanding is that you need to make your program available openly. You can charge for supporting that application and for other features that are wholey closed source. It may be an idea to email RMS for clarification or the FSF.

3. GNU is a recursive acronym for GNU is Not Unix.

4. Probably better dealt with in a different thread.

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So, if you have RHEL, but haven't a paid subscription, you can't access their repositories in order to get updates, new drivers, etc. However, that is easily fixed. For RHEL systems the package manager is called YUM (Yellowdog Update Manager). It reads files in /etc/yum.repos.d that tell it where to go to find software to install or update. So, you can go to CentOS or Scientific Linux sites (both of which are free clones of RHEL), and install their repositories for your version of RHEL in place of the Red Hat ones. Then you can happily go own your way without difficulties. FWIW, neither CentOS nor SL change the packages except to make sure that they replace any Red Hat copyright images, logos, etc, so you can be assured that this won't break your system.

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So, if you have RHEL, but haven't a paid subscription, you can't access their repositories in order to get updates, new drivers, etc. However, that is easily fixed. For RHEL systems the package manager is called YUM (Yellowdog Update Manager). It reads files in /etc/yum.repos.d that tell it where to go to find software to install or update. So, you can go to CentOS or Scientific Linux sites (both of which are free clones of RHEL), and install their repositories for your version of RHEL in place of the Red Hat ones. Then you can happily go own your way without difficulties. FWIW, neither CentOS nor SL change the packages except to make sure that they replace any Red Hat copyright images, logos, etc, so you can be assured that this won't break your system.

So I did try your method...But I have looked over the whole site of CentOS, and I couldn't find a way to implement...Could you tell me how to do it? Thanks

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Well, here they are for you in a zip file. I have also included the epel and rpmforge repositories as they have a lot of 3rd party applications that aren't in the main repos. :-)

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Well, here they are for you in a zip file. I have also included the epel and rpmforge repositories as they have a lot of 3rd party applications that aren't in the main repos. :-)

I am sorry, but I copy the files you gave me to the /etc/yum.repos.d/ directory...but it still didn't work out...Still reminds me a unregistered system of mine...Thanks for answering...

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You also need to remove the Red Hat repositories. Sorry, forgot to mention that! :-(

You can simply rename them, such as add an extension like .bak

Edited by rubberman: n/a

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At this point I have to ask why install redhat then use CentOS repos? Why not just install CentOS?

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At this point I have to ask why install redhat then use CentOS repos? Why not just install CentOS?

If it is a clean install, then go for CentOS. However, a lot of acknowledgeable people know the name Red Hat, and nothing about its free clones like CentOS or Scientific Linux, so they purchase or evaluate RHEL, decide they like the product, but not the ongoing support costs. So, they are then in limbo - it isn't obvious how to switch from RHEL to a free version, even though it is in effect quite easy. A lot of the time they are uncomfortable with command line interfaces, which is necessary to use to switch the yum repositories.

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I did not know that CentOS was the same thing as Red Hat. I can understand charging for support, but charging for repositories seems ridiculous.

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I guess Red Hat considers maintaining the repositories to be part of support. In any case, that is how they enforce their licensing. They don't do anything else that will keep your system from running, which is good, and as I said, it is easy enough to install alternative repositories that bypass their support licensing. I know a number of people who have done that upon my advice. In some cases, they may be better off paying Red Hat for support, as they will also have to pay me for my time. Sometimes that is what I advise.

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I would urge against installing one Distro then using repos for a different distro. It smells of fail and/or much pain at some point.

If you don't want to pay Red Hat for support then don't install their OS. Install CentOS from scrach. CentOS recommend that you do not simply change the repos.

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I would urge against installing one Distro then using repos for a different distro. It smells of fail and/or much pain at some point.

If you don't want to pay Red Hat for support then don't install their OS. Install CentOS from scrach. CentOS recommend that you do not simply change the repos.

For running systems with a lot of software installed and used on them, this may not be a simple, or even feasible solution. The fact of the matter is that you CAN install alternative repositories on RHEL systems from clone systems, the two main ones of which are CentOS and SL. I, and clients, have done this not infrequently, and have never had a problem with that, including RHEL 4, 5, and now 6. I've done it on my own systems to avoid a long, messy reinstallation.

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